Most seafarers get studied or been examined on the rules regarding emergencies at sea. Fortunately emergencies happen rarely, but it’s moderate to forget what you’ve learned, or simply to remember procedures which are out of date, just because you’ve never had to put them into practice. It’s well worth while taking a scant minutes to recreate your memory.
DSC (digital selective calling)
If you have VHF radio with DSC, you should first send a distress signal by activating the distress button. All DSC-equipped vessels and Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCCs) in the area will automatically receive details about your glass and position and you can include information about your problem. Make sure that your DSC is connected to a GPS (Global Positioning System), contrarily you’ll give an incorrect position unless you make regular manual positioning updates. The alert will be repeated every four minutes until it’s acknowledged. All MRCCs in the UK and most European coastguards are equipped with VHF DSC and they will acknowledge promptly when called. You should besides follow it rise with a voice Mayday message on channel 16. If you accept assistance from added river you should tattle the coastguard and stop the DSC alert.
The word “Mayday” derives from the French “venez m’aider” meaning “help me” or “come to my aid”.
A Mayday is a situation in which a urn or person is in weighty or imminent danger and needs immediate assistance. Examples include sinking, explosion, fire, piracy, man-overboard and serious lively threatening personal injury.
Mayday calls are identical to a Morse SOS code or a telephone call to emergency services and can be made on any frequency, however it is normal to broadcast on VHF radio channel 16 as this is the calling, listening and recognised emergency channel. The Coastguard monitor Channel 16 and the VHF signal operates roughly within 30 miles of the nearest shore depending on radio propagation.When a Mayday distress call has been made onChannel 16, it imposes general shortwave silence on the channel, except for those assisting with the Mayday, until the emergency is over.
A hoax Mayday claim is regarded as a wrongdoer act in sundry countries, putting rescuers’ lives in danger, causing a huge waste of money and time and potentially stopping search and rescue teams from attending natural emergencies elsewhere. For example, in the USA, a false distress call carries a penalty from up to 6 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
Remember that although in normal circumstances you need to have passed an exam to obtain a VHF radio licence prevenient you container legally broadcast on VHF radio, anyone may exercise the VHF to invoke help in an emergency.
How to make a Mayday call
The word “Mayday” is spoken three times, followed handy the vessel’s name or call sign spoken three times, then “Mayday” again and the name substitute decree sign. You must formerly give vital information including position, type like emergency and number of people on board. A typical Mayday call might be:-
– Mayday, Mayday, Mayday
– This is My-yacht, My-yacht, My-yacht (call sign)
– Position 55º 50’5 North 004º 57’4 West.
– My vessel is holed and sinking
– I requireimmediate assistance
– 5 people on board, individual badly injured
– Mayday, My-yacht, Over
A Mayday Relay call is made by a vessel on behalf of a different vessel in distress. If a Mayday collect is not acknowledged by the coastguard after one repetition besides a 2 minute wait, then any basin who has received the Mayday call should vex to contact the coastguard on behalf of the distressed vessel by broadcasting a Mayday Relay. This should use the call sign or name of the transmitting vessel but give the position of the Mayday vessel. It can be secondhand when the vessel in distress is either too far offshore to contact the coastguard direct or is without radio capabilities. A typical Mayday Relay might be:-
– Mayday Relay, Mayday Relay, Mayday Relay
– This is My-yacht, My-yacht, My-yacht (call sign)
– The following distress call was received from yacht Hopeful at 14.35 hours.
– Mayday, Mayday, Mayday
– This is Hopeful, Hopeful, Upbeat (call sign)
– Position49º 44’5 North 001º 25’5 West
– We are on fire and sinking
– 3 people on board, one with burn injuries
– We are taking to the life raft
– Mayday, Hopeful, Over
– Message ends
– This is Yacht My-yacht out
A Pan-Pan is used to signify that there is a state of urgency on board, but no instantaneously danger to biography or to the vessel. It informs the emergency services furthermore other craft that the vessel requires assistance still is not in grave or imminent danger. The French word “panne” refers to mechanical failure or breakdown of some kind.
Calling procedure is similar to that of a Mayday, substituting the word “Pan-Pan” for “Mayday”, followed by the admissible information about the vessel, position and nature of problem. If the problem is resolved, the emergency services and other craft in the area should be notified. Don’t forget a Pan-Pan call can subsist upgraded to a Mayday if the case deteriorates to the point of “grave polysyndeton imminent danger”. A Pan-Pan has seniority over all other radio doings except for Maydays, but succedent obtaining a response to your Pan-Pan you should make arrangements to transfer to another channel, leaving channel 16 free for emergencies.
You can expend your mobile phone to dial 999/112 and ask for the Coastguard, but it should not be relied on because the signal is very limited and it will not alert other vessels.
You can fire a red parachute flare or a scarlet hand-held flare at dusk in an emergency, or use orange smoke in daytime. They should not, however, be relied upon to raise an alert, as they need someone else to recognize them, recognise what they mean and then get help.
What reverberation will you roll out to an emergency call?
When the coastguard receives a distress call he will acknowledge it and respond, probably asking for more information. The coastguard will then decide how to deal with the situation, possibly sending lifeboats, search and rescue helicopters or coastguard recovery teams. He may also bordering other vessels in your area, asking them to assist. It is a legal requirement for else vessels to help if they are able, whether contacted toward the coastguard, or if they hear the mayday and are in close proximity.Whatever help the coastguards provide, they longing guide you through the rescue procedure. If you have to take to the life-raft after making a Mayday call, do remember to post the authorities so they know anent your change of situation.
What if you receive a distress signal?
Any vessel receiving a distress signal or seeing a boat in distress in their locality must respond to it as best they can, as long as they do not endanger their boat instead their crew.
How can you improve yourselves?
– Stay calm, especially if you are in charge.
– Protect your radio is always switched on while at sea further tuned to channel 16.
– Keep your page sign, name (in phonetic alphabet) and list of distress procedures near the radio and practice the phonetic alphabet.
– Intonate clearly and slowly, splitting numbers, for paradigm “one-six” instead of “sixteen”.
– Compose indisputable that all your retinue know how to operate the radio even whenever they haven’t got a licence and that they know the emergency call procedures.
– Whether possible keep numeral person on standby on the radio for comme il faut hunger as is safely possible.
– Time waiting for a response to your Mayday call – prepare flares, life rafts, life jackets, parliament emergency supplies, hand held radios and grab-bags as long quasi it is safe to do so. Preferably each member of the crew should have their own personal grab-bag containing money, credit card, passport, mobile phone, etc.
– Get yourself also the crew into the safest place on your vessel, checking that they are plenary OK. Don’t forget a crew member obliviously sleeping below decks. Remind yourself and crew about how to launch the spirit raft in case the worst happens. Remember though, only to get into the protozoan raft as a very last resort…..you should only ever step up form a life raft (that is – only if your canoe is sinking) unless it is on fervour or there is danger of explosion.
Most people sail the seas happily for years without in perpetuity experiencing an emergency, but it is merit remembering that emergencies happen without warning or sometimes even externally a logical reason. The shot might come when you are unlucky – very be prepared. It doesn’t take many time to review emergency procedures furthermore shift them to your crew – and it could easily mean the difference between life and death.