911 operators deal with similar matters all the time. Partially it is the fault of law enforcement themselves in not adequately publishing their telephone numbers for non-emergency services. Of course, in my small town, any after hours call goes directly to 911 as it obviates the need for manning the office after-hours and the rest of the county pays for the call via their 911 tax. Hmmm.
As seen here: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/genera...rts-false.html
most EPIRB signals are false. One might wonder that EPIRB's are not equipped with a function more like a PAN signal as well as a MAYDAY signal. I hardly think that the technology would be a hinderence to having pre-loaded signals of a PAN nature within the EPIRB. In the case above, perhaps a pre-coded signal that things are pretty bad out here, please monitor for further possible signals.
Surely such technology would be preferable to the scrambling of aircraft and rescue vessels we now have with all the false signals.
One can understand the conditions that might lead the solo sailor to punch the "panic button". If you don't, you probably haven't been far offshore for long enough. But, of course, conditions do change and what was previously thought to be life-threatening may have either become more endurable or have moderated. There is
a certain amount of logic in the Pardeys refusal to carry an EPIRB. It presupposes the full and complete knowledge of how and where they intend to sail and the conditions expected to be encountered. In essense they are saying that, we are doing a somewhat foolish and dangerous journey that is wholly discretionary on our part and, while it's not our intent to die, we do not feel it appropriate for others to risk their lives for what we have fully evaluated prior to embarkation. I'd say that's a level of maturity, if not courage, that few of us possess. It bespeaks the knowledge that, in extremis, you're going to punch the button.
One would hope that a middle option might soon be more available.