Seaside Rescue Programme

claymore

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Saw this programme last night on TV. Apart from a few people having unfortunate accidents through slipping and falling and one chap who got caught in the face by a surfboard there was an RNLI shout.
The boat was a Halberg Rassey - possibly 34 - his engine had failed and so he called out the emergency services. There was no sea running and a gentle breeze - certainly enough to sail with - the classic comment came that the people on the boat were on a sailing course . The guy anchored whilst he waited for the lifeboat which then took him in tow and towed him for 3 hours back to a port. I cannot begin to describe how thoroughly fed up I am about this blatant waste of valuable resources and am on the point of resigning my membership.
The other thing which annoyed me was the indiscriminate use of the CG helicopter to rescue someone who'd fallen down a cliff. The casualty was conscious throughout - he had severe leg injuries - the helicopter had to fly back to base to refuel and then when they got back the casualty said he was scared of helicopters so they evacuated him by boat.
Again - what a complete waste of thousands of pounds.
 

snowleopard

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i'm afraid the rescue services err on the side of caution rather than economics. yes, looking at the program with hindsight we could see ways of saving money but what would the response have been if the coastguard had said 'lets not waste helicopter fuel, there's probaly a local boat who can do the job'?

we once set a pan pan to the coastguard to tell them we had structural damage and were heading for port. we told them we were quite capable of getting in on our own and were only letting them know in case problems developed. they insisted on sending a lifeboat out which burned upwards of 200 gallons of diesel coming out and escorting us for 3 hours. i'd rather have it that way than the reverse, wouldn't you?
 

Peppermint

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Re: This prog.

seemed to get a lot of the frustrating rescues out of the way in one show. Previous progs. have been more productive.

While I'd be loath to make a call to CG under any but the direst circumstances I do understand that they're that they're highly unlikely to do nothing if I do call them. I'm assuming it's either "look busy" syndrome or fear of lawyers.

Certainly Solent & Portland CG do try to find a boat in the area to offer assistance to many casualties with only minor problems, before calling out the RNLI.

The moral is, if your a ruffty tuffty sailor, don't call em till you need em.
 

Viking

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A friend of mine, ran aground, sandbar. He was safe an experinced sailor. Call the coast guard in formed them he was OK and waiting for the tide. Weather fine, sea calm.
He had four visits from RNLI. One helicopter, one lifeboat, two local inshore ribs.
I wonder was this recorded has one 'shout' or four?
 

claymore

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Not sure really - I read a book recently 'Amulet' about a stella class boat that someone rebuilt - he got into heavy seas off Kintyre and just called to let the CG know but insisted he was OK - the Campbeltown boat turned up anyway!
I decided a while back the the straits would have to be dire before I called anyone, I've always thought that this is about independance and resourcefulness, sorting out your own mess. The call on the programme was entirely unnecessary - there was absolutely no threat to life or to the boat so a complete waste of money. We are all regularly appraised of the costs of kitting out lifeboat personnel and how much it costs to build and run a boat - I think it would cost a damn sight less if they only dealt with true emergencies.
I worked in Mountain Rescue for a few years and getting a heloicopter in used to be an absolute final straw solution - the one shown last night wasn't - there were easier and cheaper evacuation methods as they demonstrated. Someone is boung to come up with the old chestnut of it giving pilots practice opportunity but in reality the only practice he had was in lowering his paramedic, a practice I thought they would find second nature and no real challenge or learning opportunity on a bright sunny windless cloudless day.
 

charon

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Yes, I saw the programme too and I'm suprised that the 34 footer couldn't remain at anchor untill the engine was sorted or wind/tide was suitable to proceed. However, there may be factors that we don't know about.

With the cliff fall, from my experience (HM Forces, SAR) economics don't count where life is threatened, the 'asset' is despatched. It is better to be there and not wanted than be elswhere when desperately needed.

Please, please don't cancell your membership. Whatever mistakes 'management' make there are people all round this coastline who will willingly go out and help those in trouble in dreadfull weather conditions and they always need and deserve our support.

Have a safe sail wherever you go.

Godfrey
 

Dave99

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We have to remember that RNLI lifeboats are crewed by volunteers who actually enjoy doing what they do. Any excuses to get out on the water, I am sure are taken - at least it means in a real problem the lifeboat crews are well practiced.
 

jimi

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Self sufficiency

Claysie, how does you self sufficiency manifest itself in practical terms? What tools and spares do you keep on board in case of a problem with the engine?
 

ParaHandy

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Re: Mountain Rescue Programme

Claysie does this mountain rescue stint that you did, include orienteering skills ... ?
 

wooslehunter

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You only have to listen to coastie in the Solent to hear how many boats need a tow home: yachts & power boats.

But coastie will not necessarily use a rescue resource unless he has to.

"All stations etc --- any vessel in the **** area able to assist a broken down ---- with a tow to ????..................."

That way they don't tie up a real rescue resource when they don't have to. If they can't get help they will task one of their resources: RNLI, Independant Lifeboat etc. Of course there are many occasions when a tow really is required in quick time: broken down in the harbour entrance, shipping lanes etc and then someone gets tasked immediately.

This kind of thing always raises the question of charging when there's not really an emergency. The key is that in this country we would prefer to err on the side of safety and we all know how quickly things can get worse.

We should ALL help when we can because no-one can tell when we will be the next on in need help. No-one should abuse the fine services we have by calling PAN PAN or MAYDAY when the situation does not warrant it.
 

StugeronSteve

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From what I gathered HMCG were more concerned about the possibility of the Rassey having hit a semi submerged object (fridge?), as I believe the skipper had intimated.

