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Old 01-24-2014, 08:30 PM   #61
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In the recent incident I quoted in #56 above, at one time the Aust vessel tried to free the Chinese ship also involved in the rescue attempts. Special rescue obligations apply in the Antarctic. Often it becomes "whatever it takes" but no way should rescuers endanger themselves. In offshore sailboat races there are obligations to assist competitors in trouble (with allowances for time spent) but not if it puts the rescuer in danger. Most will help, as much as circumstances allow.
Thanks Bruce.

My reference was more toward losing a crew, and the rescuer becoming the rescued. When that happens, you compound the problem and don't really do anyone any good.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that one shouldn't attempt to assist whenever possible. I'm sorry if my comment was misunderstood, and thanks again
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:55 AM   #62
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Getting back to the original issue. I think the CG had no obligation to provide non-emergency transportation to that boat and its crew of fools.

The CG should have monitored the situation while waiting for a commercial tow to arrive on scene, or until the idiots took the next passing ship.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:35 AM   #63
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The reason the USCG will not wait for commercial salvage too long is they have learned the hard way by being sued. The USCG usually doesn't lose a suit because it failed a rescue...it gets successfully sued because it didn't follow it's policies to the letter. On those cases where their policy said they will respond when commercial assistance won't, can't, the situation could worsen, spotty communications, medical problems, etc...etc...., they get going no matter how stupid a case it is because they know the legal sharks will start circling the minute something doesn't go according to plan.

Depending on the case, it's easier to just get the patrol boat headed that way than launch a C-130 to orbit as a comms platform for 12 hrs until things get sorted out. Once on scene...well what the heck if assistance towing isn't just around the corner...might as well start the tow home.

The USCG needs to practice some towing in decent conditions rather than only in severe conditions...that's why some Coastie skills have really deteriorated and then that's worsened by when they do try and have a problem...a bunch of desk jockeys investigate and terminate all the hand's on types careers....bitter? Just a bit because of those type weasels I served with.

Having done USCG for 23 and towing assistance for 11 years it's working pretty well where I am....but no system is going to work perfect because in January everybody sits around and on 4th of July weekend there's no where's near enough resources to take care of every problem on the water AND still actually participate in the other 10 mission areas the USCG is supposed to monitor.

Rick you do make a good point that there's 10 different badge wearers that can enforce the same laws (to a point)...not sure what the real balance would be as we appear to be past the breaking point (both financially AND tolerance wise) for having so many different law enforcement agencies. The USCG has so many missions because it's leaders through the years volunteered the USCG so that it could remain a viable agency...and some have referred to it through the years as a model government agency...the problem with finely tuned organizations is they only respond well to total support from above and free of choking bureaucracy from within...and there's no easy mechanism to recognize that and eliminate it quickly outside of war.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:36 AM   #64
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Perhaps SAR should be handled by the Coast Guard Auxiliary......
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:46 AM   #65
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Then we would need a duplicate SAR group to rescue them ...
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:53 PM   #66
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Downright scary thought...the only boat I ungrounded this 4th of July night WAS the USCGAUX...then I had to escort them 5 miles through the dark shallows to get home safe.

I have a lot of respect for a lot of USCGAUX....the others I look at just club members.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:41 PM   #67
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Psneeld- Well said sir!
Rick- Precedents have been set and it will take a lot to reverse them.

Frankly, all of the Coast Guards functions "could" be transferred to other agencies. It would look something like this (hugely oversimplified):

Customs/Border Protection (CBP), ICE, DEA- Immigration and drug ops.
FBI- Criminal investigations on base or involving military personnel.
Existing intelligence agencies and DEA could handle, well, intel
DOT- ATON's (Or outsourced with proper oversight).
EPA/FEMA- Oil spills/Pollution Prevention. Let them do what we pay them to do.
National Marine Fisheries, USFWS.
Safety inspections-back to the states, supported by the Aux.
Safety/Boating Safety classes- State, AUX, or outsourced to the private sector.
Boating safety law enforcement- Back t the States (with a mandate, training and certification to enforce CFR's.)
Commercial vessel inspection- Could probably form a civilian administrative group for less money, or give it to the DOT.

Military Readiness- Transfer the duties of the USCG (port security, small boat ops, etc.) to the Navy, along with the assets. The problem arises when actions are taken against a foreign vessel by a military ship. Have to modify some rules to make this feasible.

The coast guard has in the past spent a lot of time working with other countries counter drug units, training them in small boat, counter drug/human smuggling operations. This could continue or be taken over by contractor groups.

After that, other than SAR they could be disbanded altogether.
We could as mentioned, outsource SAR to the private sector.

While the Aux is a thought, and to the man or woman, every Aux member I've ever worked with has been true blue and ready to lend a hand with their expertise, knowledge, money and vessels, regardless of the circumstances they may still not be feasible. While IMHO the men and women of the USCGaux are an absolutely outstanding group of people, the downside is should one of them get hurt or God forbid killed in a SAR op, we're right back to keeping them (or paying bene's) through the taxpayer dime. The same is true for fuel costs and operating expenses that are reimbursed) in an operation.
Then there's training, admin costs, etc., all that have to come from somewhere. While most will come out of the Aux's pocket, it can still get expensive. A private sector SAR team would be responsible for their own costs/expenses. Although, if we disbanded the USCG, the aux. would cease to exist anyway.

We could do the same thing with the standing military as well as the multitude of LE agencies on all levels of government (as evidenced above).
Trim the fat, streamline the costs!
Regardless, you're still going to need X number of "grunts" to get the job done, and X number of assets to make it happen.

What we could (and should) lose, is the God awful and redundant amount of as psneeld mentioned, admin types that are screwing things up at an alarming rate, to justify their positions. Dump tons of top weight, with a resulting reduction in payroll, benefit payments and perks. Get rid of the "toys" that aren't needed. Every branch of service doesn't need a boat unit for example. Streamline efforts and materiel cost, cross train, and become excellent at what you do, not just "good."

We could save tons of taxpayer money, be more efficient, and have better inter-agency communications.

Oh well, an exercise in futility, but it always makes me feel better
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:51 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Downright scary thought...the only boat I ungrounded this 4th of July night WAS the USCGAUX...then I had to escort them 5 miles through the dark shallows to get home safe.

I have a lot of respect for a lot of USCGAUX....the others I look at just club members.
I hear ya!

As stated in my previous post, I've had the pleasure of working with a lot of them over the years. They've always stood willing and ready with their time, vessels, money, and experience, to do whatever it took to make a training mission go off without a hitch, or supplement the watch crew. They've done a LOT of the grunt duties around the stations, and always been willing to learn/do more. Some of these guys and gals, had as good if not better seamanship skills and experience(s) as the Coasties they were augmenting.
We've got a local unit here, whose commander is former military, I want to say from the UK, but I don't recall. He actually wrote and implemented training of a tactical small boat op program for some SOC types locally IIRC. I saw the commendation, but I can't recall the specifics at the moment. Some of these guys and gals are squared away.

But as you mentioned, there have been those few that that I swear, were just there for the beer. Fortunately, those were few and far between, and they seemed to police themselves out of existence.
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