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#615967 - 09/08/04 10:39 AM **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Mitch P. Offline



Registered: 05/04/01
Posts: 28316
I think it would be helpful to have one thread with offshore safety tips.

Things get buried within so many posts.

Can you please post your safety tips here.

There's some great tips in this thread that we should bring into this thread:
http://www.ctfisherman.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=37;t=000263;p=2#000030

Feel free to copy and paste some stuff from that thread or others, as well as add your tips here.

It would be nice to have some stand-alone safety threads to help people out -- it just might save a life.

Thanks in advance.

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#615968 - 09/08/04 12:41 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Mitch P. Offline



Registered: 05/04/01
Posts: 28316
 Quote:
Originally posted by Cman:

This issue is discussed yearly on a bb I post on www.flyfishsaltwaters.com and that board has a host of offshore folks who take their safety seriously. Let's hope we don't hear of any mishaps this year. It may be overkill, but I've posted an article below on the "abandon bag" - take a minute to review this and think about what you carry on your boat when going offshore.

Most of these posts seem to dwell on whether the boat in question was big enough - that's not the point here. Any boat can go down. It's all about how prepared the captain and crew are to face a quick "sink!"

Preparing an Abandon-Ship Bag

If your boat sinks out from underneath you, making yourself known and visible to rescuers is crucial.

To some sailors, the act of abandoning ship is unthinkable. To others, it's a well thought out, prepared, and practiced maneuver ready to be enacted with only a moment's notice. Which kind of sailor are you?

You're likely to be far safer on your boat at sea than on any of our highways today. There are circumstances, however, that could force you to abandon your vessel. An uncontainable fire could break out. A collision with sunken debris could quickly flood your boat and overwhelm your bilge pumps. Plumbing can leak and seacocks have been known to fail. These are all rare events, but they are not out of the realm of possibility and should be prepared for.

In the midst of sinking far from land, you may have only a scant few minutes or less to assess the situation and then abandon your boat. It's very possible that this amount of time would prove insufficient to prepare properly for leaving. Moreover, you're likely not to be in the best frame of mind to rationally assess and assemble what you'll need. An abandon-ship bag, or "ditch bag," prepared in advance with the appropriate contents, provides the sailor with the tools and materials necessary to survive and signal for rescue. There's also a great deal of comfort and solace in knowing that you're ready.

There are common properties that every abandon-ship bag should have to be most effective. The bag should be brightly colored and clearly marked as "ABANDON SHIP." It should be stowed in a convenient location, known to all crew members, and preferably close to the cockpit. Specially designed floating bags are commercially available and have a definite advantage over just stuffing your valuable rescue and survival items in any old canvas bag that would sink to the bottom if it slipped out of your hand. Although these bags float, most are not waterproof. You should have an additional smaller dry bag within the big bag to store any items that can't get wet. Attached to the main bag should be a floating lanyard so that it can be safely secured and not lost in any confusion.

In assembling your own abandon-ship bag, you'll find there are many factors that will influence the individual items you choose to include. The type of sailing, how far from shore, where you travel, and how many people are on board shoud be taken into account. If you have a life raft you'll want to consider the equipment already packed inside the raft. Some of these items you may want to duplicate, others you may not. If you don't have a life raft, (or if the emergency equipment in the raft is on the meager side), and plan to rely on your dinghy to keep you afloat, your bag will need to be more comprehensive.

No piece of safety equipment is more effective in alerting rescue teams on shore than EPIRBs.

Cost is another determinant that may influence the depth of your bag's contents. There's a lot of great safety gear out there, but few of us can afford to have it all. In making your choice of which gear to include, you must weigh the cost of the items versus the peace of mind you receive by knowing you're prepared. Think of it as life insurance,only in this case, you're the beneficiary.

If you've abandoned ship, your primary concern is to summon help and be rescued. With this in mind, prioritize the items in your ditch bag accordingly. Flares, EPIRB, VHF radio, handheld GPS, signal mirror, whistle, etc. should be given preference over other contents. If your rescue is not immediately forthcoming, your second priority then becomes survival. Water, food, medicine, and clothing, anything that helps you to survive should be the next most important items in your bag.

On Serengeti, we carry a four-man, offshore life raft and have two packed abandon-ship bags ready to take with us. We keep our full first aid kit, in a bag by itself, stored beside the ditch bags, and have one other empty bag handy. The first packed bag is our primary abandon-ship bag. In this we store our 406 MHz EPIRB (the item we think will get us rescued first), a handheld GPS, a VHF radio, flares, extra batteries, a compass, mirror, a Swiss Army knife and a Leatherman tool, some water, canned food, a cutting board, and important papers such as passports and money. The second bag holds additional water and food, clothing, and numerous other survival items. The empty bag is designated strictly for our cats. It's our plan to stuff them in the bag and ensure that they can be safely transferred into the life raft with us.

"Make sure that nothing in the bag has a sharp point or edges that could puncture your raft. For instance, if you include a smallspear gun for fishing, cover the tip with a tennis ball."

It's important to make sure that your ditch bag is not too heavy and that each person in the crew can lift it. The strongest person on board can be injured, or even overboard, leaving the job of transferring the bag to a weaker crew member. This could be another reason for dividing your ditch bag items into two, easier-to-carry bags. Make sure that nothing in the bag has a sharp point or edges that could puncture your raft. For instance, if you include a small speargun for fishing, cover the tip with a tennis ball. Try to pack all items in zip-lock freezer bags.

If you've properly prepared in advance, there are many tools available to summon help once you've abandoned ship. Regardless of your location, if you have a 406 MHz EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), you can summon help with the assistance of orbiting satellites. Your coded signal identifying you and your boat will be relayed via satellite to the nearest rescue station around the globe. A handheld VHF radio can help any sailor contact nearby boats or land-based stations. After contact has been established, your exact position can be relayed to the rescuers if you've also packed a GPS. Handheld and parachute flares, dye markers, and signaling mirrors will help you be seen. A whistle or horn can also draw attention to your location.

Some of the items making up the authors' contingency plan.

For long-term survival, water is your body's number-one need. Place water in plastic bottles, but only fill them up to 80 percent of their volume. This will ensure the container will float. If you have larger five-gallon jerry jugs of water that you keep on deck, make sure you remember to take these with you if possible. Tie a long floating line to them, and if not filled up all the way, they will float secured to your dinghy or raft. A portable watermaker or solar still is a valuable addition to any ditch bag.

When packing food in your bag, include high-energy items loaded with carbohydrates and sugar, but low in protein. Proteins require more body fluids for digestion, as do dehydrated foods. Hard candy, cereal, canned fruits, and evaporated milk are all good items. Multiple vitamins are also an excellent addition to help provide nutritional needs.

As you pack your bag, make a list of the contents and note the date they were placed there. Down the road this will make it easier to decide if you need to replace the batteries or refresh the food supplies and water.

Flares—both handheld and parachute should be included in an abandon ship bag—are an effective way to increase visibility and direct rescuers to your boat.

With all this talk about leaving your boat, let's not forget an important rule of thumb. You always want to stay with your boat until you are absolutely sure that your safety is in jeopardy. There have been many documented instances of sailors abandoning their boats, only to have the boat found days or even months later still floating just fine. But in the event that you do need to bail out, take the steps now to make sure that you are not ill-equipped and unprepared.

We should all evaluate our individual sailing situations and prepare a plan for abandoning ship should the need arise. The abandon-ship bag plays an important part of any such plan. Once you have your ditch bag assembled, run through a practice drill of abandoning ship that involves the entire crew. Hopefully you'll never need in a real life situation to go through the steps you've practiced. But if you do, at least you' ll know that you have the items necessary to facilitate a speedy rescue and ensure your survival.

The following is a list of the type of items you may want to include in your own abandon-ship bag. Remember some of these items may be duplicated in your life raft.

