Fishing
  • Emergency Protocol



     

    Related Information

    • Looking for a boat but don't know which one? Check out the Boat For You section to compare boats and learn how to buy smart.
    • Visit Places to Boat and Fish to explore thousands of boating and fishing locations all around the U.S.A.

    Emergency Protocol


    It is important to be prepared if an emergency occurs while you are out on the water. For example, do you know what to do if the captain of your boat is unable to handle the vessel? Who will take over? Who knows how to drive the boat? Who knows where everything is on the boat?

    In an emergency, the first thing is to stay calm. Second, ensure everyone on board is wearing their life jacket. Third, survey the situation so that you can radio for help. Know the name of your boat, the location of your boat (see GPS), how many people are on board, the type of emergency, and if anyone is wounded.

    If the boat has a ship to shore radio, tune it to channel 16 (United States Coast Guard) and clearly say “MAYDAY” three times for life threatening emergencies or SECURITE" (pronounced: secure-i-tay) for safety emergencies that are non life threatening.
    A safety emergency is where your boat is not in immediate/life threatening danger, but could become without assistance.

    Visual Distress Signals

    Courtesy of BoaterExam.com

    Procedure for VHF Channel 16 MAYDAY:

    • If you have an MF/HF radiotelephone tuned to 2182 kHz, send the radiotelephone alarm signal if one is available. If you have a VHF marine radio, tune it to channel 16. Unless you know you are outside VHF range of shore and ships, call on channel 16 first.
    • Distress signal "MAYDAY", spoken three times.
    • The words "THIS IS", spoken once.
    • Name of vessel in distress (spoken three times) and call sign or boat registration number, spoken once.
    • Repeat "MAYDAY" and name of vessel, spoken once.
    • Give position of vessel by latitude or longitude or by bearing (true or magnetic, state which) and distance to a well-know landmark such as a navigational aid or small island, or in any terms which will assist a responding station in locating the vessel in distress. Include any information on vessel movement such as course, speed and destination.
    • Nature of distress (sinking, fire etc.).
    • Kind of assistance desired.
    • Number of persons onboard.
    • Any other information which might facilitate rescue, such as length or tonnage of vessel, number of persons needing medical attention, color hull, cabin, masks, etc.
    • The word "OVER"

    For example:
    MAYDAY-MAYDAY-MAYDAY
    THIS IS OUT TO SEA OUT TO SEA OUT TO SEA MI1234
    CAPE HENRY LIGHT BEARS 185 DEGREES MAGNETIC-DISTANCE 2 MILES
    STRUCK SUBMERGED OBJECT
    NEED PUMPS-MEDICAL ASSISTANCE AND TOW
    THREE ADULTS, TWO CHILDREN ONBOARD
    ONE PERSON COMPOUND FRACTURE OF ARM
    ESTIMATE CAN REMAIN AFLOAT TWO HOURS
    OUT TO SEA IS FORTY FOOT CABIN CRUISER-WHITE HULL-BLUE DECK
    OVER

    Content provided by DiscoverBoating.com.

    Towing Services

    Some boaters also subscribe to towing services. In non life-threatening situations, they may also contact these companies for assistance.

    • SeaTow has nearly 1,000 captains, crew and professional support staff standing by 24 hours a day with more than 121 locations in the United States, Australia, Europe, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico.
    • TowBoatUS has 280 ports and more than 500 vessels standing by. Boaters can hail “TowBoatUS” on VHF Channel 16 or call the BoatUS 24-hour National Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869.