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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #71  
Old 06-12-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Have been told generally good idea to put numbers on dinghy and nothing else even if mother vessel has O.N. documentation. That way nefarious folks are not cued in if you are on or off your boat by checking out which dinghies are at the dinghy dock. Just saying.
I heard that too. That it's a good idea not to make your dinghy identifiable to your boat in any easily recognized way.
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  #72  
Old 06-13-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Originally Posted by johnnyquest37 View Post
Key things to transmit are who you are (boat name), where you are (GPS is fine, but other boats will want to know where your are with respect to local landmarks), and what your problem is.
Name is part of the Mayday call, (Mayday Mayday Mayday this is XXXX) but the most important thing is broadcast POSTION first... if nothing else gets out then at least those who hear know where to look.
Next is POB (number of People On Board)... even if responders don't know the problem, they know where to look and HOW MANY PEOPLE they're looking for.
The PROBLEM is important of course but only third priority.
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  #73  
Old 06-13-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Originally Posted by Goldfinger View Post
Name is part of the Mayday call, (Mayday Mayday Mayday this is XXXX) but the most important thing is broadcast POSTION first... if nothing else gets out then at least those who hear know where to look.
Next is POB (number of People On Board)... even if responders don't know the problem, they know where to look and HOW MANY PEOPLE they're looking for.
The PROBLEM is important of course but only third priority.
Just reviewed the CG's procedure for issuing a Mayday (post 13). Wondered why they want the words Mayday stated 4 times, and the boats name stated 5 times BEFORE the location is given. Based on passed experience, I'm guessing it is to allow people (including the CG) time to listen up, stop talking, turn up the volume on their VHF to actually hear the most important item, location (as you point out).
Just ran through the procedure hypothetically. The whole thing takes 20 seconds, 30 if you elaborate (as to help/equipment needed, etc.). While that would seem like an eternity if your boat was taking on water, if it makes the difference between sinking and staying afloat, I think your boat was probably doomed anyway. At least all the info was broadcast, and time was provided for people to pay attention and hear it. I'm assuming the CG could then listen to a recording and determine the identity of the boat AFTER they have dispatched help (if they didn't catch it at first and communication hasn't been established because you are up to your ass in alligators!).
While 30 seconds could make a difference if I lost my engine, steering, etc. and was in danger of being washed aground, I would have deployed ground tackle before issuing a Mayday, if I didn't have enough crew to do both simultaneously. Thoughts?

Last edited by L124C; 06-13-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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  #74  
Old 06-13-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Just reviewed the CG's procedure for issuing a Mayday (post 13). Wondered why they want the words Mayday stated 4 times, and the boats name stated 5 times BEFORE the location is given.
Here in OZ call Mayday 3 times and repeat vessel name 3 times is designated. Having said that, many boat names are very difficult to understand over a poor VHF transmission and a skipper with an accent can make it worse, perhaps that's why they want it repeated more times.

Never-the-less, in responding to a mayday I would ask for the location, POB and problem, (in that order) BEFORE clarifying the vessel's name if I didn't get it the first time. Vessel name, description and any other details can be gathered once response has been initiated (as you say)... and (to repeat myself) if communications are lost before all details are collected, you have what you need to go searching.

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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
While 30 seconds could make a difference if I lost my engine, steering, etc. and was in danger of being washed aground, I would have deployed ground tackle before issuing a Mayday, if I didn't have enough crew to do both simultaneously. Thoughts?
AND if you get your ground tackle out and you're stuck hard, then you are no longer in a Mayday situation. Mayday is defined as: "a vessel or person using it, is threatened by grave and imminent danger and requests immediate assistance."

Last edited by Goldfinger; 06-14-2013 at 01:40 AM. Reason: Clarity
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