Coast Guard RBM going quickly, photo courtesy USCG
A rather sobering bit of information from the U.S. Coast Guard 5th District Mid-Atlantic on the impact of false MAYDAY calls.
This is the fishing vessel SOL E MAR. This is a MAYDAY, were sinking, we need help now! were the some of the last words of 19-year-old Billy Hokanson, as the fishing boat that he and his father, William was on sank to the bottom of the ocean on March 25, 1990.
Coast Guard Stations Menemsha and Brad Point, both off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, received the distress call on marine radio channel 16 distorted by heavy amounts of static. Both stations attempted to call the boat back, but did not get an answer. About a minute after Hakansons transmission, a separate call came through channel 16.
SOS, I’m sinking, the caller said in playful tone with laughter.
Both distress calls were presumed to be related and deemed as hoaxes.
The bodies of the Hoakansons never found.
Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class LaNola Stone
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
What was anyone not thinking? In fog with no navigation system or marine radio.
CHICAGO — The Coast Guard located a motor vessel with 49 people aboard after one of the passengers called 911 stating she was concerned that the operator had become disoriented in heavy fog off of Navy Pier near the Chicago Harbor breakwall, Saturday.
Shortly before 11 p.m., a watchstander in the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan command center received a call from Chicago 911 that a concerned passenger aboard the vessel, Serenity, a 56-foot yacht, reported the vessel had become disoriented in heavy fog with visibility less than one-quarter of a mile.
Posted in Boating Safety
Towboat Hitch / Capstan Hitch
Recently Brion Toss a well respected Pacific Northwest Yacht Rigger and author of several books on yacht rigging had a contest to find a knot that might not be as well known as the Bowline but worthy of more people being aware of it.
I entered the contest and won, please see below for Brion’s original question and my winning answer.
This week’s Puzzle will be a little different: instead of asking you some tricky rigging question, I want you to convince me that you have the best answer to the following:
Rear Adm. Harley Nygren (NOAA ret.) and Cmdr. Pam Chelgren-Koterba (NOAA ret.). Nygren was the first director of the NOAA Corps and penned entry for women to serve. Chelgren was the first woman to join the NOAA Corps in 1972, under Nygren’s leadership. (NOAA Image)
An interesting video by the NOAA Corps on the integrating of women onboard ships and airplanes starting in 1972 as told by many of the women that were there.
NOAA has it’s roots from 1807 when Thomas Jefferson called for The Survey of the Coast, NOAA has been proudly serving the country ever since.
As Women’s History Month draws to a close, NOAA announces the release of Women of the NOAA Corps: Reflections from Sea and Sky, a documentary that highlights the important role women play in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps.
Failed lower Boom Vang Mount and mounting bolts
Last fall we were sailing along nicely on a medium wind day when we heard a loud bang, the bang got our attention but looking around we were not able to see anything wrong, shrouds and stays were fine and the rest of the rig also looked OK.
A few minutes later as we were still trying to figure out the first bang a second loud bang happened and the boom jumped up and we could see the Boom Vang hanging loose, mystery solved!
With no Boom Vang the trip back home was cautious, I probably could have rigged a temporary lower mount but the wind was not too bad and we were not far from home so we did not rig a temporary mount.
US Coast Guard Vessel Documentation
There seems to be a bit of a scam going around with several companies offering to “help” you renew your USCG Vessel Documentation, the catch? The help will cost you several times the normal cost $ 26.00 the US Coast Guard charges. Some people in a sailing group I belong to have fallen for this scam.
The Vessel Documentation scam works in at least two ways,
1) You go to the internet and search for something like “USCG Vessel Documentation” and click on one of the links that looks like a Vessel Documentation link, the bogus links look real official as do the web pages. From there you are prompted to click on some links and enter your vessel information and pay some money. The catch? One of the sites I looked at wanted $ 76.00 for a single year, a nice $ 50.00 service fee. The Coast Guard site is so so for search engines so the official US Coast Guard Vessel Documentation site was down toward the bottom of the first page for me, so you need to look and be careful or use the link posted below.