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Q&A: Preparedness

What can I do to better my chances of rescue in an emergency?

A recent rescue is a good example of how to optimize your chances when things go wrong. Four men in their mid-40s were aboard a 26-foot Cobalt powerboat that sank at night in 58-degree water 13 miles off California’s Catalina Island. Within 1 hour and 15 minutes all were safely out of the water. Here’s how the rescue played out.



Mishaps & Rescues January 2012


A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol crew simulate a chase and man-overboard situation with a dummy as part of an exercise off Panama City, Fla. The Oct. 7 drill brought together the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Customs, the Panama City Fire and Rescue and Police departments, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.



Mishaps and Rescues Dec. 2011

Family helping family as 21 are rescued
Sea Tow Naples Capt. Dan Mercier Jr. and Dan Sr., owner of the franchise.A Sea Tow captain and his brother rescued a family of 21 children, parents and grandparents from a 22-foot deckboat that was taking on water in the Gulf of Mexico off Naples, Fla.
“It was mayhem,” says Dan Mercier Jr., 25, a Sea Tow captain and son of Dan Mercier Sr., owner of the Naples Sea Tow franchise.



Mishaps and Rescues Nov. 2011


A 70-year-old Canadian man was stranded in September for two days in British Columbia’s remote Central Coast region after he had mechanical problems and was washed ashore by tide and wind. Rescuers say he was headed to the island community Bella Bella but transited the wrong inlet.



Mishaps and Rescues October 2011

AIS needs proper data to be effective

Watchstander Manny Fillman points out a vessel transiting Cape Cod Canal without all of its AIS identification data.By Rick Booth

Manny Fillman sighs. “Garbage in, garbage out.”
He’s talking about the computer that runs Cape Cod Canal’s Automatic Identification System receiver. Fillman is a watchstander in the canal control center. The problem is those triangles, each representing a hull somewhere within VHF range. The pink ones (colors are set by the Army Corps of Engineers software) are commercial vessels with Type A transponders. The law requires commercial vessels to have AIS.
Fillman clicks on the triangle of his last radio contact, a McAllister tug that just left the canal’s east entrance. A pop-up box shows everything Fillman could want to know about the tug: name, captain, length, beam, draft, VHF call sign. Everyone who has an AIS receiver can see it.



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