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Old 09-10-2018, 10:57 AM   #21
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My last med emergency chain of custody:

hobie cat: beach lifeguard: county fire dept: private ambulance: county helicopter

This was for a fairly simple near-drowning event just a few miles offshore. I started the sequence with a CH 16 call to the Sheriffs rescue boat using "medical emergency" in the call. But, I knew beforehand the county had a strong presence both at the nearest inlet and also ashore. There was some initial uncertainty with GPS lat/lon vs "what beach are you headed to". There was also vhf comm with the fast offshore county boat. In the end, we elected to get the woman to the beach, fastest way.
But, there was more fog in this episode. The beach lifeguards deal with a lot of heat related stress conditions, and so, were intent on cooling the patient. In fact, the patient was suffering from immersion issues, so cooling was not a great treatment. I had lots of O2 and a Dr on board my boat, but it was not clear what her problem was. Not at all responsive to a fast neuro exam. Off she went, via helo. after a couple mile road trip. She was a diver without gear (or dive boat) at this point, so thoughts went to a DCS attack.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:17 AM   #22
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The OP asked who to call along the ICW.

True. The ICW is a world away from the BC Gulf Islands. Sorry for the thread drift.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:38 PM   #23
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Emergency contact

Not sure where you are or where you are referring to if you have an issue, but for the broadest coverage we have an inReach, now handled by Garmin.

Here is specifics; https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/561269.

I use it primarily as a tracker. Everyday before we leave where we are I start the Explorer + and send a text to my contact list that we are leaving. The message picks up a link to a map, here's ours, https://share.garmin.com/NepidaeTrawler which anyone getting the link can watch real time.

I noticed that someone sent you a SPOT link and I would just pass it by. Used to have SPOT but a big factor is that they only keep your map for 7 days, if you don't move the data to another spot you've lost it. inReach, keeps it indefinitely. Our map covers 3 years.

Another factor is that I have 3 free messages, 1 I use when we leave. Another I use when we arrive, can you say float plan, and a 3rd for when we put the boat up. These messages can be changed to whatever you want.

In line with your question, when you hit the SOS button, you will get a response which will ask the problem. Helps 1st responders know what they are walking into.

The link will give you a lot more.

I would also suggest a family plan in DAN Boater. Originally started for divers, this will get you anywhere you need to go, airlift if necessary for medical assistance. I know that there will be kickback on this, it isn't a free ride home, but IF you need to get to a hospital due to your issue, it's a great help and again, you would be talking to someone who can assist.

You can get more info here; https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/.

Wouldn't start the boat without turning on our inReach.

Any questions, let me know.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:46 PM   #24
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I noticed that someone sent you a SPOT link and I would just pass it by. Used to have SPOT but a big factor is that they only keep your map for 7 days, if you don't move the data to another spot you've lost it. inReach, keeps it indefinitely. Our map covers 3 years.

InReach is really nice. Too much money for my tastes when I checked it in the past.

I do have a Spot and would like to make one correction. The link that you can share that goes to your shared web page will only keep tracks for a limited time (can’t recall the time) but the account page that we have as an account will show all the data. I have Spot data going back three years.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:05 PM   #25
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SPOT reply

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The link that you can share that goes to your shared web page will only keep tracks for a limited time (can’t recall the time) but the account page that we have as an account will show all the data. I have Spot data going back three years.
Does it, Spot, place the info, your track, in both places, shared web page and the account page, or do you need to move the track yourself, from 1 to the other?

Last I heard it was 7 days. Better be sure you can do what you need to do within that period.

inReach, and in this case you get what you pay for, as Spot doesn't do 1/2 what inReach does, especially from an SOS standpoint, it also keeps all of your tracks in 1 location. Even if Spot does keep it in both, you still need to go from 1 place to another.

On the inReach page, Map, is all you need.

IF you want, with inReach, you can also text to anyone. Does Spot do that?

