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#2501 R Booth

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:22 PM


I'll ask again - have any parts of the boat been found on the sea floor yet?

Nothing that I've seen reported.



Any clue why no one has done an exploratory dive in the last few weeks? I'm finding this rather odd, given how many people/families/organizations/insurance companies may be involved in this mess. And also given the fact that the accident site is so close to San Diego, a place with a whole lotta of talent & tools available to do this....

#2502 DA-WOODY

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:36 PM



I'll ask again - have any parts of the boat been found on the sea floor yet?

Nothing that I've seen reported.



Any clue why no one has done an exploratory dive in the last few weeks? I'm finding this rather odd, given how many people/families/organizations/insurance companies may be involved in this mess. And also given the fact that the accident site is so close to San Diego, a place with a whole lotta of talent & tools available to do this....


I'v been told br Dive Charter guys that the tip of the North Island is avoided like the Plague

That said if the USCG is ummmmmmmm wondering anything

there is No shortage of able ways to go to every inch of the area "Human - Mammal - Robotic And I'll bet "Clearly from Above through any surf etc

Not that anyone would say they were there in Mex waters Posted Image

#2503 R Booth

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:43 PM

Yeah, but we're in summer now. No huge storms from the Russians, maybe a bit of west stuff from Hawaii and the south swells are so easy to predict that even Helen Keller could paddle out safely.....

#2504 DA-WOODY

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:52 PM

Yeah, but we're in summer now. No huge storms from the Russians, maybe a bit of west stuff from Hawaii and the south swells are so easy to predict that even Helen Keller could paddle out safely.....


more to do w currents/surge and the layout under water rather than a Surf related issue

BUT Sitll send a damn ROV ore DRONE-SUB or whatever

HAY Run an add for PIX on the TJ Creagslist

Boothy you still have contact w El M. ???? Posted Image

#2505 KennyB

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:18 PM

I remember early on in this thread that a very experienced SAR diver searched an area of the rock only to find nothing........

#2506 DA-WOODY

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:31 PM

I remember early on in this thread that a very experienced SAR diver searched an area of the rock only to find nothing........


do a search and post the post

I Don't think so

I'll give ya 2 weeks to find something not from a tool posting on the day they joined and no follow up

No really take your time Posted Image

#2507 Somebody Else

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:23 AM

Say, Chris Welsh and Richard Branson have a deep-sea submarine and support vessel just sitting idle, taking up space in Newport Beach.

I for one think it would be a magnificent gesture to explore the north area of North Coronado Island!

Posted Image

#2508 R Booth

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:32 AM

Say, Chris Welsh and Richard Branson have a deep-sea submarine and support vessel just sitting idle, taking up space in Newport Beach.

I for one think it would be a magnificent gesture to explore the north area of North Coronado Island!

Posted Image



Call that fuker up, stat!...

#2509 DoRag

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:14 PM


I'll ask again - have any parts of the boat been found on the sea floor yet?

Nothing that I've seen reported.


Isn't it a tad strange that the US CC wouldn't ask for permission to explore that area? Usually unexplained deaths are investigated.

#2510 Carcharodon megalodon

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:12 PM

Recon May 07 0700. See prev posts (attached JPEGs) See also following reply

Attached Files



#2511 Carcharodon megalodon

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:36 PM

May 07 0700-1000hrs Attached Debris found within 10-20 meters of Aegean's last transponded SPOT GPS position. Debris not positively identified as from Aegean but seems likely given location/time/condition. Report to USGS and others. We plan to return to site next few days to search for larger pieces (keel-engine compartment) that may be close by.

Attached Files



#2512 Somebody Else

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:33 PM

Thank you, Carcharodon megalodon.

#2513 Bitter Gnat

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:10 PM

Thank you, Carcharodon megalodon.


+1

#2514 DoRag

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:58 PM

Recon May 07 0700. See prev posts (attached JPEGs) See also following reply



Strong work!

Would you have any idea as to why our CC hasn't conducted a similar survey of the area? These are unexplained deaths and it seems like an investigation of some sort should be conducted to try and ascertain the cause.

#2515 DA-WOODY

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:05 PM

Thank you, Carcharodon megalodon.


+2

Talk is cheep in these halls

Please share what you can

if you are going back and would like some additional Photos / Video I'd like to go along !!!!!!!!!!!

