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Old 01-19-2013, 06:45 PM   #21
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Rwidman, maybe we have good help here, but could you be underestimating your own services? There is nothing like the painful emergency you had to highlight the issue, but I cannot see an emergency service leaving your good lady or your boat stranded while they take you to medical care. Emergencies vary which makes it hard to plan ahead fully.
Never used my DSC, but heard one used, in error, It got a fast radio response; Mrs. R should know how to use the VHF.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:17 PM   #22
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As some of the guys here in Aus say they join up with the local VMR or Volunteer Coast Guard but their coverage is only small in the scheme of things and both organisations are different entities and do not necessarily correspond with each other.
All good if you cruise in a relatitively small geographical area.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:51 PM   #23
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Rwidman, maybe we have good help here, but could you be underestimating your own services? There is nothing like the painful emergency you had to highlight the issue, but I cannot see an emergency service leaving your good lady or your boat stranded while they take you to medical care. Emergencies vary which makes it hard to plan ahead fully.
Never used my DSC, but heard one used, in error, It got a fast radio response; Mrs. R should know how to use the VHF.
Sure they could...anchor up you boat, take any passengers to a local wharf and that's it....rescue services aren't responsible for personal belongings.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:28 PM   #24
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My wife is not comfortable operating the boat and I've stopped trying to get her to be comfortable. However I do quiz her every month or so on how to active the DSC and ask her to show me our lat/long position on the GPS.

We mostly cruise the ICW and I've often wondered if I was disabled how emergency responders would reach us if anchored even if they knew our location.

I guess the boat is far down the list of concerns if a real emergency happens. But worth thinking about for sure.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:52 PM   #25
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If I was taken off the boat by rescue My wife would drive the boat to the nearest safe harbor, using the Garmin Chartploter, the Toughbook running PolarNav, and the Ipad running Garnin Blue charts, All of which she knows how to use, and has used.

Sure, she might ding it up a bit docking, but a good shore crew could prevent that.

She would rent a car, and drive to where ever I am. She is a attorney, and god help those who stand in her way.

I love her and have for over 25 years

Mike
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:31 AM   #26
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If I was taken off the boat by rescue My wife would drive the boat to the nearest safe harbor, using the Garmin Chartploter, the Toughbook running PolarNav, and the Ipad running Garnin Blue charts, All of which she knows how to use, and has used.

Sure, she might ding it up a bit docking, but a good shore crew could prevent that.

She would rent a car, and drive to where ever I am. She is a attorney, and god help those who stand in her way.
You're missing a couple things here:

Both times this happened to me it was 3:00 AM. There's not likely to be a good shore crew around. Or a car rental agency.

She probably wouldn't know where the nearest (or any) marina was located.

Being concerned whether her husband was going to live or die, I suspect she would elect to go directly to the hospital with me. I would need her to fill out the paperwork anyway.

I expect I would be in the ER, semi concious with my wife by my side and the boat anchored off the ICW somewhere. I would probably be in the hospital for a few days and then on drugs for a couple weeks.

What I am trying to do is figure out how I get from that situatio to back in my home with my boat in a (hopefully my home) marina.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:49 AM   #27
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Depends on the situation...but passengers aren't always allowed in helicopter medevacs and if you are truly in a remote area....say 50 miles from the nearest USCG boat station..and it's life threatening...chances are it may be done by helo.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:40 AM   #28
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This thread has given me a chance for some introspective thinking. My wife knows how to drive the boat, but probably doesn't know how to start it, shut it down, maneuver it near a dock, etc. She also has a limited knowledge of the VHF.

I see some additional training on the schedule for this summer so she'll become much more comfortable doing these things.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:21 PM   #29
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rwidman wrote -

“She probably wouldn't know where the nearest (or any) marina was located.”

That may be standard practice on your boat but not on mine. Melissa is following the chartploters all the time and scanning ahead on the Toughbook to look at Active Captain. Over 20,000 miles of cruising we’ve developed a routine.

Co-captains on the little DeFever, The only thing I do that she doesn’t is docking, but it the end that doesn’t matter. She knows the basics. Boats can be fixed.

If you are willing to spend enough money, rental cars are always available. You might have to buy a car right there in the parking lot, but so what? It's only money.

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:04 PM   #30
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rwidman wrote -

“She probably wouldn't know where the nearest (or any) marina was located.”

That may be standard practice on your boat but not on mine. Melissa is following the chartploters all the time and scanning ahead on the Toughbook to look at Active Captain. Over 20,000 miles of cruising we’ve developed a routine.

Co-captains on the little DeFever, The only thing I do that she doesn’t is docking, but it the end that doesn’t matter. She knows the basics. Boats can be fixed.

If you are willing to spend enough money, rental cars are always available. You might have to buy a car right there in the parking lot, but so what? It's only money.

Mike
Agreed 100%. It's common sense that at least two people ( the Cpt. any one other) knows how to operate the vessel and equipment and my admiral knows how to do both.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:02 AM   #31
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So now you're suggersing I trade in my wife?

How about someone running a boat singlehanded? And what's this about buying a car in the parking lot?

Let me paint this picture again:

My wife and I are anchored for the night on a little creek off the ICW in Georgia. We had planned to anchor and continue our voyage the next day. Neither of us has any idea what marinas are close by because our plan was to anchor.

