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Old 10-20-2015, 12:08 PM   #1
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When to use Mayday-Pan-Pan and Securite

Good Info:

When to Use "Mayday", "Pan-Pan" or "SÚcuritÚ" | Boating Magazine
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:46 PM   #2
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Thanks Tom, that was a good refresher.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:30 PM   #3
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Remember the use of Pan Pan or Mayday for the average US coastal boater is a bit irrelevant.

Just call the USCG on 16 and start discussing your "urgent situation" and they will rebroadcast at the appropriate level or everyone else is listening anyway and will either assist or not.

In areas where typical assistance or even arrival of the USCG is measured in many versus several hours...different story...learn and use the appropriate wording as necessary.

Bit more often or not...using mayday is better than not...better to have the world at your beck and call if you need it....and they can always stand down...than to sound more casual and have things go to crap fast.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:41 PM   #4
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Remember the use of Pan Pan or Mayday for the average US coastal boater is a bit irrelevant.

Sad.

Feel free to use proper VHF communications when visiting Canada. They are well understood. In fact, the CCG will call you on it.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:54 PM   #5
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Bit more often or not...using mayday is better than not...better to have the world at your beck and call if you need it....and they can always stand down...than to sound more casual and have things go to crap fast.
Excellent advice!!! An Avianca B707 crash in New York would be an excellent example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avianca_Flight_52
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:25 PM   #6
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Excellent advice!!! An Avianca B707 crash in New York would be an excellent example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avianca_Flight_52
There is a human tendency we need to fight. The same tendency that leads us not to go to a doctor until a problem becomes serious. This tendency is to avoid calling. I believe we saw this in the case of El Faro although it might not have made a difference. But I do believe they knew they had a problem some time before the actual call and had been working on it for some time. Otherwise, how could they say they had it under control as they did. You're 10 miles offshore in a moderate storm and you lose power. You try to restart and it won't. Seems to me before you start trying to repair the engine, you let someone know you have problems. If you have tow coverage, call and get the boat on the way. If 30 minutes later you get started, then fine, and the tow boat still is likely to make sure you make it in safely. You're 20 miles offshore and boat is taking on water. That's the time to notify the CG. Not after you try for 30 minutes to figure out and/or resolve the ingress, not after your bilge pump gives up after 30 minutes of pumping.

The difference between being lost at sea and rescued may be at what point during the process was the CG notified.

Boating is not time to show how macho we are or to let our pride get in the way of good judgement.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:30 PM   #7
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Sad.

Feel free to use proper VHF communications when visiting Canada. They are well understood. In fact, the CCG will call you on it.
I hear ya...but it is actually the USCG that wants to react early and full force....so any sort of call is going to get a response. A couple really damaging lawsuits helps push in that direction...

The concept of getting even the smallest of emergencies out of the way fast has (or at least fr the last couple decades) really taken hold.

The USCG is going to assist with at least radio assistance for everything down to non-emergency stuff...so whether you call MAYDAY, PAN PAN, or "hello out there coasties" or "help"...the result is just about the same. If there are a lot of professional mariners or decent boaters out there...then proper radio protocol will probably get what you need too.

Not the way it is supposed to work...but like the COLREGS...throw in huge numbers of users that don't really understand their working concept...and free for all comes to mind...communications too.

Hopefully where you are NS...it is a lot more organized and tolerable.
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:32 PM   #8
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Sad. Feel free to use proper VHF communications when visiting Canada. They are well understood. In fact, the CCG will call you on it.

Absolutely.

No situation is textbook and as usual, when things like this are written they can be lacking but at the same time, when do you stop the tutoring?

Circumstances will dictate how much of the "ideal" information can be broadcast but absolutely the first 5 points should be covered if at all possible. Vessel description which can be critical could be included along with the "Who" if you think you need to abandon the radio before you reach steps 6 and 7.

Every member of your crew should at least know the proper use of the radio and even better be licensed to do so.

It is not a CB.

The crew should also be fluent in the phonetic alphabet. Your signal may be weak or distorted so the phonetic spelling of the vessel should be second nature.

Practicing the three levels can be done with the radio turned off or via cell phone between crew members. And remember the broadcast begins with the level of distress repeated THREE times:
MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY. This is...

The principles of a Mayday Relay should also be known by all crewmembers.

Also turn on your damn AIS, if you have one and let CG know its identity.
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:46 PM   #9
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Textbook and rescue don't even belong n the same sentence.


Radio procedures on vessels should start to mirror aviation radio usage as in some areas of high radio traffic volume, getting important info across is way more important than "textbook".


With thousands of rescues and assists under my belt...and so few ever really the same....hard to think that radio transmissions according to some textbook are all that important....


Getting pertinent info back and forth between the vessel in distress and the ACTUAL rescuers is really the most important issue.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:40 PM   #10
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mmmm


Interesting read, especially from those that state forget the mayday call and just call the coast guard. I believe this is bad advice.


