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post #21 of 29 Old 07-07-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

I actually called CG Group Seattle one time to suggest that it might save some lives if they would repeat the location of a mayday a couple of times so people might have a chance to copy it down and figure out if they are close enough to assist. It didn't go over too well (understatement). Some senior officer broke in to the phone call (he must have been listening in) and asked if I was seriously expecting the USCG to change their procedures just to make me happy. I tried to explain the frustration of being willing to help but not catching the garbled, mumbled location but it was like talking to a rock.
That in no way diminishes my respect for the job the CG does, I just wish our radio operators went to the same school that the Canadian CG operators go to, they remain calm and professional even in the most frantic situations.

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post #22 of 29 Old 07-07-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

Being from up north, it is also sometimes difficult for me to understand the southern accents, especially when combined with all those crumbs. I'm sure southern boaters have the same difficulty when sailing north and trying to decipher some of the northern NY accents, which can be almost unintelligible to southern NYers. Then, of course we get to Canada eh me?

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post #23 of 29 Old 07-07-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post

I'm told that the Sector radio rooms are often the first assignment for new enlisted after basic training. They are young people who mostly don't know the local waters yet and are still getting used to being in the CG.
That's unconscionable, and the rationale very difficult to fathom for filling a position of such vital importance... I never cease to be amazed at the lack of familiarity with their local waters that many CG radio operators often display. I once called the CG in Ocracoke to report the light on Brant Island Shoal extinguished. They didn't have a freakin' clue what I was talking about, and required lat/long coordinates to pinpoint the location... That's sort of like having to explain to a 911 operator in Manhattan where Times Square is...

One of my pet peeves, is when they put out a Securite' broadcast regarding an EPIRB being activated, and requesting mariners to "keep a sharp lookout"... They will supply the relevant 9-digit MMSI number, but offer no other information about the vessel we're supposed to be looking for, whether it might be a sailing yacht, commercial fishing vessel, or a 1,100-foot VLCC... unbelievable...

Worst thing that ever happened to the CG, was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security...
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post #24 of 29 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Worst thing that ever happened to the CG, was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security...
Jon, you must not have ever visited DOT headquarters in DC back in the old days.

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post #25 of 29 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
That's unconscionable, and the rationale very difficult to fathom for filling a position of such vital importance... I never cease to be amazed at the lack of familiarity with their local waters that many CG radio operators often display. I once called the CG in Ocracoke to report the light on Brant Island Shoal extinguished. They didn't have a freakin' clue what I was talking about, and required lat/long coordinates to pinpoint the location... That's sort of like having to explain to a 911 operator in Manhattan where Times Square is...

One of my pet peeves, is when they put out a Securite' broadcast regarding an EPIRB being activated, and requesting mariners to "keep a sharp lookout"... They will supply the relevant 9-digit MMSI number, but offer no other information about the vessel we're supposed to be looking for, whether it might be a sailing yacht, commercial fishing vessel, or a 1,100-foot VLCC... unbelievable...

Worst thing that ever happened to the CG, was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security...
I just love having to shell out $30 for a sticker when it seems apparent from these threads that boats are just crossing international boundaries willy-nilly without even clearing in/out. Makes this sticker idea a joke.

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post #26 of 29 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

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Jon, you must not have ever visited DOT headquarters in DC back in the old days.
Nope, can't say as I ever did...

But I think many would agree, that since the CG came under the umbrella of DHS, the trickle-down effects from such a massive, newly-created bureaucracy have been noticeable... Not to mention, their mission has been changed considerably, much more heavily weighted towards one of law enforcement, border protection and drug interdiction, than it had been prior to 9/11...

The morphing of the old "Coast Guard Station Ocean City" into the far lengthier, but less specific "Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, Chincoteague Virginia Group", or whatever, seems a reflection of this change...

Like many others, I'm sure, I'm not overly impressed with DHS... I have a story re dealing with them during the course of a delivery of a Canadian yacht on a US cruising permit down the east coast that simply boggles the mind, how ineffective and broken their means of keeping track of such vessels can be...

It all begins with their misspelling of the name... (grin)



Last edited by JonEisberg; 07-08-2013 at 08:59 AM.
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post #27 of 29 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

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I think the really silly part of all this is that the fluff part of the message is repeated over and over, but the actual message is not. Also the fluff part is the easy part is the same thing over and over and the new radio guy can practice that a thousand times during training to get it sounding official but then the actual message is original and unfamiliar thus gets mumbled.
This is what we've noticed. I believe in our area they repeat three times:
"United States Coast Guard, Baltimore Maryland Sector"

Not even "US" for United States, IIRC. And what other Baltimore would it be on the Chesapeake? By they time they've said this mouthfull several times, they appear to be worn out and have little patience left for the actual message.

So our followup conversations are usually, Where did they say that log in the water was? Boat taking on water where? etc.

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post #28 of 29 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

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Originally Posted by arf145 View Post
This is what we've noticed. I believe in our area they repeat three times:
"United States Coast Guard, Baltimore Maryland Sector"

Not even "US" for United States, IIRC. And what other Baltimore would it be on the Chesapeake? By they time they've said this mouthfull several times, they appear to be worn out and have little patience left for the actual message.

So our followup conversations are usually, Where did they say that log in the water was? Boat taking on water where? etc.
These messages are highly scripted so that with enough practice, they can be rattled off in a manner completely indecipherable by humans.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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post #29 of 29 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

In my travels from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland I found the Canadian CG extremely professional in their manner of communications. As these are serious waters with serious big ship traffic...

Last edited by aa3jy; 07-08-2013 at 06:33 PM.
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