About time some one got to the bottom of this case



This thread would make a very interesting 100 post story Posted Image

#2516 Asymptote

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:31 PM


Recon May 07 0700. See prev posts (attached JPEGs) See also following reply



Strong work!

Would you have any idea as to why our CC hasn't conducted a similar survey of the area? These are unexplained deaths and it seems like an investigation of some sort should be conducted to try and ascertain the cause.


Far from unexplained: They have the bodies. They have the Spot track. They know where they hit the island. They have the USSailing inquiry. There are no witnesses or survivors or "black boxes. I expect they have done toxicology screens on the crew. The debris will tell them nothing.



What do you possibly think would be learned that would be valuable to the community at large, and at what cost?


Don't fall asleep on watch? Don't zoom out too far when plotting a GPS course?





#2517 I'moutahere

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:37 PM



Recon May 07 0700. See prev posts (attached JPEGs) See also following reply



Strong work!

Would you have any idea as to why our CC hasn't conducted a similar survey of the area? These are unexplained deaths and it seems like an investigation of some sort should be conducted to try and ascertain the cause.


Far from unexplained: They have the bodies. They have the Spot track. They know where they hit the island. They have the USSailing inquiry. There are no witnesses or survivors or "black boxes. I expect they have done toxicology screens on the crew. The debris will tell them nothing.



What do you possibly think would be learned that would be valuable to the community at large, and at what cost?


Don't fall asleep on watch? Don't zoom out too far when plotting a GPS course?


Why do you think they collect every piece of an aircraft that has crashed & painstakingly reconstruct the remains at great expense?

#2518 DRIFTW00D

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:56 PM



Recon May 07 0700. See prev posts (attached JPEGs) See also following reply



Strong work!

Would you have any idea as to why our CC hasn't conducted a similar survey of the area?
These are unexplained deaths and it seems like an investigation of some sort should be conducted to try and ascertain the cause.


Far from unexplained: They have the bodies. They have the Spot track. They know where they hit the island. They have the USSailing inquiry. There are no witnesses or survivors or "black boxes. I expect they have done toxicology screens on the crew. The debris will tell them nothing.



What do you possibly think would be learned that would be valuable to the community at large, and at what cost?


Don't fall asleep on watch? Don't zoom out too far when plotting a GPS course?





May 07 0700-1000hrs Attached Debris found within 10-20 meters of Aegean's last transponded SPOT GPS position. Debris not positively identified as from Aegean but seems likely given location/time/condition. Report to USGS and others. We plan to return to site next few days to search for larger pieces (keel-engine compartment) that may be close by.


Carcharodon megalodon found the proof and did report the find to the USCG. They believed him. Now the CG report needs to be published.

#2519 I'moutahere

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:15 PM

Given that the wreck is in Mexican waters, are there likely to be juristriction issues with the CG going there and investigating & recovering parts of the boat?

Also, do the Mexican authorities have the infrastruture in or near the area to recover anything?

#2520 DA-WOODY

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:29 PM

Given that the wreck is in Mexican waters, are there likely to be juristriction issues with the CG going there and investigating & recovering parts of the boat?

Also, do the Mexican authorities have the infrastruture in or near the area to recover anything?


YES They Do

And have a Very Bad Rep for recovering any expensive equipment brought into MEX (by Air, Land or Sea)

You'll get to keep your stuff - But an endless stream of people/Agencies shall keep showing up for MORE MONEY / MORE MONEY

Now Sum SEALS could go have their way - Recover/Document Everything and call it training

But we still wouldn't know


Carcharodon megalodon + Once again THANK YOU for the PIX & 1st person info !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#2521 DoRag

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 11:16 PM



Recon May 07 0700. See prev posts (attached JPEGs) See also following reply



Strong work!

Would you have any idea as to why our CC hasn't conducted a similar survey of the area? These are unexplained deaths and it seems like an investigation of some sort should be conducted to try and ascertain the cause.


Far from unexplained: They have the bodies. They have the Spot track. They know where they hit the island. They have the USSailing inquiry. There are no witnesses or survivors or "black boxes. I expect they have done toxicology screens on the crew. The debris will tell them nothing.



What do you possibly think would be learned that would be valuable to the community at large, and at what cost?


Don't fall asleep on watch? Don't zoom out too far when plotting a GPS course?


What could be possibly learned?

Well, one could find evidence as to whether or not an explosion was involved.