Rescue

406 EPIRB
Flares - packed in waterproof bags
Parachute flares
Handheld flares
Orange-smoke flares
Dye markers
Handheld VHF radio in waterproof bag
Handheld GPS in waterproof bag
Signal mirror
Strobe light
Whistle
Waterproof flashlight w/ spare batteries and bulb
Charts
Compass
Chemical light sticks
Paddle
Bailer
Survival

Water jugs or packets
Manual watermaker
Solar still
Graduated drinking cup
Canned food
First aid kit
Seasickness pills
Sunscreen
Vaseline
Sea anchor for raft
Hard candy
Swiss army knife
Cutting board
Needle and thread
Sponge
Space blankets
Rain catcher sheet
Fishing gear (line, leader, hooks, etc)
Small speargun
Gaff
Fleece blanket
Assorted clothing
Sunglasses and hats
Bucket
Life raft survival guide
Gloves
Zip-lock bags
Spare raft pump
100-foot line
Raft patch kit
Waterproof pen and paper
Duct tape
Leatherman tool
Mask and snorkel

Personal

Eyeglasses
Prescription medications
Toothbrush
Feminine sanitation items
Money
Passports
Boat registration / documents

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#615969 - 09/08/04 02:20 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
swwind Offline

Member

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 11341
Prior to leaving the dock break the fishing team into two groups. 1. Damage - Assessment & repair & 2. Communications / Raft prep & ditch bag. That way you don't waste anytime deciding who is doing what in case of a problem.

Most people have never deployed a raft or made an acutal "Mayday" hail. Brief them on the process and equipment.

"It is not necessary to change; survival is not mandatory" - Edward Deming

"I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard.

Team Man Made Climate Change is Real.

"When we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 out of 100 climate scientists from what the National Academy of Scientists said on what is causing climate change, and mans contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science" - John Huntsman December 2011

"Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them" - Pope Francis September 2015

"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy," Donald Trump 2012
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#615970 - 09/08/04 11:04 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
gerg Offline

Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 8713
Well, while your at it, most people not only don't how to make a distress call, most don't know how to read your gps position off the chartplotter (or worse, off a chart), or where you are relative to other locations.

Consider who can tell the cg where you are if you can't make a call. Also don't forget to show someone the little red DSC button on your radio.

One other thing I carry in the ditch bag is a retractable VHF antenna. It pulls out to about 4 feet and can be lashed to an oar or fishing pole. It can add a lot of distance to the handheld's range. They are only about $20, not an expensive addition.

*********************************

Wag More, Bark Less.....
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#615971 - 09/08/04 11:22 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Scarritt Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 104
Mitch P., that's a nice thread, thank you.

Just two weeks ago, a gentleman from our dock happened across a 25-30ft. center console dead in the water. The catch is; they were 10 miles beyond the continental shelf! They had been adrift for 1 full day. No radio, no flares, no epirb.
He towed him back!

For the inexperienced, any body of water deserves respect.

If you don't know your limits, ask another's advice. If you're going to head out with an iffy weather, poke your nose out around the point (montauk), don't think you're a wuss if you make the call to use that flat of butterfish to chunk up some bass or blues inshore. It beats getting the s__t kicked out of you, the crew, the boat. Unfortuneately, most people need to get a good a_s kicking offshore to gain a healthy respect for the water.

For those looking to pal up with someone to go offshore on another's boat, listen to the NOAA report yourself. Make your own decision on whether to step onto the boat. It may not be your decision to turn the boat around.

Common sense and gut instincts, use 'um.

Reservoir dog
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#615972 - 09/10/04 09:39 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Predator Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 410
Great stuff Mitch! This is one of those things that many people don't think about untill it's too late. Approximatly 10 years ago while I lived in Erie, PA, my house was burglerized. The next week when I had the security system company over the house specking out a new system, I laughed when he said that 90% of the systems he sold were to people that had recently been burglerized. Guys you don't get that second chance to invest in this stuff after you boat goes down 40 miles offshore! Listen to Mitch!!!

Fear No Fish!
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#615973 - 09/17/04 07:35 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
hoog23 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/05/02
Posts: 328
Here's a good review of bilge pumps from a very informative site.

Yacht Survey

We currently have three electric pumps + two high water float switches (one midships and one aft) that are wired into the horn. We still mean to replace our rear pump with a larger one.

Two years ago we did install larger thru hull intakes/strainers that have built in diverter valves that could suck water from inside the hull if necessary.

Also 'Small boat safety at sea' looks like a good read.
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#615974 - 11/04/04 03:34 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
MermaidCT Offline

Member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 8759
Loc: SE CT Shoreline
Here is a distress call script I ran across - good to print out and laminate to keep on boat - it's easy to get flustered when things are happening fast around you. Anyone have revisions/additions/improvements?

_____________________________________

EMERGENCY DISTRESS CALL INSTRUCTIONS

Here's the procedure to follow. Transmit in this order:

1. Tune your VHF to channel 16.

2. Say: "MAYDAY" , "MAYDAY" , "MAYDAY"

3. Say:
"this is (name the boat)."
"this is (name the boat)."
"this is (name the boat)."


4. Give position by latitude and longitude or by bearing and distance to a well-known landmark or navigational aid, or in any terms that will assist a responding station in locating the vessel in distress.

Include any pertinent information, such as vessel course, speed and destination.

5. Indicate the nature of distress (sinking, fire, etc.).

6. Indicate the kind of assistance desired.

7. Describe your:
boat size
rig type
color
# of persons aboard

8. End with "over."
____________________________

To contact local Coast Guard Station from a cell phone, press: *CG (tip from Nils C)
_____________________________

Wear a pfd in any even remotely questionable situations, and also always at night. Too easy for things to happen quickly.

If yours is uncomfortable or awkward to wear, look into the newer, more low-profile, comfortable vest-type pfds. They are also good for warmth and to break the wind.

Be really safe and attach a whistle and a strobe to it (thank you Riptide for that tip).

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." Jacques Yves Cousteau



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#615975 - 11/04/04 04:18 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
fuzzy2u Offline

Member

Registered: 05/09/02
Posts: 6245
 Quote:
Originally posted by MermaidCT:
- good to print out and laminate to keep on boat -
Laminate? Where's the Laminator King when you need him? Probably still looking for his flag.

Fuzzy
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#615976 - 11/04/04 04:47 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Anonymous
Unregistered


just a couple random thoughts

at time of abandon ship 1st thing is identify person in charge.a muster list is what it is called, the list of duties and positions in case of emergency. also do not drink or eat anything for the first 24 hours....in the first 24 hours your body will not absorb it, water etc will just get passed throught the body with little or no absorbtion. if abandoning ship should be wearing alot of clothes, clothes will help preserve body heat in and out of the water. .keep the life raft tied to the boat, on approved life rafts there is a rope, and i think it 100' not sure on that, unless it's sinking.make sure in the life raft is a knife(actually on approved life rafts there is an emergency distress bag!!!and in a pocket near the entrance is a knife stored)any floating debris should be gathered (after the survivors) and tied together....bigger brighter louder the better chances are of being spotted. the epirb should be tied to boat and floated, unless the seas or weather isnt practical for that, the signal will bounce off the water and travel further.thats all for now, just random thoughts nothing official, just felt like putting in a few cents.
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#615977 - 11/04/04 04:49 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Anonymous
Unregistered


i also think you can rent epirbs from boat us or west marine....
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#615978 - 11/04/04 05:17 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Bob Bradley Offline

Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 7448
Since I planned on taking my "new" boat offshore this past summer for the first time, I had my raft inspected. The previous owner had neglected this for about 7 or 8 seasons, so it cost me upwards of $1000. Not cheap, but money well spent in my estimation. I also purchased an ACR SATELLITE 2 406 CAT 1 EPIRB Model 2774. Having heard some questionable reviews of the GPS enabled epirbs, I elected not to go that route. I paid about $670 for that unit.

