Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 173 Times in 170 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Re: Hoax distress call
"They can. It might take a bit. " In the NY/NJ area, they can't. They have no RDF gear and their only way to localize a radio call is by polling every station and asking "did you hear this? How loud was it?" and then drawing cricles around each station. Where the circles overlap, if they overlap, gives them an area but it is a wide one--and cannot be determined until long after the call. In real time, live, they have no way to tell where the call is coming from, thus no way to tell if it is a guy at their dock pretending to be 17 miles out at sea. That's one reason they have so many hoax calls unresolved, year after year.
Yes, there are "phased array" antennas that use many more elements than the basic four needed for "no moving parts" RDF. With a phased array antenna, which is basically a flat plate with a lot of little sticks coming up out of it, you could easily resolve a bearing to one degree or less. When two or three shore stations use that kind of equipment and feed the results into a computer "X marks the spot". Not so cheap--but still off the shelf. Basically, a computer says "which stick got the signal first? which one next?" and from there it draws a picture of where the signal came from, based on the arrival time to each stick (antenna).
An interesting tack, but even with a massive response there should still be plenty of resources left in the ports. Leaving the question of who would be testing the waters, with what in mind? Pulling responders out on the water...still leaves the ports largely unchanged. The responders came from a very large area, which has many more resources. NYPD, something like 12 helos alone based at Floyd Bennett Field. Nassau and Suffolk County PDs, more again. NJSP, more. USCG...I think their rescue helos are now deployed out of Boston and Cape May since they pulled out of NYC and FBF. The New York ANG fly air rescue out of the old Southampton AFB in Suffolk County as well. But response times for all of them can be figured out with a ruler, they all have published speeds, ranges, bases.
And 17 miles (or nm) east of Sandy Hook, is still "on the horizon" from the south shore of Long Island. If I wanted to divert resources, maybe I'd send them 30-50 miles southeast of Ambrose, pulling those same resources but pushing them further out of range. Maybe pushing them far enough to bring Atlantic City into the picture as well.
This sounds more like someone pissed off with a petty grudge, intent on making the USCG spend money and look like fools. It isn't as if you're trying to see how fast the cops can reach one certain bank or bridge.
Incidentally the Noon Nooze today was now refering to a "caller" but the USCG themselves say "Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service New York received a distress call on VHF channel 14 at approximately 4:20 p.m., Monday, June 11, 2012, reportedly from the master of the yacht Blind Date, stating the vessel suffered an explosion and was taking on water." confirming that this was a radio call.
Last edited by hellosailor; 06-13-2012 at 01:50 PM.