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post #21 of 74 Old 05-18-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
Also, I think the CG includes all the items it would be nice to know, but if some are left out they will surely try to locate you and send whatever assistance they deem appropriate.
John
Thanks, for the post. I would have "Liked" it, but seem to have lost that capability!
The problem is that usually I hear the CG ask about the items anyway, one by one. The back and forth drives me crazy and I'm not even involved. IMO, best to get them on the table first (time permitting of course). Though, somehow I suspect the CG will probably still ask them anyway, one by one!
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post #22 of 74 Old 05-18-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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The problem is that usually I hear the CG ask about the items anyway, one by one.
I'm going to guess that they are filling out a log, and they ask a question for each blank on their form.
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post #23 of 74 Old 05-18-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Since the CG is not going to ask for my boat's registration unless I'm being boarded, I see no reason to.
Well, if you look at #13, it seems they are requesting your registration#. Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

It seems odd to me that the CG would waste precious time on this issue in a Mayday, if it didn't provide pertinent information. Which brings us back to the question in #5 you didn't answer. Do you know for a fact that CG doesn't have access to the registration data base (in your state anyway)? If so, how?

Don't mean to pick on you (or be "snarky"). However, IMO, you came across as rather authoritative in you post. If you know something I don't, I want to learn it (the purpose of the thread). If you are saying things that are not based in fact, I want to correct them.

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post #24 of 74 Old 05-18-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Why don't we use our registration
numbers
<>
Especially for a Mayday.
<>
Sometimes, the boats name is so silly, the CG obviously feels silly saying it, so refers to the boat as "Vessel calling coast guard" through the entire conversation!
<>
Am I missing something?
I dunno, I have heard the CG hail "breaking wind", "blue-bayou" and a dozen other stupid boat names. I disagree that they call "vessel hailing the CG" simply because they believe a name is "silly". I am almost certain that there is a protocol that dictates the usage of vessel name versus the generic response. I think the DSC / MMSI equipped radios will begin to address some of your concerns. In the meantime, I imagine there are opportunities to address rule-making authorities about the way the CG utilizes, and the FCC proscribes utilization of VHF frequencies. I don't know that anyone on SN really can make a difference (kind of reminds me of the Evans / AIS fiasco currently ongoing at CF)
.02

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post #25 of 74 Old 05-18-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Well, if you look at #13, it seems they are requesting your registration#. Please, correct me if I'm wrong.
When initially responding to a mayday in Sectors Delaware Bay and Baltimore, registration numbers are not requested by the CG over the radio. Once they arrive on scene, depending on the situation, that may be a different story and they probaby will ask to see your registration card.

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It seems odd to me that the CG would waste precious time on this issue in a Mayday, if it didn't provide pertinent information. Which brings us back to the question in #5 you didn't answer. Do you know for a fact that CG doesn't have access to the registration data base (in your state anyway)? If so, how?
I am a CG Aux coxswain. The last time this came up on one of my patrols, the local marine police for the state was contacted. CG has access, of course, to information on documented boats, but each state maintains its own database for state registered boats.

Additionally, the reason that it sounds like they may be reading off a checklist is because here at least, much of the time the newest recruits are on the radio and they just may be following their checklists until they become more experienced and obtain a smoother delivery. Sector Delaware Bay is always looking for watchstanding volunteers from the Aux as resources are limited these days. A small percentage of CG members are out on the water. In Sector Baltimore there may be one CG boat covering the upper Chesapeake unless additional resources are called in for an emergency. Most of the rest don't know what the local area looks like outside of the building where they are stationed.

Providing as much information as possible during the initial call is important in case the distressed boat loses radio contact and that information is all the CG has to go on to respond. If you know your registration number great, provide it. But it isn't assumed that you'll remember it in an emergency situation before remembering your boat name. As someone mentioned, DSC connected to a GPS will eliminate most of this issue.

