MAYDAY etc

ponapay

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I was reminded recently of an incident of which I was part that took place in the 70s.

I was the right hand seat pilot of a military helicopter that caught fire spectacularly. We put out a MAYDAY message and ditched about 10 miles SE of Lizard Point.

Luckily for us a helicopter close by heard the MAYDAY and saw the radar echo disappear.

This was lucky as the emergency channel operator turned to her boss saying 'I have just had a MAYDAY' and then fainted coming to some 5 minutes or so later.

The first helo on the scene was not fitted with a winch and we (four of us) had to wait in the cold and windy sea for 45 minutes for rescue.

I also heard recently of a dismasted Belgian yacht who had indavertently wrapped his screw with wires stays and who fired off first his flares when in sight (1 mile away) of an oil support ship then more flares later when another hove in sight and finally called on channel 16 and fired the last of his flares. None were seen (by three ships) or heard and he, by turning his shaft alternately ahead and astern (by hand), freed the shaft and was able to motor the 85 miles back ashore. I berthed alongside him the following day and he was very shaken.

Are there any more stories of the authorities not hearing/seeing distress signals.

Ian Parkinson
 

graham

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The main coastguard station for the Bristol Channel is at Mumbles overlooking Swansea Bay.Last year in the dead of night I heard the CG call up a large ship I knew to be anchored in Swansea Bay.

CG"Did you just see 2red flares fired from somewhere in the Bay?

Ship"Yes we saw them".

CG".Could you give us a bearing from your ship to the flares position?"

Ship"No wait please I fetch the captain"

Point I am getting at is these days dont presume ships are keeping a look out.If they are they may not respond to what they see anyway.
 

ChrisJ

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Talking about keeping a good look-out, and knowing what is going on around you:


This is the transcript of an actual radio conversation between a US naval ship with the Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995.

Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.


Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES' ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, THAT'S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.

Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
 
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