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Old 07-21-2013
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What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

Assume you have someone on your boat who is non-responsive, do you use "Mayday" or "pan pan"?
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

MAYDAY. (Unless you are certain the problem is not life-threatening)
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

Mayday.
If in doubt Mayday.

If a person is non-responsive hit your Distress button on your DSC VHF and continue to do CPR till you get response on the radio. Then tell them the problem and confirm location. But be quick as you want to keep the CPR up.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

I for your sake you don't have a boat because you should know mayday and panpan off by heart.
i have a laminated piece of paper in the cockpit with what to say minus the situation incase i get incapacitated.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

Call Mayday from a Marine Vessel - wikiHow
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

Rigga, no holier than thou attitudes please. Your second sentence was helpful, your first paints you as something less than you want to be...hopefully!
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

I'm sorry if i offended you but i think it is the most basic of safety .
not knowing it is risking his and possibly other sailors lives.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

rigga's somewhat, ah, less than diplomatic point might well reflect that anyone who owns a boat, and has a VHF installed on it, should at some point have at least read the basic instructions that came with the radio, or read some instructions somewhere on where and how to use it. And pretty much every basic radio guide explains what Mayday is and isn't used for while they are explaining what channel to use for it.

Of course, if you don't know what channel to use either...You might as well skip the Mayday call. A cell phone to 911, placed on SPEAKER, will allow you to talk to the USCG and EMS while attending to the victim.

Score one point for the cell phones that VHF doesn't seem to provide. Yet.
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Re: What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

The reason for my post was that I was recalling a discussion with a few sailors during the intense heat we had this week when we were (almost) kidding about someone passing out from heat stroke.

Someone cracked a joke about having a person stand by on the VHF to transmit a mayday if it got any hotter out. Another one said that would be incorrect as mayday is reserved for a "boat" in distress as opposed to a person. He suggested that we would get a quicker EMS response by hailing the local police who patrol our area of western long island sound who sometimes out number the pleasure boaters. He added that hailing mayday would first require a coast guard response who would then have to notify the local emergency services.

I didn't agree with him completely, but the guy had a valid point, especially in the waters where I sail. Obviously, if I were several miles offshore, this would not be the case.

Last edited by weinie; 07-21-2013 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: What is the proper VHF protocol for a dire medical emergency?

If you're out of immediate physical assistance range then the correct call for such an event is a Pan Pan Medico which tells the receivers of your message that you require medical support over the radio. They then get a doctor to assist you with diagnosis/remedy as best he can to save the patient's life if that is in fact possible.

If you are within immediate reach of physical help and it is clear that the person is likely to die as a result of his/her condition then a Mayday would be appropriate.
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