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Old 12-12-2007, 01:39 PM   #15
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I would assume that the reason no distress signal or Epirb was activated was there was no emergency. The vessel was in international waters and there was no obligation for NZ authorities to instigate a search. No one is required to make transmissions only to monitor certain frequencies. I don't think anyone is in trouble here.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:57 PM   #16
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The vessel was in international waters and there was no obligation for NZ authorities to instigate a search.
Admittedly there was no call for NZ authorities to instigate a search but just to correct the small matter of international waters allow me, with all respect, to point out that ALL waters are governed by conventions and regarding the safety of life at sea the globe has been chopped up between coastal states so that they, depending upon their coastline and location can end up being responsible for vast ocean areas, as is NZ in terms of the Pacific. In other areas one country may find itself responsible for rescue coordination in another states Exclusive Economic Zone (but not territorial waters) as is for example Sweden regarding Danish EEZ around the island of Bornholm.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:27 PM   #17
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Can someone please show me the regs that say you have to have comms gear on board and switched on. When did this requirement come in? I leave my VHF on all the time at sea, but the range is probable 20 miles at most. I have a HF SSB on board that I don't leave on all the time because I don't have the power, but if I did, what frequency would I leave it on? Has Big brother taken over??? I thought that was one of the reasons we went cruising, to leave big brother, beaurecrats and all the other shore based stuff behind.

I do acknowledge that is a good idea to keep in contact if possible, but it is surely still personal choice?

I haven't read their logs, don't what the skipper is like, but it sounds to me as though some people need to mellow out a bit.
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:48 PM   #18
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Hi Marno,

In answer to your question there are two sorts of regulations, well three really, which are applicable:

1. flag state regulations

2. international regulations / conventions

3. coastal state regulations.

Dealing with the third first, coastal states sometimes impose the need for ships passing through their territorial waters to keep a listening watch or even to report on certain frequencies at certain intervals or fixed reporting points.

As for the first point, your national regulations depend upon the flag of the vessel. A US flagged recreational vessel of under 20m is not required to have a radio tranmitter on board for example. If she has she may keep a watch on channel 16. However if the vessel is required to have a VHF radio on board she must keep a watch on channel 16. An exception is warships which shall keep a watch on channel 16.

As for international conventions, ships to which SOLAS regulations are applicable, i.e. those over 300 tons and passanger vessels on international voyages shall keep a continuous listening watch on channel 16.

As for more capable radio equipment on small vessels there is no international requirement but

IMO resolution MSC 77 (69), adopted 13 May 1998 URGES Governments:

- To require all new VHF radio equipment manufactured for, or installed on or after 1 February 1999 on, seagoing vessels to which the 1974 SOLAS Convention does not apply to be fitted with facilities capable of transmitting and receiving distress alerts by DSC on VHF Channel 70;

- To require all seagoing vessels to which the 1974 SOLAS Convention does not apply, but which are required to carry a radio installation under national legislation, to be fitted with a radio installation which includes facilities for transmitting and receiving distress alerts by DSC on VHF channel 70 no later than 1 February 2005;

- To encourage seagoing vessels being voluntarily fitted with VHF radio equipment to be fitted also with facilities for transmitting and receiving distress alerts by DSC on VHF channel 70 no later than 1 February 2005; and

- To require all vessels being fitted with facilities in accordance with sub-paragraph .1 to .3 above, to maintain, when practicable, a continuous listening watch on VHF channel 16 until 1 February 2005, and to require personnel operating such equipment to be adequately trained, taking into account ITU Resolution 343 (WRC-97);

The IMO resolution is, of course, not law but just a recomendation to governments.

So, in essence, there is no requirement to "stay in touch" for small pleasure vessels on the high seas. However, and here is the crux, national legislation in maritime states requires a ship's master (a master of any ship that is) to show "good seamanship". Mediocre seamanship, pretty good seamanship or fair seamanship is not acceptable. The requirement is GOOD SEAMANSHIP and nothing else. It can therefore be claimed that by fitting radio equipment and not using it the master is not displaying good seamanship. This would be insufficient to hold up in court but it could be a circumstance a SAR organisation might wish to refer to in making a claim against a ship for reimbursement after a SAR operation. Not all countries are as generous as NZ and offer such services free of charge.