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post #26 of 74 Old 05-21-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: VHF Protocol

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I dunno, I have heard the CG hail "breaking wind", "blue-bayou" and a dozen other stupid boat names. I disagree that they call "vessel hailing the CG" simply because they believe a name is "silly". I am almost certain that there is a protocol that dictates the usage of vessel name versus the generic response. I think the DSC / MMSI equipped radios will begin to address some of your concerns. In the meantime, I imagine there are opportunities to address rule-making authorities about the way the CG utilizes, and the FCC proscribes utilization of VHF frequencies. I don't know that anyone on SN really can make a difference (kind of reminds me of the Evans / AIS fiasco currently ongoing at CF)
.02
Oh believe me, if I thought I could change anything regarding the CG, the effort wouldn't be wasted on this issue. I'd have much bigger fish to fry. Just a discussion.
However, hence forth, I deem the name of my vessel to be: Charlie Foxtrot 1386 Sierra Zulu. That will guarantee they address me as: "Vessel hailing Coast Guard".
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post #27 of 74 Old 05-21-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

For whatever little it is worth, the CG always gives an approximate landmark location after the lat/long around here. There was an epirb going off in the northern part of the Bay this past weekend and they indicated as much. I don't think I have literally ever been out on the water around here, without hearing at least one pan-pan or securite call. I guess that's a symptom of so many boats around these parts.

Also, I often hear them ask if the caller has a cell phone, before anything else.


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post #28 of 74 Old 05-21-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

"I disagree that they call "vessel hailing the CG" simply because they believe a name is "silly". I am almost certain that there is a protocol that dictates the usage of vessel name versus the generic response."

There IS a very simple protocol. First, understand that radio watchstanders are sometimes civilian volunteers, sometimes ham radio operators, who have been recruited to supplement the understaffed stations. But the protocol is very simple. When the radio operator says "WTF? What was that name?" you will get a return call of "Vessel hailing..." either because they couldn't understand you, or the signal was too weak, or someone said "WTF did he say?" for whatever reason.

The request for a cell phone is also common protocol. The USCG has a very limited number of working channels and if they want to keep those free, they need to move the traffic elsewhere. Although it pays to make sure "Bars bars, who's got three bars?" before you assume you can switch to a cell phone.

The USCG are the best in the business. There's usually a rationale behind their actions.
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post #29 of 74 Old 05-22-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

Where I live one needs a "Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime)" to legally talk on the VHF. Part of that course is the phonetic alphabet.

So, in theory anyway, there might be someone on board who has at least heard of it and knew it enough to pass the practical verbal part of the exam.

And I agree that your CG (and ours) are the best out there!

We also often are cruising in the Bay of Fundy and we have "Fundy Traffic" - sort of like air traffic control for the water. We always contact them when entering their areas, we call in at the checkpoints and we close out when we pass through. They are a delight, they don't want to chat - just want to know where you are and warn you of anything you might need to know around you.

One time, about five minutes after securing our boat to the wharf at Market Slip we got a very polite call reminding us to call them when we were secure.
Oooops.
I thanked them just as politely.

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post #30 of 74 Old 06-02-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: VHF Protocol

[
Quote:
QUOTE=hellosailor;1033183]"I disagree that they call "vessel hailing the CG" simply because they believe a name is "silly". I am almost certain that there is a protocol that dictates the usage of vessel name versus the generic response."
I'm only assuming that was their motive, as everytime I've heard it done, I've heard the boat name (from the Skipper) and it was really silly. However, I can assure you it does happen.
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The USCG are the best in the business. There's usually a rationale behind their actions.
I appreciate what the CG does, and usually they are professional. However, I've seen several examples where they were simply over zealous kids with (our) very expensive toys. I've also heard CG radio communications that were laughable. The newbie, volunteer status of the operators several of you have mentioned probably explains this.

Regarding stupid boat names. This weekend, I heard a Ferry attempting to contact sailing vessel "Criminal Mischief" on 16 to determine intentions. After several attempts, the Ferry signed off with obvious contempt, saying "No Contact...learn the rules of the road CRIMINAL MISCHIEF!"
I thought later: "If I'm CG looking for a boat to board and I see two vessels, "Peggy Sue" and "Criminal Mischief"...Who shall I board? Hmmmm
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