Last, but not least, with inReach you can suspend service, with no penalty; last I knew, you paid Spot for a year, whether you use it or not, at least that's what they told me after I found out about the 7 day limitation and asked for my money for the rest of the year. Since we cruise, we are on the Loop, for about 5-6mo a year right now, suspending service is a nice ability.

Way more benefits with inReach. Also, since I have a full range of Garmin Navionics, can't wait to see how Garmin integrates inReach. Got my nav products before Garmin bought DeLorem.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:27 PM   #26
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Just as a reminder, official SAR procedures would involve an EPIRB/PLB, the proper use of DSC distress via VHF or 911.

Other services are just middlemen.

They are great for a lot of things but still not officially recognized within the rescue circles.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:04 PM   #27
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Just as a reminder, official SAR procedures would involve an EPIRB/PLB, the proper use of DSC distress via VHF or 911.

Other services are just middlemen.

They are great for a lot of things but still not officially recognized within the rescue circles.
You are mostly correct, except not sure what you mean by rescue circles. But none of those to my knowledge provide the ability to send a notice to a group that could constitute a Float Plan. People know you are leaving a location, can follow you live in real time, or delayed a minor amount and pushing the SOS button would also notify others of your location and problem with the ability to query what the problem is.

I could have a specific message setup, saying to notify the Coast Guard and with 2 button pushes, it would go to the 25 people I have on my contact list which I guess could also have a Coast Guard contact setup as well.

Certainly, cell would not be as good as an inReach especially if you weren't around cell towers. inReach uses satellites, which aren't limited to close by towers.

We don't travel on waters broad or wide enough that an EPIRB or PLB would do much more and yes we do have DSC radios on board.

Check with Ben Ellison's site Panbo for his take on inReach. He likes it.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:25 PM   #28
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Does he work in the SAR circles?

If not I would ask those experts what they think they would bet their lives on to send emergency signals.

A float plan is just that, often changed and should left with someone who you trust with your life to keep track of you, but in the end, the switching of one switch can be more effective.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:51 PM   #29
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When calling 911 you really need to be very clear where you are. I keep my boat in New Jersey but the closest cell tower is in Philadelphia. The first thing you are given when tying up in our marina is the local emergency phone number. Its 7 digits but goes to the local 911 call center.
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:02 AM   #30
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Medical Emergency Call

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If not I would ask those experts what they think they would bet their lives on to send emergency signals.

A float plan is just that, often changed and should left with someone who you trust with your life to keep track of you, but in the end, the switching of one switch can be more effective.
Admittedly, items like inReach are not an accepted norm, YET. Technology usually moves a lot faster than bureaucracy's.

Yes, a float plan changes and a benefit of inReach is that those on your contact list will see where you are. Almost, exactly, where you are. As to someone you trust, I'd say that if my 4 kids aren't enough, then there are about 20 others, just in case the kids want their inheritance early, who also know where we are. More than a paper float plan would normally have contact with.

The good thing, is that inReach is supplemental to DSC, on the 3 radios we carry, 1 fixed and 2 handheld.

I never tried to imply that all anyone needed was inReach, just as all anyone needs is an EPIRB or PLB or DSC. They are all tools to help the boater stay safe and in touch when needed.

I, and I repeat, I, believe that if 1 is considering a device like inReach or SPOT, that inReach is a much better product, for the reasons I enumerated prior, plus those on Garmin's site that has all of the info on their product.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:58 AM   #31
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Seems to be a missing piece to this thread.
There are a number of direct ways to initiate an emergency response: 911 cell or landline, 400MHz epirb, ch16, and a number of hfssb channels.
Lots of other means to make contact so someone ELSE starts a 911 response: ham radio, phone home, sat call to a service provider, etc.
realize though some situations are complex and it sure is convenient to talk directly to the rescuers and not deal with a 3rd party.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:36 AM   #32
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Medical Emergency Call

Diver Dave must have just come up from the DEEP ;>, although he did mention SSB & ham, if you carry 1 on board and a landline, which I'm not too sure how you would do that.

As was also brought up, a cell tower may not be close at hand. VHF does also have it's limitations, depending on how high your antenna is.

