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post #56 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
It's silly, but only to those who think it unnecessary to have written, visible, positive ID somewhere on the hull of your boat - BEFORE keying up # 16 summoning help...
No, it's absolutely outright silly.

The majority of boats on the water are not marked except with 3 inch registration numbers that are not visible at more than 50 yards.
Look it up, 90% of boats are little sport fishers, john boats etc. They don't even have a name. My 15 foot Lyman runabout has no name. I can call it Fred on the VHF one day and Ginger the next - legally.

Besides, I punch up 16 for a distress call I'm going to do it via DSC, with full boat info INCLUDING GPS.
I think that trumps a eyeball bouncing at 20+ knots in a first responders boat trying to pick out my scripted fancy name on the back of the boat obscured by a swim ladder and a dinghy - don't you?

My registration via the state of Marland, and my title do not have a boat name on them.
My Coast Guard documentation information is not available to the local first responders. I know that to be true because I work the databases for the local first responders.

In a crowd of boats the one shooting flares, or even waving skivvies in the air is the one the first responder is going to see from any meaningful distance away. I have to pull my 7x50 bino's out to read a boat name from over 100 yards away.

Call me MD 4653 AS on the vhf and you'll get a static air response I'm just not listening for it and neither is anyone else - but at least I know my registration (and CG #), I doubt many do.

We were traveling up the bay on Saturday while the CG was broadcasting every 20 minutes that they were wanting info on a boat named Pycho, 40 foot long, white boat with blue trim and white sails - you know, like 90% of the boats out there.

Lessons learned are opportunities earned.
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