Posts Tagged ‘search and rescue mission’
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs
Date: October 13, 2011
Contact: Penny Bailey
Washington – Cold weather boaters need protection from hypothermia, both on deck and in the event of falling overboard. Cold water shortens in-water survival time, making a quick rescue essential. Fortunately, you have options whether you hunt, fish, or cruise on cold water. Choose the right gear to increase your chances of surviving a cold-weather mishap.
1. Flotation Coat
Flotation coats provide warmth and double as a life jacket should the wearer fall in the water. Float coats are recommended for boaters who boat year-round in locales with moderate air temperatures and cold water. If you boat in extremely cold temperatures, a flotation coat will not protect you from hypothermia if you fall into the water.
2. Immersion or Survival Suit
Winter boating calls for hardy gear. Survival suits protect you from the elements, and provide flotation and hypothermia protection if you enter the water. Wearing a survival suit can increase survival time in cold water.
3. Dry Suit
Dry suits can be instantly drawn tight to prevent water from entering, Appropriate thermal layers worn beneath the dry suit provide insulation and they are not buoyant. Dry suits are suitable for intentional entry into the water, but provide no passive protection if you fall in.
5. Personal Position Locator Beacon
Otherwise known as a PLB, a personal position locator beacon is a scaled down version of the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). When immersed in water or manually activated both EPIRBs and PLBs transmit a signal that allows rescuers to pinpoint your location.
6. Personal Emergency Locator Light
An emergency light worn and activated if a person is in the water can attract the attention of rescuers, providing a much more visible target than your head in the water. The bright, flashing light increases the chances of being spotted by rescuers or a passing boater.
Store hand held and/or parachute flares in immersion suit pockets, secured with a lanyard. Study their instructions before you need them.
Attracting attention will increase your chances of surviving in the water. Whistles are a cheap and simple way to make noise without exhausting yourself. Rescuers are trained to turn off the boat engines and listen for a period of time while they are on search and rescue missions, or a nearby boater may hear the signal. Conventional whistles don’t work if the “pea” inside is wet, so choose a waterproof model.
Common sense can also increase your chances of survival in cold weather. Dress in layers to provide maximum protection and warmth. Technical fibers provide thermal protection and won’t absorb water. Include a hat to protect your head from heat loss. Wear gloves.
Don’t be tempted to skip proper cold weather clothing and gear. Be sure to wear a life jacket and hypothermia protection when boating in the cold.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America’s Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions. For more information about the Coast Guard Auxiliary visit http://www.cgaux.org
First District Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
Date: July 20, 2011
Contact: First District Public Affairs
BOSTON — The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for a hoax caller that made a false distress call earlier this month in the Gloucester, Mass., area.
On July 7, 2011, Coast Guard Sector Boston received the Mayday call via VHF-FM radio channel 16 around 10p.m., stating a 24-foot pleasure craft was taking on water with two people aboard roughly 20 to 40 minutes outside Gloucester Harbor. Before losing communication with the Coast Guard, the caller stated both boaters were going to put on their life jackets. No other communications were received.
The Coast Guard launched boats and aircraft in response to the call and searched the waters of Gloucester throughout the night. The cost of the search totaled approximately $132,000.
The search was suspended the following day after no additional information was found and no missing persons were reported to the Coast Guard and local authorities.
Authorities are now utilizing advanced technologies in search and rescue missions. Rescue 21 is a system the Coast Guard utilizes to locate positions when a distress call is received. This technology helps the Coast Guard locate distressed boaters and has helped locate hoax callers.
When the Coast Guard dispatches its vessels and aircraft in cases of false distress, it not only drains limited resources, but needlessly puts our personnel at risk. Making a false distress call is a federal felony with a maximum penalty of five to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, $8,000 civil penalty and the possible reimbursement to the Coast Guard for the cost of performing the search.
Boaters are reminded that they are responsible for the safety and actions of their passengers and are encouraged to educate them about the proper use of emergency equipment including a marine VHF radio. Oftentimes passengers, especially children, may not understand the consequences of playing on the radio and reporting a false distress.
In response to the high number of calls, the Coast Guard offers a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone responsible for making a false distress or hoax call to the U.S. Coast Guard. Anyone with information regarding false distress calls is encouraged to contact the U.S. Coast Guard at (617) 557-9091.
Click here for audio of hoax Mayday call
Click here for Coast Guard responses to hoax Mayday call
Click here for CGIS hoax pamphlet
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