Incidentally, Alvei is listed with LLoyds which has judged the vessel to be a "high risk vessel" based largely upon the risk assesment of the owner/manager but also upon the flag, Vanuatu, and upon the fact that they have no knowledge of the manager's and owner's "country of location".

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:57 PM   #19
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A point well made Stephen....Good seamanship not mediocre seamanship. A variant of this will be etched upon a small plaque and be affixed by the companionway onboard my vessel.

Incidentally...Any boat travelling in Australian waters, irrespective of its size or purpose and which is fitted with either a VHF or SSB radio, must monitor emergency channels at all times when the boat is attended...even at anchor. That's the law. In Oz, you must be licensed to operate both VHF and SSB. 27mghz radios require no license. And a point worth remembering, SAR cannot radiolocate a mobile phone signal.

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Old 12-12-2007, 09:03 PM   #20
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New Zealand is a tiny country with a mandate to respond to at-sea emergencies over a huge area of the South Pacific Ocean. Occasionally the cost of their, and Australia's, burden weighs quite heavily and there is much discussion in the press about the huge cost to the taxpayers to rescue "all these foreign" yachts. However, I have never heard a member of their SAR crews begrudge the exercise, or the cost. As one officer commented, experience is the best training, and the government is paying for the training anyway, so there is really no significantly elevated cost for the actual rescue.

This is my argument when it's somebody in the US complaining about our navy or coast guard rescuing a foreign vessel in distress.

That doesn't mean that I won't criticize the vessel and its skipper/crew for their negligence or .... let's say it .... stupidity.

The argument here is that it was NZ nationals on the vessel, they had an unrealistic idea of their ETA - and, in fact, un unrealistic idea of what would be considered "overdue", and everybody is to blame (IMO, anyway). I do think that the owner/skipper of ALVEI bears the greatest burden here. I feel quite sure that he did not give his "crew" a realistic estimate of the speed (or lack thereof) of his boat, but his web logs show that this was nothing unusual, and his crew should have made a bit more effort to understand what they were getting into. His failure to maintain a regular radio schedule is a shameful dereliction of his responsibilities as skipper of his ship. Worse, though, is that he failed to even LISTEN to his radio, which would have at least enabled fishing vessels, etc., to contact him before SAR was so expensively committed. That he seems to be charging people for the privilege of working on his ship annoys me no end, but apparently there are a fair number of gullible people willing to do this. Silly and sad. But their foolishness does not excuse the owner's lapses.

As far as regulations, if you have a radio, FCC and international rules require that you monitor the hailing channels. It's pretty common sense - if you have a radio for use when you are in distress, you should be available should someone else be in distress.

Marno, if you are US vessel, your SSB is licensed, and you acknowledged that you were aware of the regulations covering its use. The regulations state what frequency you must monitor - I think it's 2182.

Here's link to US Coast Guard info: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/marcomms/watch.htm

"In general, any vessel equipped with a VHF marine radiotelephone (whether voluntarily or required to) must maintain a watch on channel 16 (156.800 MHz) whenever the radiotelephone is not being used to communicate. Source: FCC 47 CFR 80.148, 80.310, NTIA Manual 8.2.29.6.c(2)(e), ITU RR 31.17, 33.18, AP13 25.2"
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Flywest View Post
No Excuse.

Skipper should have the boat confiscated by NZ authorities and sold to cover the cost of the search.

There is no excuse these days for not having the radio VHF (& HF for an international crossing), turned on - let alone not carrying a sat phone, and making aware the RSBL (Responsible Shore Based Liaison) or authorities of progress - ETA and well being of crew.

Thats a responsibility to your passengers and crew and their relatives and the nations thru who's waters your sailing, who have the responsibility to rescue you.

Further, the skipper should be charged with running an illegal international charter / cruise, in an un-surveyed vessel and with unqualified master and crew - he should be jailed - 10 years would seem appropriate.

Then we might see some more professionalism and a little less bravado from the wannabe world sailing warriors who seem to prevail on this forum!

Those of us who are qualified at what we do, and who take our responsibilities in this respect seriously, get VERY peed off at some of the opinions bordering on criminal in neglect expressed on this forum from time to time..

