Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Calgary Alberta
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I always chuckle when I read about all the prophets making statements to the fact that one should not call for help when you're really in trouble "out there". Their thinking seems to be that since you've brought this upon ourself, you should simply accept your fate and that's it. That's not what the initiator of this thread meant, but I've read this sentiment on Sailnet before.
Calling because you're simply scared but not really in danger is one thing, - calling 'cause you're really in trouble is another matter entirely. I'm quite sure the spinners of such rediculous and arrogant nonsense will be just as surely grabbing for their Epirbs as everybody else, whether they first soiled their pants or not - and regardless what they wrote on websites like this.
As more and more people with relatively little experience take off cruising, rescue incidents will probably increase. It is a fact that not everyone can have the same experience or be experts in everything. The fact is that most of us work our backsides off to scrape together enough to finally get out there. If absolute mastery of all aspects and for all contingencies were preconditions to joining the cruising life, there would have been VERY few people out there.
It is also sometimes difficult or entirely impossible to determine when a situation changes from uncomfortable, to life-threatening. Since there are many families out there, the responsibility on the captain (often one of the parents in case of families) to make that determination can be very very difficult and clouded by fears for the safety of the children. Criticizing people for making decisions or determinations that their lives were in danger at a particular moment and then asking for help, even if subsequently shown not to have been the case, displays little more than an opinionated arrogance and a hyperinflated idea of personal superiority.
I'm not suggesting anyone should go out there completely unprepared and grab the Epirb at the first whiff of danger. I am however just a little bit tired of all the high-browed experts who criticise easily.