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post #73 of Old 06-13-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: VHF Protocol

Originally Posted by Goldfinger View Post
Name is part of the Mayday call, (Mayday Mayday Mayday this is XXXX) but the most important thing is broadcast POSTION first... if nothing else gets out then at least those who hear know where to look.
Next is POB (number of People On Board)... even if responders don't know the problem, they know where to look and HOW MANY PEOPLE they're looking for.
The PROBLEM is important of course but only third priority.
Just reviewed the CG's procedure for issuing a Mayday (post 13). Wondered why they want the words Mayday stated 4 times, and the boats name stated 5 times BEFORE the location is given. Based on passed experience, I'm guessing it is to allow people (including the CG) time to listen up, stop talking, turn up the volume on their VHF to actually hear the most important item, location (as you point out).
Just ran through the procedure hypothetically. The whole thing takes 20 seconds, 30 if you elaborate (as to help/equipment needed, etc.). While that would seem like an eternity if your boat was taking on water, if it makes the difference between sinking and staying afloat, I think your boat was probably doomed anyway. At least all the info was broadcast, and time was provided for people to pay attention and hear it. I'm assuming the CG could then listen to a recording and determine the identity of the boat AFTER they have dispatched help (if they didn't catch it at first and communication hasn't been established because you are up to your ass in alligators!).
While 30 seconds could make a difference if I lost my engine, steering, etc. and was in danger of being washed aground, I would have deployed ground tackle before issuing a Mayday, if I didn't have enough crew to do both simultaneously. Thoughts?

Last edited by L124C; 06-13-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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