Stating pan-pan or mayday sets certain actions into place and could save your life and those you are responsible for on your vessel. It also lets everyone else know that you are in a bad situation.


Know how to use your radio and the proper vhf etiquette.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:47 PM   #11
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mmmm

Interesting read, especially from those that state forget the mayday call and just call the coast guard. I believe this is bad advice.

Stating pan-pan or mayday sets certain actions into place and could save your life and those you are responsible for on your vessel. It also lets everyone else know that you are in a bad situation.

Know how to use your radio and the proper vhf etiquette.
Couldn't agree more. My radio volume is lowered to knock out the crap. My ears are "trained" to may day and pan pan. I then instantly turn the volume up.
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:49 PM   #12
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mmmm


Interesting read, especially from those that state forget the mayday call and just call the coast guard. I believe this is bad advice.


Stating pan-pan or mayday sets certain actions into place and could save your life and those you are responsible for on your vessel. It also lets everyone else know that you are in a bad situation.


Know how to use your radio and the proper vhf etiquette.
In theory yes...but I believe you would be amazed at what radio traffic gets the job done just as well in many cases. I am not advocating not using proper procedure for the most part...just that a LOT else works just fine...proven every day.

If I call the USCG and tell them I am sinking...the buzz and resultant radio traffic does the same thing.

Many professional mariners i know let alone recreational type actually know the absolute proper use of the word MAYDAY....the way I was taught when to use it has become so obscure that I can't even find it on the internet. The general term "distress" and MAYDAY have become synonymous...yet proper?...I don't even know any more...

If it doesn't and the USCG wants to be hard core...they will use a "SEELONCE MAYDAY" to get to the bottom of things.

Again being perfect is great...but falling far short of it in US coastal waters will probably get the same response...at least out of the USCG.
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:15 PM   #13
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Having taught a lot of aircraft simulator in my past, I am a total advocate for proper radio procedure. On our coast I hear people in trouble and they rarely use the correct procedure resulting in long conversations back and forth as the long-suffering radio operator tries to gather the information they need in order to respond. Add to that the morons who use Channel 16 like a telephone just broadcasts to the planet that they are idiots, never took any training and should be spending the afternoon in Walmart, not running a vessel putting people's lives at risk. Notice how the Coasties always use proper procedure?
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:28 PM   #14
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I don't think anyone is advocating against using Mayday. Just saying that you will get response whether you use the right terminology or not. In those panic situations, I'm sure everything imaginable is said. I wouldn't be surprised if "Help" isn't the most used word.

The one advice I give is to make contact quickly and do no attempt to understate the severity of your problem. Better a Mayday and before they arrive you're going again and fine, than to say you don't need help and find the boat sinking under you. Your life may not be in danger at the moment you make contact but on it's way to danger if thinks keep going the way they're going and you don't get assistance.

I never liked fire drills in school. I thought they were stupid. I was so wrong. That brings me to drills on a boat, whether fire drills or sinking drills or running over a container drills, whatever you might call them. We have all this emergency equipment but are we prepared to use it quickly enough? Yes, people who cruise with us think it's like elementary school again until they realize that funny looking boat like thing hanging on the side might just be what saves their life.

I think we need to practice it all and that includes when we'd call Mayday and making that determination. The main thing I learned from fire fighting courses is that I'm going to make a quick effort but if I can't control it quickly then I'm not sitting around long.
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:29 PM   #15
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Having taught a lot of aircraft simulator in my past, I am a total advocate for proper radio procedure. On our coast I hear people in trouble and they rarely use the correct procedure resulting in long conversations back and forth as the long-suffering radio operator tries to gather the information they need in order to respond. Add to that the morons who use Channel 16 like a telephone just broadcasts to the planet that they are idiots, never took any training and should be spending the afternoon in Walmart, not running a vessel putting people's lives at risk. Notice how the Coasties always use proper procedure?
Xsbank...I don't think so...

The aviation part of the USCG tends to follow aviation radio procedure short hand which the FAA encourages over FCC "proper" radio procedure. I wouldn't be suprised if the Canadian CG is exactly the same having worked with them on occasion.

The radio operators sitting in a windowless room with possibly NO OPERATIONAL experience, forced to follow checklists mandated by government lawyers that understand the need of checklists when sued....

But in reality....aviation abbreviated radio calls are the pros shorthand and if you ever tried calling a busy USA FAA airport control tower with their call sign 3 times and your call sign 3 times...they would probably cite you.

I might be dating myself...has the FCC changed their radio procedure to mimic actual FAA use?
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Old 10-22-2015, 04:11 PM   #16
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Securite' situation - The wife just left in the dinghy on a beer run.

Pan Pan situation - Down to one six pack of cold ones and the refrigeration compressor has failed.

Mayday situation - You just opened the last beer and it is only 8 PM.
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