All in all, I feel a lot better about having both onboard, but I am still wondering if I should go further next year. I'm considering having an additional epirb placed inside the raft when it is serviced in the spring. I also plan on installing a hydrostatic release for the raft, as it now must be deployed manually. I'm also wondering about the value/necessity of a SSB radio.

Any thoughts on the approach?

I've got gas and I've got crabs. You wanna go out?


"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.� - Ronald Reagan

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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#615979 - 11/04/04 05:27 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
swwind Offline

Member

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 11341
For clarification of above

1. Indentify who will be in charge PRIOR to leaving the harbor . . NOT when it is time to abandon ship. Often there are disputes as the S*#t is hitting the fan. It is imparitive that the chain of command be fully understood prior to any type of crisis response. See my post above on breaking the fishing team into two teams.


2."keeping the raft tied to the boat"

While the raft should obviously be deloyed prior to the boat sinking and must be secured to the boat, you should NEVER leave a boat that is still afloat.

As the saying goes - never get in the raft unless you are stepping up to it.

A great read on this topic is "Fasnet Force 10". The book recounts the events of the 1979 Fastnet Race when 15 lives were lost. In several cases in that horrible tragedy, sailors died in rafts only learn that the original boats were still afloat days latter.

The worse case was the vessel "Gramalkin" - the crew left one man for dead on the boat and presumably got in the raft. In the end he was not dead - and today is the only survivor of the Gramalkin

"It is not necessary to change; survival is not mandatory" - Edward Deming

"I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard.

Team Man Made Climate Change is Real.

"When we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 out of 100 climate scientists from what the National Academy of Scientists said on what is causing climate change, and mans contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science" - John Huntsman December 2011

"Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them" - Pope Francis September 2015

"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy," Donald Trump 2012
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#615980 - 11/04/04 06:26 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Bob Bradley Offline

Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 7448
Never say never.

I disagree with the contention that one should never leave a boat until it sinks. Perhaps it is an old wives tale, and maybe someone could correct me, but having never had a boat sink out from underneath me, that's all I have to go on. I've heard that when the boat finally does sink, it can do so abruptly and somewhat violently, taking crew down with it, as it causes a downward flow of water as it sinks.

I would also contend that one should abandon ship in the event of a fire that is beyond control. I think you just have to evaluate the conditions at hand, and make a decision on the spot. Clearly, it is not something to take lightly.

I've got gas and I've got crabs. You wanna go out?


"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.� - Ronald Reagan

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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#615981 - 11/04/04 07:02 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
swwind Offline

Member

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 11341
Bob - you are right - never say never. Each case demands a separate assesment.

The point is that many boats are abandoned prematurely and this error plays out with amazing frequency.

In a storm senario (much different than fire) a raft is not a "safe" place to be. Rafts tear, tumble, and are very dangerous places, they are a last resort. A partially flooded boat with broken windows and no power can be safer than a raft.

That said your point is a good one - "you just have to evaluate the conditions at hand"

Hopefully none of us will ever need to make those evaluations

"It is not necessary to change; survival is not mandatory" - Edward Deming

"I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard.

Team Man Made Climate Change is Real.

"When we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 out of 100 climate scientists from what the National Academy of Scientists said on what is causing climate change, and mans contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science" - John Huntsman December 2011

"Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them" - Pope Francis September 2015

"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy," Donald Trump 2012
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#615982 - 11/04/04 07:10 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Bob Bradley Offline

Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 7448
Amen, brother. That raft is one insurance policy I hope I never have to cash in.

I've got gas and I've got crabs. You wanna go out?


"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.� - Ronald Reagan

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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#615983 - 12/01/04 02:00 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Mahi Mahi Offline

Pirate in the blood. Fishing in the soul.

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1285
Loc: NYC/Norwalk/Mystic
When running at night, its a good idea to have some means to quickly find a crewman that accidently falls overboard. Most of the guys I fish with all wear some sort of floatsuit for the ride out (keep in mind we fish aboard an Intrepid CC so it can get a little wet and cool on the ride out) with either glow sticks or a water activated strobe attached to the suit. While there's no guarantee that the sticks or strobe will stay attached on impact, it's just an added "comfort" measure.

"My only friends are pirates...that's just who I am"


www.myspace.com/gotrumfishingteam

http://www.tluvimages.com

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#615984 - 12/01/04 02:18 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
MermaidCT Offline

Member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 8759
Loc: SE CT Shoreline
Take a tip from the yak guys and always have a whistle on you too.

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." Jacques Yves Cousteau



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#615985 - 12/01/04 02:23 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Mahi Mahi Offline

Pirate in the blood. Fishing in the soul.

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1285
Loc: NYC/Norwalk/Mystic
Excellent point Mermaid. We have them on our lifejackets-probably should have them on us at all times.

"My only friends are pirates...that's just who I am"


www.myspace.com/gotrumfishingteam

http://www.tluvimages.com

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#615986 - 01/15/05 09:02 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Captbillb Offline

Member

Registered: 08/28/02
Posts: 2015
Loc: Watch Hill, Islamorada, Deerfi...
U.S.C.G. certified lights (battery or lightstick) and 'sound making devices' are mandatory on all Class I life jackets for passenger carrying vessels. Have been forever.
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#615987 - 01/15/05 10:14 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
gerg Offline

Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 8713
CaptBill, that is very interesting. Why then do they sell Type I vests not only without a whistle and a light, but without an obvious place to add them?

I know the answer, but it's appalling anyway.

*********************************

Wag More, Bark Less.....
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#615988 - 01/18/05 10:17 AM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Captbillb Offline

Member

Registered: 08/28/02
Posts: 2015
Loc: Watch Hill, Islamorada, Deerfi...
Greg,
Simply math, the U.S.C.G. requies that the lights have to be S.O.L.A.S. certifield which drives up the cost:
http://www.sailgb.com/c/lifejacket_lights_spares_rescue_lights/
Whistles (sound making devices) also add to the cost.
Although you can shop around (West Marine, etc.), it'll still cost you some serious amounts of cash to properly equip a passenger carrying vessel according to S.O.L.A.S. standards.
All of the Regs regarding lifejackets can be found at this site:
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:3mU...&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
All lifejackets must 'accessible' and be in 'serviceable conditions,' at all times, as well. (Loose threads, loss of reflectivity, oil stains, etc. and they're no good.)
You loop the lanyard of the lights and/or whistles through the two small loops that many of the better Class I jackets have.
It's a given that you're going to spend at least $350- $400.00 for a six pack charterboat's required lifejackets without 'going too far overboard' (very bad pun).
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#615989 - 05/09/05 07:50 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
hoog23 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/05/02
Posts: 328
Pros and Cons of mounting a life raft to the front deck?

We just received a winslow coastal life raft that we bought at the miami show.

The canister is much larger than the valise/Pelican case that was displayed at the show.

What are the pros and cons of mounting it to the front deck on a cradle vs stowing it below? I can think of visibility and weight (~75 lbs) vs trying to find some room for it below. It also may be difficult to reach and launch in heavy seas on the deck. We haven't bought a hydrostatic release yet.

