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  #1  
Old 08-25-2008
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What exactly will the Coast Guard do

We were out last weekend and were listening to the vhs.
There was a lot of distress calls from people asking for help. Mostly taking on water.
It was very interesting how the operator handled the calls.

My question is what do they do when they get to the boat in distress? I heard, probably incorrectly, that the CG does not attempt to save the boat.
So I know the procedure during the call but what is the procedure on arrival.
Will they put a pump on board or just take people off and let the boat sink?
What equiptment do they carry?

What about seatow. How do you decide who to call?
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Old 08-26-2008
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Generally speaking, if you want to save your boat you'd best call Seatow or some other type of marine salvage firm. The USCG is going to rescue people and leave the boat-in general. If it is a threat to navigation or a pollution risk they may make some other efforts, even scuttling her, but don't count on it. They are a life-saving organization not a boat saving organization. On most boats you're best advised to carry what might be needed for damage control and the saving of your boat.
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Old 08-26-2008
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The Coasties will lower a gasoline powered trash pump and hoses if the vessel is sinking and is far from any other help. I've seen the gadgets. They're small, and pretty easy to run.

They have become pretty heartless the last few years, and will happily scoop you and your crew up and leave the boat to sink if it's in deep water.

Better to have an account with Sea Tow and/or TowBoatUS. They'll at least make an attempt to save your boat, and most of them have serious trash pumps aboard.
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Old 08-26-2008
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No, you heard correctly. The USCG isn't in the boat saving business... if you call them, they will attempt to save your life, but as long as the boat isn't a danger to other shipping, it isn't their problem.
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Old 08-26-2008
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thay will do something like this even if it's a vhf mayday
YouTube - For Sea Kayakers: VHF Radio Mayday Call (Felony)
proabbly thay have portable pumps but it depends on the size of the hole; you can't pump with portable pump if the hull has like 1m2 hole

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Old 08-26-2008
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I would be surprised if they even respond at all.
Most times in my area, they make a general broadcast and ask that any other boat in the area offer assistance. Unless its life threatening, they don't come out.
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Old 08-26-2008
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There was a report of a sinking/sunken boat, with debris in the area, but no people visible, on the lake we were on a a few weekends ago. I didn't see any CG boats, but I did see a CG helicopter head off in the direction indicated by the radio traffic.

(Never did find out what that was all about. There was never anything [we saw] on the "news," no scuttlebutt amongst the sailors and boaters we know, nothing.)

Jim
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Old 08-26-2008
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Which all brings us to another interesting item.

Nearly every day here near the junction of the St. John's River and Julington Creek, the orange and white helicopter goes out to play a truly stupid little game with a USCG (confiscated) go-fast boat--the scenario, I guess, is that they are trying to run down some dastardly terrorist or drug runner.

I've had the opportunity to watch their operation (antics?) dozens of times. The boss and I both agree that if WE were the bad guys, and we had guns, the cute orange and white helicopter would soon be swimming.

Meanwhile, they're burning at least 60 gallons of gas an hour in the go-fast boat, and who-knows-how-many gallons in the helicopter.

Meanwhile, someone can scream for help, and be ignored. Sorry, gang. There's something inherently wrong with this picture. We have a Navy, an Army, a Marine Corps, and an Air Force who can easily and happily go blow up go fast boats. They'd probably even enjoy it. Personally, I think the Coast Guard should go back to being the Coast Guard as it was in the sixties and seventies. That was their original purpose. As far as them 'guarding our shores' from the bogey man, they don't have the people or the hardware to do it.
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Old 08-26-2008
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Gary...

they don't have the people or the hardware to do it.

That's an open invite for "them" to go to Congress, hats in hand, looking for more funding!!!

Paul
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Old 08-26-2008
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