Explore Anywhere. Communicate Globally.
Using the worldwide coverage of the Iridium satellite network, these go-anywhere portable devices let you exchange text messages with any cell phone number or email address — while using GPS to track and share your journey’s progress. You can also post to social media or even communicate inReach-to-inReach in the field.
In case of an at-risk situation, you can also use inReach to trigger an SOS to the 24/7 monitoring center, text back and forth about the nature of your emergency, and receive confirmation when help is on the way

As to 3rd party responders, let me add this;

Who Will Answer Your SOS? GEOS Will.
GEOS is the world leader in emergency response solutions and monitoring. They’ve supported rescues in more than 140 countries, saving many lives in the process. And they’re standing by 24/7/365 to respond to your SOS, track your device and notify the proper contacts and emergency responders in your area. Then, while help is on the way, GEOS will continue to text back and forth with you, providing updates and critical information until your situation is resolved. Watch this informative video to learn more.

An EPIRB or PLB will tell people where you are but not what is going on. Would you like to have someone show up with a bandage for a heart attack?

We all know that there is NEWS, that has brought up issues with 'services' like GEOS, SPOT uses something similar, but we also know we can always trust the news media to only report the facts, right?

I think at this point, I've added all I can add.

Just realize that there are alternatives out there and keep an eye out, it changes all the time.

Stay safe out there.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:48 AM   #33
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Rather have someone show up with bandaids than not at all...yet also the capability of transporting me....the system is built around different technology...PERIOD..... I was at the pointy end of that spear for a long time.

Plus the OP asked about the ICW where 99 percent of the time the fastest way to communicate distress is most likely 911.

Just because some of us don't use it or believe in certain technologies is not because we are ignorant of them...maybe just the opposite because we know their weaknesses within a system not built around them.

As an ADDED tool in areas outside if cell phones and DSC range...great...but not really oart of the OP's question.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:43 PM   #34
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Medical Emergeny Call

The whole nature of social systems, and Trawler Forum is a social system, is that they morph, from the original topic to another. The AICW is a body of water and while the original question may have targeted that area, the question is 1 that should have answers, suggestions, incites, ideas in any body of water. Seems inshore would help a lot of people who aren't necessarily just inshore or specifically on the AICW. I doubt that the original poster really cared that the discussion morphed to a broader coverage area.

BYW, would 1 consider the Chesapeake Bay part of the AICW? A lot of people travel that to get to FL. Would this discussion be a benefit to them?

Notwithstanding the pointy end of the spear, there have been a number of technologies that have had less than favorable acceptance early on that are now part of everyday boaters usage. Technologies change, get better and finally get acceptance by everyone, well almost everyone.

I've seen on other forums comments akin to you don't need technology at all. Stick to paper charts, and a set of dividers and you are set. How about paper charts as an ADDED piece to the puzzle.

Me, IF someone shows up with a bandaid for a heart attack, that is the same as not showing up at all. I'd rather have an AED handy in that circumstance, but then, we could be back to charts with dividers.

I like the fact that some of the items I have on our boat allows my family & friends to not only see where we are, and be part of our adventure, in a limited way, but also to be a backup should something turn bad.

Safety is our 1st and number 1 concern and I prepare as best as I can to be overly safe. I believe that my comment, "Just realize that there are alternatives out there and keep an eye out, it changes all the time" is a comment about "As an ADDED tool".

In closing, knowledge is a variable thing. I know about seatbelts, but since they haven't been proven to save lives I won't discuss them, could have been a discussion many years ago. I wanted to present in my discussion, that there are a number of ways to contact 1st responders. Some items will offer 2ndary options and might just be nice to have onboard.

Have fun out there but stay safe.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:13 PM   #35
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Yeah, Sometimes i'm in "too deep".. One last point. Last Aug, I was in the part of the AICW a dozen miles N of Key West. Guess what. No cell phone in range, either Verizon or Att. That's true for much of the lower keys, where you are > 7 miles from US1.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:30 PM   #36
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Obviously the situation dictates the type of call...just like it would on land...