Another option would be to mount it on the lowest level of the tower - would require some custom fabrication though.
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#615990 - 05/09/05 11:06 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Captbillb Offline

Member

Registered: 08/28/02
Posts: 2015
Loc: Watch Hill, Islamorada, Deerfi...
Hoog,
The cradle up front is probably the way to go as the bow is usually the last part of the boat to go under (an air bubble usually ends up in the forepeak) in a 'normal' sinking (allowing for a manual deployment), or a clear shot if it's an automatic deployment (hydrostatic). However, as noted, in really horrendous storms, that's a tough place to ask anyone to go and perform the necessary launching procedures if you go with the manual option.
However, that placement in a rollover/broach would still allow you to have it deploy cleanly, and if it's calm enough, you'd probably be able to reach it to deploy (if the release doesn't work), even if you had to dive to get at it. The negative side of the coin, as you noted, is that it will interfere with your forward visibility if you're running an express/cabin style of boat.
Putting it under the tower supports is risky as there's a real chance that it'll get hung up if it deploys automatically (hydrostatic release) if you roll or go down quickly.
The other option, keeping it down below means that you've got to find space where you can reach it quickly and get the HEAVY and unwieldy container out onto the deck in a rush (sometimes not possible with an engine room fire).
With the many boats that I've run, the bow mount option was the most favored placement for the hard sided rafts on cradles.
The best advice that can be offered is to have the raft serviced annually and hope that it never comes down to using it. However, the simple question of 'How much is your life worth?' is the determining factor when it comes to onboard safety equipment. Don't overlook launching drills with some of your regular crew members as, when the fecal matter hits the fan, you just might be a little busy keeping things together long enough to get the raft ready to go. Also, have a 'sink/grab bag' with all kinds of survival goodies (Handheld flares, GPS, VHF, mirror, strobe, whistle, water, and energy bars) at the ready in an easy to reach place so that if the unexpected occurs, you've got a better chance of both survival and rescue.
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#615991 - 05/11/05 04:45 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
hoog23 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/05/02
Posts: 328
Thanks for the reply!

Boat is a 32' combi and (even with some customizing of the trim tabs) likes to ride with the bow up pretty high unless running at full cruise rpm's. So I'd hate to put it on the cabin top/deck. But even with a rather large bottle of halon in the engine room I agree that a fire is a possibility (like fuel hitting turbo) and wouldn't want to keep it down below.

The front of the lowest level of the tower (soft top) protrudes out towards the bow enough from the next level up (floor of the tower) that I would think that something could be fabricated to mount the bracket to. Radar is on the next level up as well so the canister wouldn't be in the way of the beam.

We already have a stocked ditch bag as well as two epirb's (figured we'd just keep the older generation cat 1 in its bracket or else we would have to patch the holes).

What is your opinion of SSB vs Sat phone? We have only been running to the near offshore the last few season but would like to hit the canyons if the fish (and regulations) cooperate.
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#615992 - 05/11/05 05:20 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
fishingoffshore Offline
Member

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 932
Loc: South Central Connecticut
Bill hope you do not mind my putting in my 2cents. From a Coast Guard Auxilarist point. SSB in the event of a distress call the Coast Guard can triangulate your position.

FISHING - Gentle winds and calm seas, and fish being caught. LIFE IS GOOD!

Jeff
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#615993 - 05/13/05 10:21 AM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Captbillb Offline

Member

Registered: 08/28/02
Posts: 2015
Loc: Watch Hill, Islamorada, Deerfi...
Jeff & Hoog,
Yep,, you're 100% correct, a SSB is definitely a worth-while investment. Many of the boats that I've taken to the canyons and other distant places in the world were so equipped. Basically a ham (150 W) setup on the boat with vast transmitting capability. If you've got to scream for help, it's nice to know that you're putting out a signal that can be heard a long ways off.
The only problem with SSB's is that, unless you're running frequently to canyons or doing MANY offshore trips, the cost of a SSB and antennae system that performs well will be roughly around $1500.00 on the low end of the spectrum (with simplex and duplex channel capability). Some are cheaper,, but you generally pay more for performance and ease of operation with the SSB sets. You also must have the space and capability on a boat to install the big wand. The majority of the boats on this board don't fall within that category.
Mega-yachts have satellite communications systems that cost $$$$- big domes on big boats. They are the ultimate communications setup,, but space, size, and price would preclude this option for most everyone on the CTF board.
Top end VHF's will reach out as far as 50 miles,, boat to boat,, on a GOOD day with an antennae mounted with good height (transmission distance being a function of height).
It'd be even odds if the CG would hear you on a rough day if you're more than that distance off. I'm typically in contact with several other boats well within 25 miles of my position on the VHF at all times- passing along fishing info or just gabbing 'on the side.' That's one of the nice things about having a multitude of 'buddies' while out upon the water,, you know that they'll probably reach you before the CG can if you get into trouble.
Sat phones have come down considerably in price,, and if you use them judiciously,, they're cost effective as you can take them wherever you might roam- land or sea. When I'm fishing out of the Keys- down into the Carribbean areas- we've found that the majority of guys who're heading well offshore have gone over to the handheld satellite phones, even with SSB aboard because of the ease, privacy, and clarity of signal. I've used them on many occassions and found that they perform pretty well, but you'll quickly learn that battery life is the most important consideration when using them. AC/DC battery chargers come with the package,, but if you go for a ride in the raft,, that option would be out of the question so be sure that you know how long the battery will hold a charge, both in use and/or storage.
Cell phones are totally 'iffy' while upon the bounding blue (other than LIS) although I've had surprisingly good service from well offshore. However, I've frequently gone into a 'roam' mode since I'm being picked up by other providers' toweres and got charged $$ for it (even though I've got nationwide service with my cell plan) and then had to battle Verizon to get the charges deleted. However, I wouldn't bet my life on a cell phone while upon the offshore arena on the outside of BI or Montauk.
From a practical standpoint, I'd go with a raft, sat phone, and the best 406 EPIRB with GPS positioning capability as my primary locater (which will be nearly instantly triangluated and allow them to come up with encripted name of vessel, operator, homeport, and contact numbers- if it's registered),, with a SSB- if and when you can afford it.
Personally, I have a raft, two 121.5's, and a 406- certified and current- EPIRBs aboard. (along with three bridge VHF's; and a handheld VHF in the ditch bag).
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#615994 - 06/22/05 10:26 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
mikek06511 Offline

Member

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 9509
http://www.boatus.com/foundation/epirb/
The above link is for Boat US EPIRB rentals.
$50 per week is nothing compared to the cost of the rest of the trip.
With some folks thinking it might be time to try offshore in boats that probably aren't outfitted the way they should be this is another option to look into!
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#615995 - 08/31/05 10:26 AM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Reel-Time Offline
Member

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 6
Lots of great info here!

One important thing I learned from free flare day...

Parachute Flares!!! Keep them in your ditch bag. Expensive, but well worth the investment. Look for 75,000 candela with a burn time of 30 seconds. They are about $70 for three.

Last Cast! Fish till you die!
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#615996 - 04/04/06 01:55 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
MermaidCT Offline

Member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 8759
Loc: SE CT Shoreline
Float plan info from a FL offshore site - to print out and leave with someone on shore. Anything missing??

____________________

FLOAT PLAN

-- Operator of Vessel (name/home phone/cell phone)
-- Date of Departure:
-- Departure Port:
-- Destination, Estimated Date and Time of Arrival or Return (circle):
-- Route Planned (GPS Waypoints in Lat/Long Recommended):
-- Passengers (names/ages/tel #s)
-- On-Shore Contact (name/tel#)
-- Important/related Telephone Numbers (CG, etc.)
-- Vessel (name/year/type/model/LOA/hull color):
-- vessel State & Registration #:
-- Engine(s):
-- Fuel Capacity:
-- Radios: VHF, list monitoring channel
-- Safety Equipment on Board (Include EPIRB info.):
-- Automobile at Dock: (make/model/license/color):
-- Boat Trailer (license/type)

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." Jacques Yves Cousteau



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#615997 - 05/04/06 11:04 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
Captbillb Offline

Member

Registered: 08/28/02
Posts: 2015
Loc: Watch Hill, Islamorada, Deerfi...
Hi All,
Pains Wessex has announced a recall of some of its products. Be aware if you have these in your offshore or near coastal raft flare kits:

PRESS STATEMENT
PAINS WESSEX ANNOUNCES TOTAL RECALL OF
PAINS WESSEX WHITE COLLISION WARNING (MK7)
HAND FLARE ITEM NO 52651
Following investigations carried out after an incident in which a member of the public
was injured, Pains Wessex has announced a total recall
of all its Pains Wessex White Collision Warning (MK7)
Hand Flares Item No 52651.
No Red (MK7) Hand Flares nor any other Pains Wessex products are being recalled.
The recall does not affect Pains Wessex Australia Aurora Hand Flares.
Pains Wessex has identified that there may be a risk that some of these white flares
will not fire as intended. All white flares are therefore being recalled as a safety
precaution. Additionally, this total recall will allow us to bring these products into our
continuing investigation.
The Pains Wessex White Collision Warning (MK 7) Hand Flare Item No 52651 is sold
on its own and is also contained as a part of the Collision Warn-Off Kit and the ORC
RORC Distress Kit.
Customers with in-date Pains Wessex White Collision Warning (MK7) Hand Flares
Item No 52651 are requested not to use the flare, and to return it immediately to the
place of purchase where the purchase price will be refunded. If unable to return the
flare to the place of purchase, customers may take the flare to their nearest chandler.
Customers with out-of-date Pains Wessex White Collision Warning (MK7) Hand
Flares Item No 52651 should contact Pains Wessex on +44(0) 2392 623965.
To assist its customers with this recall, Pains Wessex has set up a help line during
office hours on +44(0)2392 623962 or the company can be contacted via email at
recall@pwss.com.
For more press information please contact ADPR Ltd, Tel +44 (0) 1935 826451,
Mob +44 (0) 797 1019377 or email alice@adpr.co.uk
This press statement can be downloaded from www.adpr.co.uk and high res
images are available from this site. 4 May 2006
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#615998 - 05/22/06 02:59 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
MermaidCT Offline

Member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 8759
Loc: SE CT Shoreline
Just wanted to share this - I picked up a book last week that seems to have good info concerning safety/survival at sea.

The Handbook of Survival at Sea by Chris Beeson


"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." Jacques Yves Cousteau



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#615999 - 06/09/06 06:47 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
gerg Offline

Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 8713
Fwiw, I added a third battery to my rig this week.
It didn't cost anything, and I already had a spare charging bank open, so it wasn't a big expense.

I put it into an above deck side cabinet that used to hold my oil tanks. It is rigged on the seperate charging bank, and I have a standard on/off switch between the battery and one of my primary bus-bars. The idea is that it will be in the off position by default, and switched into the main load only if it is needed.

I'm also going to rewire one of my VHF radios to be run by this battery as a house circuit (maybe I'll switch that connection also on an a/b switch). It's a group 27 AGM battery (as are the other 2), so it shouldn't ever get run down in normal use by a single VHF, but it will give me those last few moments to get a message off if my bilge fills with water off to the point that the other batteries short out.

Of course, it adds another 80 pounds of dead weight to the boat. But it is reassuring to have a backup battery if for nothing else than to start the engines after a long drift.

*********************************

Wag More, Bark Less.....
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#616000 - 07/17/06 11:59 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
JoeRums Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 30
hay: thanks for the the info my second year with my first boat 230 proline walk never thought there was so much too learn

joerums
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#616001 - 09/01/06 01:22 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
swwind Offline

Member

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 11341
Good Life Raft Video.

In early April, UK-Halsey where I used to work \:D was a sponsor of a hands-on Safety at Sea Seminar at the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y. It relates mostly to MOB procedures for sailors, however they shot video throughout the program and have been posting segments on the UK-Halsey website for several months.

This fourth installment shows Charles Daneko of Winslow Life Raft Company teaching sailors the proper way to deploy, right and climb into a life raft.

You will need to "register" at the website,

http://www.ukhalsey.com/home.asp

Click on the the "Learning Center"

Go to the "Saftey at Sea Videos" section

"It is not necessary to change; survival is not mandatory" - Edward Deming

"I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard.

Team Man Made Climate Change is Real.

"When we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 out of 100 climate scientists from what the National Academy of Scientists said on what is causing climate change, and mans contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science" - John Huntsman December 2011

"Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them" - Pope Francis September 2015

"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy," Donald Trump 2012
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#616002 - 09/13/06 04:08 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
swwind Offline

Member

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 11341
Good report on MOB techniques and equipment. Lots of good details and testing of various MOB products. Powerboats, Sailboats and equipment.

http://www.boatus.com/foundation/findings/COBfinalreport/COB%20FINAL%20REPORT.pdf

"It is not necessary to change; survival is not mandatory" - Edward Deming

"I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard.

Team Man Made Climate Change is Real.

"When we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 out of 100 climate scientists from what the National Academy of Scientists said on what is causing climate change, and mans contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science" - John Huntsman December 2011

"Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them" - Pope Francis September 2015

"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy," Donald Trump 2012
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#616003 - 01/03/07 08:07 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
James Dean Offline

Member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 500
"*CG" on a Cell Phone is no more.

Beginning January 1, 2007 *CG can no longer be utilized to contact the Coast Guard on a cell phone. You will need the local number of the CG in the area where you are located at the time.

Here's a link to a CG Release earlier in 2006

https://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/786/136330/

JD
Maggie B
Ocean 44 SS
Noank, CT
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#616004 - 01/15/07 07:17 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
downtown Offline
Member

Registered: 03/09/06
Posts: 19
excellent and necessary thread. it's stuff we all have heard and know. but it means nothing if you don't take the steps to make sure you are boating as safely as possible. last year was my first in montauk and i pretty much stayed closed to shore. this year i want to venture out a bit more and want to pick up an epirb and life raft.

downtown fisherman
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#616005 - 05/19/07 03:12 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
gerg Offline

Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 8713
You guys do have Type 1 life jackets, right? :p

 Quote:
By RICHARD STEWART
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

ANGLETON — Two fishermen who spent two days and nights in the turbulent Gulf of Mexico after their boat overturned said they never doubted that they would be rescued.
"It wasn't something we even considered," Aaron Pilcher, a 29-year-old electrician, said Friday of the idea that the pair might not survive. "We always knew we would make it."

But friends and family of Pilcher and his fishing buddy Michael Prahm Jr., 27, said the two were very lucky to have made it. Pilcher spent more than 39 hours in the water, Prahm 42. They had drifted more than 20 miles.

Sunburned and weaving from fatigue, the two seemed otherwise fit when they were reunited with friends Friday morning. Prahm had exchanged his wet T-shirt for a blue U.S. Coast Guard shirt. Pilcher was wearing a small blanket wrapped around his shoulders. A friend lent him his shoes.

Pilcher said from his hospital bed in the emergency room of Angleton Danbury Hospital that he had no idea where he got the strength to climb up the barnacle-encrusted leg of an offshore oil platform about 3:30 a.m. Friday after swimming all night.

"All I knew was that there are two things on every platform — water and a telephone," he said. "And I wanted water, and I wanted to telephone my family."

He also wanted to help the U.S. Coast Guard find his longtime friend who was still in the water. The 87-foot-long Coast Guard patrol boat Amberjack picked up Prahm about two miles from the platform at 6 a.m. A Coast Guard helicopter flew both men to the Brazoria County Airport, where they were reunited with family and friends.

They then went to the hospital in Angleton, where they were administered intravenous fluids and treated for sunburn and cuts and scrapes. The men reported that they were bitten by small fish, but never saw any sharks during their ordeal. Pilcher was scraped by barnacles on his arms and legs while climbing up the rig.

Prahm said that while he was in the water he started to hallucinate. "I thought the helicopters were big Transformers," he said, recalling toys he had as a child that transformed from ordinary vehicles into robots.


Ordeal begins

Their ordeal began at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday when they left a Freeport boat launch for a fishing trip, something the two Friendswood men had done many times before.
They rode the 23-foot-long Mako boat owned by Prahm's family to a popular offshore fishing spot called the 22 1/2 Fathom Lump, about 36 miles offshore, and soon started catching fish.