I'm too sick to get up and look through guide books or active captain to find a marina. Ther're all closed at 3:00 AM anyway.

My wife or I push the DSC emergency button on the VHF (after turning on the chart plotter) and make arrangements for the USCG or local water rescue to come get me and take me to a hospital.

What now? Will they take her to the hospital as well? Will they leave her at a boat ramp where they transfered me to an ambulance? There may not be taxi service in these remote locations.

My wife can eventually rent a car but my concern is getting my boat off the ICW and into a safe slip. Or even getting back to the boat if it doesn't get moved by someone.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:12 AM   #32
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Getting your boat safely tied up can be done by any assistance tower...not sure if they would charge or not or even if they would get your boat to a safe haven...before I believed any local tower, I would get it in writing from the national organization or from that particular franchise owner in whose area you were cruising.

I think they will assist, but will probably charge you for it.

I would check with my hull insurance company and see what they say and how much they would pay a towing company in this situation if they do cover towing.

I'm seriously thinking of either Boat/US or DAN emergency services. I'm going to definitely ask about limitations on getting your boat/wife to safety as rescue organizations can be hit or miss whether they will/can help your wife in those circumstances.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:34 AM   #33
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Well, I went ahead and contaced TowBoat US. Here is my e-mail to them:
Gentlemen;

I have been a member of TowBoatUS for several years and have the Unlimited Saltwater Package. I boat mostly on the AICW out of Charleston, SC. I have a question:

If I were on a cruise and anchored for the night in a remote spot on the ICW and woke up to discover my engine would not start or some other mechanical problem, I could call TowBoatUS and someone would come and tow my boat to a marina.

My question is; instead of the boat being disabled, suppose I (the captain) were to have a medical emergency and have to be removed in the middle of the night from the boat by Coast Guard or local Fire/ Rescue personnel, and taken to a hospital where I was admitted for a few days. Would my membership cover someone going to my boat and towing it to a marina where it would be safe and where I could get back on it once I was released from the hospital?

Thanks.

Here is their reply:


Thank you for taking the time to e-mail BoatU.S. Towing Services.

If it was a routine tow, BoatU.S. would pay for it under your BoatU.S. Membership. It could be a salvage in which case your hull insurance would pay for it.

Fair winds and following seas,

Chip Fardwell
Manager Towing Customer Relations
1-800-888-4869 ext. 3636

I just thought I would share the answer with everyone.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:53 AM   #34
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Run, Typical non committal answer which is about the same as no answer. This might be why many folks are moving over to Sea Tow, although I have no experience with them to say they are better or worse. It would be interesting to know what their answer would be. Chuck
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:07 AM   #35
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Run, Typical non committal answer which is about the same as no answer. This might be why many folks are moving over to Sea Tow, although I have no experience with them to say they are better or worse. It would be interesting to know what their answer would be. Chuck
Thought the same but didn't want to provoke....

Being in the tow business and knowing both company policies pretty well...it would be about the same.

That's why some posts ago I said that local franchise owners (the one in your area) usually have the flexibility to "bend" corporate policy...in other words tow your boat home and drop your spouse/crew off along the way if they didn't go with rescue. Some have pretty big hearts and others pretty big but empty wallets and want to fill them up.

That's why I also mentioned ask your insurance company because if you/crew left the boat unattended...the insurance company may deny any claim arising from the incident or it may reimburse a towing company to AVOID and issues...hard to say what each company may do.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:20 PM   #36
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Tow companies are really incentivized to call things a salvage any time they can...they get paid much more. Boat/US has a form on their site that everybody should carry that sets out the conditions of the tow, but in an emergency I guess anything goes.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:39 PM   #37
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Rwidman,as Capn Chuck effectively says, the answer is non responsive to the question. Perhaps they think it already happened, their response was bad, and they are getting set up.
What did you think? Were you comforted? Does it worry you they did not fully address the question? How about going back and asking them to answer the question?
Is Boat US franchised, as Seatow is in Australia? Different local operators may have different ideas.
I still think human decency side of any assistance service would kick in for an emergency(the exact nature of which can`t be predicted) and you and Mrs R would be looked after. Is that too trusting?
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:40 PM   #38
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Agreed 100%. It's common sense that at least two people ( the Cpt. any one other) knows how to operate the vessel and equipment and my admiral knows how to do both.
In spite of my objections, my Admiral seems to be satisfied with knowing how to operate me and my equipment.

Seriously though, she says she's going to take some classes before we go full time cruising, and there's a women-only course available over on the Gulf Coast of Florida. As last year, they should be giving a walk-in seminar or two at the Ft. Lauderdale Trawlerfest later this week.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:08 PM   #39
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You call the local tower and ask them what their hourly rate is and ask them to go pick up your boat. Unless you left your boat some place where harm will come quickly it not much different then the average tow. Will be cheaper then medical bills. Do not give out any more details then needed. The company I work for would take the boat back to the company dock and look after it until payed if a credit card was not given prior to towing. BUI are handle that way while not a medical emergence captain cannot drive boat.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:41 AM   #40
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...I still think human decency side of any assistance service would kick in for an emergency(the exact nature of which can`t be predicted)...
This has been our experience.
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