I have a friend who received a visit from a CG chopper and airlift evacuation of his son, following a cut to a foot. I understand that he had advised CG of the accident, but assured them that the bleeding was under control and that they were returning to port, in order to take him for stitches. Next thing he's taking part in a high line rescue.

There was some suggestion that the chopper needed to keep it's shout tally up, in order to avoid a reallocation of resources.
 

Brian_B

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Re: Self sufficiency

I didn't see the program, I was busy watching Lisa Simpson kill cats on Sky!

Sounds like this HR crew should have called SeaStart www.seastart.co.uk not the coastguard.
 

StugeronSteve

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Re: Self sufficiency

I am not saying that the shout to the Rassey was necessary, but I did get the impression that the skipper had advised HMCG that he may have hit something beneath the surface and damaged his prop shaft. There was a suggestion, by the RNLI coxwain, that there was insufficient breeze for the yacht to sail, and that the tide was carrying it inshore towards rock. From what I saw of the "rescue" it looked to be near on flat calm.

We don't know whether the Rassey skipper asked for help, or advised HMCG of a situation and potential navigational hazard. Was there any pressure on the Lifeboat to "perform for camera"? Hope not, but one can never be sure.
 

oldharry

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Saw the prog too, and wondered to start with why the HR needed a Lifeboat. Until the RNLI Cox mentioned the wind was around 2kts. Barely enough to fill the sails even, amd certainly not enough to make way against any current. The skipper said the tide was setting the boat into danger (i.e.on to the rocks), but in their present location it was too deep to anchor. They said they had hit something submerged (remember the CG were trying to find out what they had hit and where, so they could go back and look for it?), and it sounded to me from what they were saying as though they had either damaged/lost their propellor, or damaged the shaft.

I concluded that they were entirely right to call for assistance before the situation got any further out of hand. There is no way of knowing how accurately the programme makers presented the situation anyway.

RNLI Coxs know better than most of us just how quickly a minor incident at sea can become a disaster with potential loss of life. Thats why they and their crews do what they do.

I had a crew member who was taken ill at sea once. I radioed for medical support for when I berthed, and was offered Lifeboat support to get the casualty ashore more quickly. I was close to the harbour entrance, and knew the casualty would get no worse in the 10 minutes or so it would save getting him ashore by Lifeboat, so refused. I was told later the crew were quite disappointed as they had not had a 'shout' for over a month and would have been glad to do something other than a training exercise.

That was nothing compared to the annoyance of the casualty himself (a 14 year old) who would have far preferred to be taken ashore by Lifeboat!

In any case if you had the opprotunity to go bombing around in a brand new Trent or whatever - wouldn't you want to go whenever there was a chance? /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

claymore

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Re: Self sufficiency

I keep sufficient tools to do the jobs required. If I don't have sufficient tools onboard I usually hail a passing tool and get the loan of the odd spanner - there - will that do.
That said - when the engine did blob somewhere between the Mull of Galloway and Fleetwood, I sailed the boat back using...yes, you've guessed it...the sails.
 

claymore

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Re: Mountain Rescue Programme

Did ye live tae tell the tale y'auld buffoon? Did I no get youse safely frae ra pub tae ra shore an then back safely aboord ma wee boat an intae yer whirlin pit in yin piece. Honestly Para, a'yin soothern livin hes turned ye saft ye big lummox, an a ken weel you're idea o' orienteerin fae yer performance oan ra undergroon' - Rip Van Handy ef ye ask me. Cossetted in yer we cocoon wi maps an instructions an information being gien tae ye a' ra time. Jes youse wait tull ra summer ma shun - ah've an awfy big adventure planned!
 

john_morris_uk

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I have worked at two bases where we had SAR crews based. Its not an excuse for silly call outs, but the crew have to fly EVERY shift - whether they are called out or not. In the years I was there, every time they came on duty, they ran some sort of training flight.

If you are worried about the wasted money, your fuel bill is not the biggest concern when you run a helicopter and crew!
 

claymore

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Well - I think that depends on who you feel is footing some of the bill doesn't it?
The bottom line for the programme was that people who I didn't feel were qualified to decide on the most appropriate means of rescue were making those decisions - not the helicopter crews, they were just following orders - although it did seem a little disorganised when they had to go back half way through the "rescue" because they were running out of fuel. Then giving the casualty the alternative option of going by boat because he was scared of helicopters - absolute catalogue of bumbling mismanagement - it wasn't the casualty's call for goodness sake. Moving to a parallel theme - someone was in the news this week for eating an apple whilst they were driving. Somehow, someone was able to call in a police helicopter to survey the route she had driven on to give the CPS a bit more evidence in court. Bollocks is the only word I can think of to get close to what a stupid decision and complete waste of time and money that was.
I've been a member of the RNLI for a long time now - I have no problem with what they do when it is for real but the programme depicted them to be a bunch of over enthusiastic amateurs who had some lovely toys to play with and sod the cost.
Surely Voluntary Organisations must be run along operationally cost effective lines - this has nothing to do with lives being put at risk because of economics, the lives were not at risk - great television, voyeurism at its finest, brave lads and all that malarkey... but completely and utterly a waste of hard earned RNLI contributions
 

ParaHandy

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Re: Desert goats ...

look youse auld goat when ra dochter came back frae ra adventure in ra Plymouth-Dakar-Jaboul job, one o' ra furst things she asked wiz whether ra auld goat hud coughed wi' ony dosh an' she wisnae tae impressed when ah telt her that yer tenner went tae cover ra shortcomings that nicht at ra knees-up .... onyways, she reckons there's a future fer youse in ra desert as auld goats are prized posessions, youse micht like tae ken, ken ....
 
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