About noon they noticed the boat was taking on water. Just as they turned on the two-way radio to send a mayday call, the boat capsized. "It just flipped over," Prahm said. "We only had time to grab our life preservers."

It was the life preservers that probably saved them, said Coast Guard spokesman Adam Eggers. "They were lucky, but more than that they were smart," Eggers said.

The life jackets the men had were the heavy-duty type used offshore and not the lighter-duty types often worn by recreational boaters or water skiers. "Those lighter life vests would not have stood up to that much time in the water," Eggers said.

The men also salvaged three small bottles of water. They shared two of them, but lost the other. They scrambled aboard a small area of the underside of the boat that was still sticking out of the water and waited for rescue. Waves kept washing over them.

At about 9 p.m. Wednesday, family members notified the Coast Guard that the pair were overdue.

Wednesday night brought squalls. "There was 10- and 12-foot seas," Pilcher said.

They knew searchers were looking for them because they often saw Coast Guard helicopters and airplanes in the area. But none came over them.

Pilcher said at one time he fired a flare to try to attract the attention of one of the helicopters, but it wasn't seen.

Thursday night they drifted to within a half-mile of an oil platform and about 9 p.m. they decided to leave the boat and try to swim to it.

"We thought we could make it," Prahm said, "but a strong rip current got hold of us and carried us away."

They drifted close to another rig and Prahm told Pilcher that he was too weak to swim to it. He urged his friend to swim for help.

Climbing about 15 feet up the big metal pipe that formed one leg of the platform took strength he didn't know he still had. "I just know I wanted water," he said.


Crew surprised

He walked through a door into the galley of the platform, surprising the crew. "They wanted to know how I got on their rig," he said.
He telephoned his wife, Crystal, who informed the Coast Guard.

Knowing Pilcher was safe, the searchers concentrated all their resources in finding Prahm. He was picked up at 6 a.m. Friday

Sitting next to her husband in the emergency room, Crystal Pilcher said it may be a long time before she lets her husband go fishing offshore again. "I think we'll just stay on the lake where we can see the shore," she said.

Pilcher's grandfather, Wallace Pilcher, was a little more colorful. "I hope they outlaw eating fish," he said.

Prahm's father, Michael Prahm Sr., said he isn't worried about the boat, which is still missing. "We'll just offer it up to the sea," he said. "At least I got my firstborn back."

The fishermen said all they want to do now is rest and get over their sunburn. Prahm, who graduated from the University of Houston Saturday with a degree in chemical engineering, is also looking for a job.

Pilcher's father, Vic Pilcher, was philosophical about the whole ordeal. "It isn't often that the sea gives somebody back," he said.

Eggers said the many Coast Guard personnel involved were elated that the fishermen were recovered. "We love happy endings," he said.
Of course up here hypothermia will get you long before your vest fails, but it's still a good idea to have them on board.

*********************************

Wag More, Bark Less.....
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#616006 - 05/19/07 08:00 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips ****
swwind Offline

Member

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 11341
36 miles offshore - gasoline bill = $275

Global Fix Cat II Class 1 EPIRB = $900

You could really question why they would not have a EPIRB or a raft for that matter.

Those guys are so lucky to be alive - 39 hours in the water

I'll bet the survival rate over 24 hours is less than 1%.

"It is not necessary to change; survival is not mandatory" - Edward Deming

"I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard.

Team Man Made Climate Change is Real.

"When we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 out of 100 climate scientists from what the National Academy of Scientists said on what is causing climate change, and mans contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science" - John Huntsman December 2011

"Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them" - Pope Francis September 2015

"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy," Donald Trump 2012
Top
#859170 - 09/07/07 04:24 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: swwind]
swwind Offline

Member

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 11341
Zodiac Raft Recall

BFA Marine, a brand of Zodiac International company, has identified some failures of overpressurization valves on leisure life rafts (Models: Atlantic, Pacific, Baltic and BFA/XM Offshore) manufactured between 1997-2006, it reported in a statement yesterday.

An incorrect assembly process was found to be the cause of these failures, according to the company. These BFA leisure life rafts must be immediately checked to determine the integrity of the valves, the company said. In the event both overpressurization valves of the 2 independent compartments would happen to fail simultaneously, the life raft will not function as a lifesaving device, but will instead sink.

It is imperative that owners of the identified BFA leisure life rafts immediately return their rafts to the nearest BFA-approved service station in order for the overpressurization valves to be inspected and potentially replaced, stated the company. Please note that this recall for corrective action does not involve any model or type of commercial life raft.

Additional information on this recall program is available at http://www.bfa-marine.com including the location of approved life raft service stations that will help inspect and service the rafts subject to this recall campaign.

"It is not necessary to change; survival is not mandatory" - Edward Deming

"I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard.

Team Man Made Climate Change is Real.

"When we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 out of 100 climate scientists from what the National Academy of Scientists said on what is causing climate change, and mans contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science" - John Huntsman December 2011

"Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them" - Pope Francis September 2015

"The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy," Donald Trump 2012
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#888972 - 11/23/07 10:40 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: swwind]
seawatch Offline

Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 353
Loc: Montauk
As *CG is no longer a means to telephone the Coast Guard, the contact numbers for USCG Rescue Coordination Centers would be a useful addition to this thread, to keep onboard for SAT phones, and for whomever you leave your float plan with.

Boston MA RCC (617)223-8555

Atlantic SAR Coordinator in Portsmouth VA, which oversees Boston, (757)398-6231

Link to full USCG RCC contact list
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-o/g-opr/rcc's.htm

I hope everyone had a great Turkey Day.

�Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.�
-- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
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#889044 - 11/24/07 01:58 AM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: seawatch]
Bob Bradley Offline

Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 7448
Gobble Gobble. Any numbers closer than MA or VA? Or are they our best bet?

I've got gas and I've got crabs. You wanna go out?


"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.� - Ronald Reagan

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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#889047 - 11/24/07 02:17 AM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: Bob Bradley]
seawatch Offline

Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 353
Loc: Montauk
The USCG website says Boston covers New England and down to nothern NJ and Norfolk/Portsmouth covers from there down to the North Carolina/South Carolina border. Both cover out to 40 degrees west longitude. These are the Rescue Coordination Centers which, one must assume, delegate response to local resources. There are only three RCCs on the east coast: Boston, Norfolk/Portsmouth, and Miami.

�Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.�
-- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
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#960461 - 06/07/08 04:05 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: seawatch]
gerg Offline

Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 8713
Liferafts are expensive, yup, but how long would you want to be floating in 55 degree water?

Info on Rescue 21 can be found here:

http://www.gdc4s.com/content/detail.cfm?item=816a4a1c-1316-4879-adff-430e9f7972fa

They were only 9 miles out, and were able to get a distress call off. It still took 25 minutes for someone to reach them - and they (Sea TOW) were IN THE AREA and had an exact location.



 Quote:

NEW YORK-Two people were rescued from a life raft after their sportfishing vessel sank approximately nine miles off the coast of Moriches, N.Y., at about 5:45 p.m., today.

Greg Mastonardi, owner of the 33-foot Topaz sportfishing boat First Light, was transiting between Egg Harbor Inlet N.J., to Shinnecock Inlet, N.Y., with passenger Mark Edwards, when he called Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound to notify them his boat was taking on water and his dewatering pumps were having a difficult time keeping up. The Coast Guard instructed Edwards and the other passenger to put on their life jackets.

We launched a 47-foot motor life boat from Coast Guard Station Shinnecock, a 27-foot rescue boat from Station Moriches, and a HH-60 rescue helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod immediately, said Peter Winters, a civilian search and rescue controller at Sector Long Island Sound.

Nine minutes later, Mastonardi notified search and rescue controllers at Sector Long Island Sound that water was overtaking the vessel and he was going to have to abandon ship.