I'll tell you - you carry a HF and a sat phone - even my tenders carry a damned sat phone each, along with the ditch buckets, which carry sat phones - water proof hand held GPS, spare epirbs flares water and so on.

Guys who make excuses after the fact - shouldn't be on the water!

Lift your game - your giving the rest of us a bad name!

Cheers
Say WHAT??? You need to climb down off that horse. Most of us don't have Sat phones, let alone several of them.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:06 PM   #22
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Gday and thanks for replies Stephen, David and Jeanne,

I am an Australian flagged vessel, currently in the UK. The boat hasn't been in Oz yet, so I will have issues to sort out with licenses for radios when I get back, although that will be five or six years from now so the rules will probably change in the meantime. My SSB radio is also a Ham radio so if I get a license for that it might cover me for everything else, if it gets too hard maybe I'll take all the radios off and hide a handheld VHF onboard for when I need it. Having to leave radios on at all times including when at anchor is absolutely stupid, moronic and idiotic. I am disgusted and disappointed that my own country would have evolved down to this level of beauracratic nonsense.

If you are on a ship I can understand the rules being stricter, but to require cruisers to comply with the same rules is wrong.

Now I need to mellow out.........
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:43 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by marno View Post
...if it gets too hard maybe I'll take all the radios off and hide a handheld VHF onboard for when I need it. Having to leave radios on at all times including when at anchor is absolutely stupid, moronic and idiotic. I am disgusted and disappointed that my own country would have evolved down to this level of beauracratic nonsense.

If you are on a ship I can understand the rules being stricter, but to require cruisers to comply with the same rules is wrong.
This isn't bureaucratic nonsense, it's common sense, it's 'what goes around comes around,' it's Karma, it's the fellowship of the sea.

The solution is quite simple. If you are not available to respond to a Mayday because you won't turn your radio on unless YOU need it, then you should not ask others to respond to your requests. So get rid of all your radios and you'll be okay - no wasting electricity, no knowledge of what others are doing, and no chance that others will be asked to come help you.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:35 AM   #24
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I am quite happy to leave my VHF on all the time while I am on the move. I also check in on local radio nets on the SSB when I am on ocean voyages, although I don't have the power to leave the SSB on all the time.

I find it hard to believe that any cruisers would be happy to leave both radios on all the time while at anchor though.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:13 AM   #25
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When I am onboard, even in the marina, I have my VHF on. I don't power-up the UHF unless I am on the move. Unfortunately, the virtual abandonment by the Oz authorities of Seaphone, and the advent of mobile phones has made listening to VHF a lot less fun than it used to be.

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Old 12-13-2007, 12:12 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
When I am onboard, even in the marina, I have my VHF on. I don't power-up the UHF unless I am on the move. Unfortunately, the virtual abandonment by the Oz authorities of Seaphone, and the advent of mobile phones has made listening to VHF a lot less fun than it used to be.

David.
Hear hear. I've always wanted to learn Korean so I can understand what is being said on VHF 16, especially passing places like Newcastle and Gladstone. And aside from the language issue, I wish the tanker drivers would stay off the calling channels for their evening chats.

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Old 12-13-2007, 12:20 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flywest View Post
No Excuse.

Skipper should have the boat confiscated by NZ authorities and sold to cover the cost of the search.

...

Further, the skipper should be charged with running an illegal international charter / cruise, in an un-surveyed vessel and with unqualified master and crew - he should be jailed - 10 years would seem appropriate.

I'll tell you - you carry a HF and a sat phone - even my tenders carry a damned sat phone each, along with the ditch buckets, which carry sat phones - water proof hand held GPS, spare epirbs flares water and so on.

Guys who make excuses after the fact - shouldn't be on the water!

Lift your game - your giving the rest of us a bad name!

Cheers
Since this was in reply to my message -- what part about what I'd done makes you think I need to have my boat confiscated?

Did you read what I'd said? I contacted authorities on both VHF and HF. Even though I was in contact with them on HF, they raised the alarm because I didn't also contact them on VHF -- despite the fact that I'd said on HF that I was outside of VHF contact range.

Get off your high horse.

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Old 12-13-2007, 12:26 PM   #28
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Del et al,

Member Flywest has been suspended as of today.

aye // Stephen
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