On the contrary, a 911 call may not be the best option. As a 911 operator myself, anything on water that we deal with goes to the coast guard. Our fire department and first responders only respond to local emergencies in close proximity to the city.

If you're on part of the ICW that isn't close to a major city, any responders dispatched by 911 may not be able to get to you, and they may not be able to pinpoint exactly where you are.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:12 PM   #37
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Safety is our 1st and number 1 concern and I prepare as best as I can to be overly safe. I believe that my comment, "Just realize that there are alternatives out there and keep an eye out, it changes all the time" is a comment about "As an ADDED tool".

In closing, knowledge is a variable thing. I know about seatbelts, but since they haven't been proven to save lives I won't discuss them, could have been a discussion many years ago. I wanted to present in my discussion, that there are a number of ways to contact 1st responders. Some items will offer 2ndary options and might just be nice to have onboard.

Have fun out there but stay safe.
Knowledge, preparation, equipment. A friend of mine who is a captain was running a boat this weekend from Naples to Fort Lauderdale. It was a large Hatteras and it was him and a mate he often uses, a very knowledgeable and good 69 year old man. They were docked at A&B in Key West and the Captain stepped down to the head while the mate was finishing up wiping the boat down. Suddenly, the Captain heard a yell from someone telling him his buddy was down. The Mate was laying on his back in the cockpit, mouth open, eyes open, no pulse, no breathing, grey in color. The captain immediately began chest compressions. He would gulp for air but stop if the CPR was stopped. A captain from an adjacent boat brought an AED and they used it, then returned to CPR as appropriate. His eyes started moving and he started breathing just as the paramedics arrived. He was talking but no idea where he was.

The captain went to the hospital and saw him. He was alert and joking. They said he'd had a massive heart attack and helicoptered him quickly to Mt. Sinai in Miami. That was Thursday and it's been rough since then but he's awake and alert, no longer put to sleep, off the vent. Had stents put in but likely to have an additional one put in when they feel he's strong enough.

The point is the mate is alive today through a combination of luck (had it happened midway from Naples to Key West, he might well not be), quick action, knowledge of a captain, availability of an AED, quick EMT response and good medical care since.

Medical emergencies take everything. It helps to react quickly, contact 911 immediately, know what to do meanwhile, have access to the right equipment (whether AED or meds or bandages or wraps or whatever) and you must combine skill and training with luck. It was terrifying, but so far the mate is alive and it's been 72 hours.

We've never encountered a medical emergency on our boat, have a couple off the boat, at a marina or on a bus to town. We've never done anything as dramatic or serious as this captain had to, but his night sure put it all in perspective for us.

It also shows why this thread is such a valuable one.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:20 PM   #38
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This has become a game of what ifs, not all the time, what happened to me was.....etc.

Of course you have to use your head all the time in case of emergencies...if you dial 911, 10 miles off the coast or in the middle of the Chesapeake or in the Georgia sounds...you will get what you deserve.

Don't make it all harder than it really is.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:45 PM   #39
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We had a senior paramedic(now a trainer of paramedics),member of our Club, deliver a talk one night. Based on it,no AED and the Mate would be dead. Mind you, our paramedic had a sideline selling AEDs....
I agree with the 911(= 000)here issue about defining location. Ours are fixated on a two street cross reference.I suspect a pan-pan or mayday on16 would be best, but hope I never have to find out.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:54 PM   #40
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I agree with the 911(= 000)here issue about defining location. Ours are fixated on a two street cross reference.

In the states, if you call from a land line we'll get your exact address. However most calls come in via cell phone. In the last few years technology has allowed us to triangulate a cell phone's position within a 30-80yard radius of where the call is made. The problem is that if the cell phone is moving the location is not always accurate.

The other issue is that even if you do call 911, and the operator can triangulate your position, their agency may not have the resources to get to you - at which point you would be transferred to an agency such as the Coast Guard, or other agency that is equipped to respond.
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