We asked them to activate their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) right before we lost communications with them, said Winters. Seatow overheard Mastonardi call to Sector Long Island Sound and told us they were nearby. We passed their position to Seatow and they headed towards the location.

Seatow arrived at 6:03 p.m. where they pulled Mastonardi and Edwards from their life raft to safety. The First Light sank in 108-feet of water.

The 27-foot rescue boat is currently escorting the Seatow vessel back to Coast Guard Sector Field Office Moriches to safely bring Mastonardi and Edwards.

The First Light was carrying 250 gallons of diesel fuel, though no pollution was reported on scene.

Winters attributes the timely success of this rescue to the alert mariners aboard Seatow, and the Coast Guard Rescue 21 system, which is composed of two, 400-foot towers at Station Shinnecock and Coast Guard Station Montauk that are able to assist in cases just like this.

We managed to get a latitude and longitude from them, said Winters. After we lost communications with them we used Rescue 21 to create a fix on where they would be. It was right on the money.



Note: article picked up from http://www.noreast.com/discussion/viewTopic.cfm?topic_ID=109453 - I assume it was from one of the new york papers like NewsDay, but that info wasn't given


Edited by gerg/greg (06/07/08 04:07 PM)

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Wag More, Bark Less.....
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#1022593 - 12/02/08 12:46 AM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: gerg]
gerg Offline

Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 8713
If anyone is looking for a good safety knife, this one is very good...



and you can find it at a good price (for this knife) here...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390009305856

It is a Myerchin Offshore Safety/Dive Knife.

 Quote:
Nearly any sharp knife can cut soft nylon line, but high-tech fibers like Vectran will blunt an ordinary blade in no time. What you need is a hard serrated 3 1/2" blade like the one on this Myerchin safety knife, completely constructed of top-grade stainless steel. The contoured safety handle is one piece with the blade with no sideplates to come loose, and it's surprisingly comfortable to hold.


It will easily cut through 1/2" line, and is very strong and sharp. I think it's the same one Bill Brown has been using for years. I like it because of it's flat profile - it lays flat against your side and doesn't get in your way.

Anyway, just fyi.

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Wag More, Bark Less.....
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#1057033 - 03/04/09 07:17 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: gerg]
seawatch Offline

Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 353
Loc: Montauk
Offshore Safety Question

My 29' center console weighs about 11,000 pounds when under way, and like all boats without a heavy self rigthing keel (as some sailboats have) is subject to capsize type foundering if it takes on too much water.

I'll be carrying a raft this summer, one packed in a soft portable case, stowed in a forward hold most of the time. In the event of a problem, standard operating procedure is to stay with the boat as long as possible. My understanding is that hull breach related founderings, for example, especially in heavy weather, result in sudden, possibly even violent, capsize at some point. This is, of course, also true for any other sequence of events that results in a lot of water inside the hull.

If faced with such a hull breach, and inevitable capsize, when would you deploy the raft, and when would you abandon the boat for the raft?

I'm not too keen on the idea of staying in the boat when I know at some point it will flip. My thoughts are..... deploy the raft as soon as it is clear the pumps will be overwhelmed. Get in the raft but stay tethered to the boat, ready to cut away should the boat go down and the built in automatic raft breakaway fail. To be clear, my thought is to stay with the boat but in the raft under these circumstances.

A little more background on my boat. It has two low bilge pumps, one fore and one aft, and a high water bilge pump aft. I'm having a high water audible alarm installed aft now. All through hulls fittings are steel and equipped with ball valve shut offs.

Any thoughts?

Moderators, please move this post, or don't, as you deem appropriate.

�Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.�
-- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
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#1057096 - 03/04/09 09:56 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: seawatch]
Wild Thing Offline
Member

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 331
If you have a raft you should stay attached to the foundering vessel via the painter line, a watch should be assigned with a painter cutter to cut the painter line if the vessel proceeds to sink. There should be a cutter in with the survival kit included with the raft, but you should verify with the company that repacks your raft. Remember to take your epirb with you in the raft or attach it to the raft and not the foundering vessel.
One thing to remember is that your vessel could capsize very quickly and if the raft is stowed somewhere you may not have time to deploy it. So make sure that as the captain you assign someone to be the person that gets the raft in the event of a problem while your send out a distress call or handling other issues that arise.


Edited by Wild Thing (03/04/09 09:57 PM)
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#1057211 - 03/05/09 10:08 AM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: Wild Thing]
carlynewlondon Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 7966
Loc: Home: Burlington, Boat: New Lo...
The decision to deploy the raft would be highly decresionary but i wouldn't keep it stowed in the forward hold. when running off shore you want to be able to get to it ASAP. Either rigid mount it in a canister external (maybe even with a hydr release) or keep the valise out on the deck where you can get to it in a hurry.

I'm in the market for a new raft right now and I think I'm going to get a valise so I can keep it in the salon where its easier to get to than the present canister mount on my bow.
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#1146843 - 10/30/09 01:24 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: carlynewlondon]
gerg Offline

Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 8713
Spotted on another board, but sobering nonetheless. I now carry six "gumby" style survival suits on the boat, 2 epirbs, raft, type 1 vests, etc, etc, etc.....

 Quote:
AIR STATION CAPE COD Two Wellfleet fishermen wearing survival suits were rescued last night off Sandwich after spending nearly five hours in the water after their boat sank in Cape Cod Bay, according to the Coast Guard.
The rescued fishermen were identified by the Coast Guard today as Christopher Merl, 39, the owner of the boat, and Matthew Gregory, 18, both of Wellfleet.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Terrell said last night that the fishermen were taken to Air Station Cape Cod and arrived at the base around 9:30 p.m. Coast Guard medical personnel evaluated the pair and found them in good condition, she said. Both of them have declined further medical attention, she said.
The fishermen, who were aboard the Wellfleet-based fishing boat Carol and Allison, used a cell phone to call Coast Guard Station Provincetown around 3:21 p.m. At the time, the distressed mariners said they were about eight miles east of the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal in the bay, according to a Coast Guard press release.
The crew of a nearby tug boat reported they heard the 36-foot fishing boat issue a mayday call. The cell phone connection between the Carol and Allison and the Coast Guard was lost after the first call, according to a Coast Guard press release.
A Jayhawk helicopter crew based at Air Station Cape Cod spotted the men in the water at about 9:15 p.m., Terrell said. They were wearing survival suits, which probably bought them some time, she said.
Terrell said the Carol and Allison sank at about 4:15 p.m.
Weather conditions in Cape Cod Bay were life-threatening for the fishermen and made it difficult for surface vessels to reach them. The Coast Guard reported that winds were as high as 25 knots, with 4- to 6-foot seas and a water temperature of about 52 degrees.
This is a perfect example of why the Coast Guard recommends everyone wear flotation devices and survival suits when they're on the water, Terrell said.
It keeps you a lot warmer a lot longer, she said of marine survival suits.
The helicopter crew searched the bay for four hours then refueled before continuing their search for the fishermen, said Lt. Commander Doug Atkins, the helicopter's ranking officer. He said the helicopter flew 300 to 400 miles during the rescue effort, searching deep into the bay and scouring the coastline from Plymouth to Orleans,
The rescue helicopter was in the Plymouth area when the Sandwich police reported that they had found debris from a boat off shore.
The helicopter crew spotted the two men with the assistance of night vision goggles, Atkins said.
The men were in their bright, red neoprene survival suits with reflector tape, about 50 yards from Springhill Beach in Sandwich,, the Coast Guard said this morning. They were holding on to each other in six foot waves.
The helicopter hovered about 40 feet above the water and Aviation Survival Technician Derick Ansley was lowered down to the fishermen on a cable. Both men were conscious and speaking when the diving specialist reached them, Ansley said. Each man took his turn being placed into a metal basket, which was then lifted to the helicopter.
The rescue took about fifteen minutes and was completed by about 9 p.m. The suits definitely saved their lives, Atkins said.
In addition to the Jayhawk helicopter, she said the Coast Guard dispatched three vessels to search for the men, including a 47-foot rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Provincetown and a 47-foot rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Cape Cod Canal.
Terrell said several Cape-based fishermen also assisted in the search effort. The fishing community tends to be a tight-knit group, she said.

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Wag More, Bark Less.....
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#1180457 - 02/04/10 05:31 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: gerg]
Riptidecharters Offline

Cape Cod Guide

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 60
Loc: Cape Cod, MA
Guys just to add to the safety thread, I've complied a really comprehensive first aid kit for my boat and for canyon guys in particular its a great reference. I used this list as a starter and added as needed. I worked off the BLS Xtra list and supplimented it to fit my needs. Then I put all of the stuff in a Pelican EMS case. First attempts to use a medics bag yeilded soggy bandaids. Now everything is dry and easy to get to.



Edited by Riptidecharters (02/04/10 05:36 PM)

Thanks,

Capt. Terry Nugent
Riptide Charters
www.riptidecharters.com
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#1184266 - 02/16/10 01:22 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: Mitch P.]
Captbillb Offline

Member

Registered: 08/28/02
Posts: 2015
Loc: Watch Hill, Islamorada, Deerfi...
Lighting Strikes-

Something to keep in mind (Australia):

A couple watched in horror as a lightning bolt flung their teenage son 10 metres into the air as he paddled a kayak on the family dam.

When Connor Gordon, 14, woke up from his blackout on Sunday afternoon he was in the water, his fishing rod was on fire and he was not able to move his arms.

I thought I was going to drown, Connor said.

The Gordon family had gone down to their Redridge property dam, near Childers, to have some afternoon tea with family friends when Connor discovered a boat had floated away from its mooring.

I decided to go for a paddle in the kayak to look for it, he said.

He had a 1.8m-long fishing rod standing in a rod holder on the back of the kayak and was also holding an oar when he found the boat.

Just after I yelled, Mum, Dad, I found it, I heard a big bang and blacked out, he said.

I hit the water, opened my eyes and could see perfectly.

The fishing rod was on fire and the kayak paddle was missing.

Although he was able to move his legs, his arms were paralysed and straight as iron rods in front of him.

As he struggled to move his arms, dad Kris ran into the water and began to swim towards his son, who was about 100 metres offshore.

I just dived in and started swimming towards him, Kris said.

Mum Joanne grabbed another kayak and began a desperate paddle towards the boy.

They finally reached Connor, who had been able to start moving his arms slowly through the water.

After the couple got him back to shore, they raced to meet the ambulance.

Connor said his hands were tingling after the taking the hit, his hair was singed and he had superficial burn marks coloured blue on his wrists and lower back, which had disappeared by yesterday afternoon.

He said his ears had stopped ringing by the time he got to the ambulance, but every time he closed his eyes to go to sleep on Sunday night he could hear the crack of the lightning as it hit him.

I just kept on having these flashbacks the whole night, he said.

I kept hearing the banging sound.

Brandishing his fishing rod, now about 50cm long and frayed at the end after becoming the lightnings conductor, Connor said he wanted to thank the paramedics and doctors who treated him at Bundaberg Hospital.

Mr Gordon said Connor was not so worried about buying a lotto ticket after his lucky escape, but he did want a new fishing rod.

This is a definite warning to people, Mr Gordon added.

If there are any storms around, get under shelter and always wear a life jacket when on the water.

I've had the boat struck once (indirectly- in heavy FOG!) through the groundplate (lost two VHF's and the LORAN and have had many bolts strike very close to the boat on more than one occasion (water turns iridescent blue and sizzles).
Localized weather patterns can generate unforecast 'weather events' from late spring through the fall. If you spend enough time on te water.. you WILL get caught in a T-storm. For that reason, the XM/Sirius weather receivers on the CP's are worth their weight in gold whether fishing in the Sound or outside of Block Island/Montauk Point. You'll see what's going on long before the horn on the NOAA WX broadcasts start blaring.
By-the-way... graphite rods make for perfect lightning conductors. Lay them down rather than stick them in rod holders.
Not preaching.. just stating the facts gleaned over three decades of charter fishing.
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#1379686 - 01/02/12 03:50 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: Mitch P.]
seawatch Offline

Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 353
Loc: Montauk
Now that so many EPIRBs are out there, I sometimes wonder how the Coast Guard views EPIRB signals. Are they more lackadaisical due to false alarms? Do they gather more info to try to determine the nature of the distress before launching?

At a holiday party a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of talking with an affable Coast Guard officer who handled incoming EPIRB signal response. I asked one specific question: "If they get a signal from a registered EPIRB in the northeast canyons, how do they respond?"

He said for signals in the area of the canyons we fish they would immediately move to launch a helo with rescue swimmers and a paramedic to establish visual and radio contact. There is no delay. If they get a signal, they go. The helo would most likely be launched out of Sandwich, MA, on western Cape Cod.

Gotta love the Coast Guard.

�Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.�
-- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
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#1379697 - 01/02/12 04:32 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: Mitch P.]
Bob Bradley Offline

Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 7448
That is good news. I keep two on my boat. One is mounted in a bracket in the cockpit, and has a hydrostatic release. The other is packed inside the liferaft.

I've got gas and I've got crabs. You wanna go out?


"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.� - Ronald Reagan

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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#1380293 - 01/04/12 04:07 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: Mitch P.]
John from Madison CT Offline

OffshoreFishingGear.com

Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 14842
Loc: Old Saybrook (formerly Madison...
Something to wet your whistle.................the 2nd Offshore Night of the season (Feb. 21st) will have a presentation by LRSE (Life Raft Survival Equipment) of Tiverton, R.I..

They will cover all of this.

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#1485685 - 03/19/13 03:55 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: Mitch P.]
gerg Offline

Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 8713
The following CG report has lots of useful safety alerts and lessons learned. Interesting reading....

Safety Alerts and Lessons Learned


United States Coast Guard
Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis
Safety Alerts, Safety Advisories, Lessons Learned
2008-2012


Edited by gerg (03/19/13 03:59 PM)

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#1504638 - 06/05/13 10:26 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: Mitch P.]
Bob Bradley Offline

Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 7448
Here's a good article I just read on misconceptions surrounding drowning. It's worth a look.

http://mobile.slate.com/articles/health_...QEaVe4f%26s%3D1

I've got gas and I've got crabs. You wanna go out?


"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.� - Ronald Reagan

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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#1511997 - 07/08/13 01:25 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: Mitch P.]
Leppe Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Norwalk, CT
heading offshore next weekend and looking to rent/borrow a life raft. My cousin Eppe is taking ours and i was looking to have one on the grady for the weekend. It would be July 19, 20, 21st. I could have it back on July 22nd.

Thank you very much!
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#1635456 - 05/29/15 07:37 PM Re: **** Offshore Safety Tips **** [Re: seawatch]
seawatch Offline

Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 353
Loc: Montauk
Quote:
We launched a 47-foot motor life boat from Coast Guard Station Shinnecock, a 27-foot rescue boat from Station Moriches, and a HH-60 rescue helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod immediately, said Peter Winters, a civilian search and rescue controller at Sector Long Island Sound.


The quote is from an article Gerg quoted upthread. I met the aforementioned Peter Winters on a Cross Sound Ferry a few weeks ago. He's a very affable guy. I talked with him about what CG number is the best number to call, if you can and want to call, in the event of an on(in) water emergency. I thought it would be the Rescue Coordination Center number in Boston, or the RCC in Norfolk which oversees Boston, and I listed both of those numbers earlier in this thread.

Peter said, nope. He said to cut to the quick, call his work number: 203-468-4401.

Once again, ya gotta love the USCG.


�Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for.�
-- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
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