One could also determine whether or not there was a collision with, say, a drug runner.

Both would be good to know.

And your next question is.....?

#2522 Christian

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:07 PM

Apparently they issued an emergency "call" via the spot tracker - this should be a lesson to those who are willing to bet their lives on a cheap distress call solution. An EPIRB distress call would at least have gotten through to the CG a lot faster.


From Practical Sailor:




Aegean SPOT Distress Signal Details Emerge
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 01:54PM - Comments: (1)

June 19, 2012

If you recently bought a SPOT Connect for its distress calling capability, or are looking at similar satellite messaging devices such as the SPOT Messenger, DeLorme InReach, or Briartek Cerberus, you'll want to read our upcoming report on the tragic April 28 accident involving the Hunter 376 Aegean during the Newport to Ensenada Race.



Posted ImagePS looked at the Spot Connect (bottom) and the Cerberus tracking and messaging system (top) for a future article.



When we first reviewed the SPOT Messenger, we raised concerns about introducing a private distress monitoring service into the search-and-rescue equation. Unlike a 406 EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), the SPOT “SOS" distress signal is not part of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) that relays distress signals directly to search-and-rescue agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard. The SPOT signal goes to GEOS Alliance, a monitoring service based in Houston, Texas, which follows its own response protocol.

According to the SPOT website, if a distress call is made using the SOS function on a SPOT device, GEOS Alliance’s Emergency Response Center “notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your GPS location and personal information." In case the SPOT cannot acquire its location from the GPS network, “it will still attempt to send a distress signal – without exact location – to GEOS, which will still notify your contacts of the signal and continue to monitor the network for further messages.”

While reading about the Aegean accident, in which four sailors died when their boat reportedly sailed into rocky Coronado Island sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, I began to wonder: What would happen if a SPOT distress alert had no position, but the SPOT's approximate location was known through tracking data? And what would happen if the SPOT's track clearly indicated danger—say, a sailboat plowing into rocky island off the coast of Mexico?

Would that then merit a call to the Coast Guard?

Apparently not.

Sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, the SPOT device owned by Theo Mavromatis, the registered skipper of the Aegean, sent out a distress signal that was received by GEOS Alliance. According to one person I spoke with who is familiar with the incident, “there is no question that this was a distress signal sent by a person.”

Although the distress signal had no position data, Mavromatis had programmed the device to report his position every 10 minutes so that family could track the boat. Shortly after the distress signal went out, Mavromatis' wife, Loren, received a phone call from GEOS Alliance. She was asleep, so the report of the distress signal from her husband’s SPOT went to voicemail. For several hours after that, it appears that there was no effort made by the monitoring agency to contact the U.S. Coast Guard or to confirm the distress alert, even though boat’s track clearly indicated trouble.

The Coast Guard search for Aegean's crew did not begin until more than eight hours later, after fellow racers came across debris from the wrecked Hunter and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard. Initially, it was thought a ship had collided with the boat, but when the track data surfaced later, the grounding on Coronado seemed the most likely explanation.

Lead investigator Lt. Bill Fitzgerald of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego could not offer more details on the timeline of the distress call or the response, citing the ongoing investigation. He said the USCG's final report would be completed within two to six weeks.

Based on what is known at this stage, it seems clear that GEOS Alliance needs to closely examine how the Aegean distress call was handled, and how its existing response protocol might be improved. A distress call was made, and even without the boat's precise position, the Aegean's freight-train track toward Coronado Island spelled trouble, and its last known position would have been helpful to a search-and-rescue effort.

I'm disappointed that SPOT, GEOS Alliance, and the two groups investigating the accident—U.S. Coast Guard and a US Sailing panel, which recently used the SPOT data to conclude that the accident was caused by a grounding—have delayed releasing the apparently well-documented details surrounding the Aegean distress call. SPOT Messengers and similar satellite-based messenging devices are getting snatched up like iPads this summer, and while bloggers blather about the marvels of the new technology, I suspect many buyers don't have a clear understanding of how they work. I don't want to dissuade someone from buying something that might one day save their life, nor discount the advantages of two-way communication that some of the newer devices offer, but knowing what can go wrong with these gadgets is just as important as knowing what can go right.

Several people have reminded me that the SPOT Messengers and similar devices have already saved many lives. They also tell me that Aegean's distress call delay appears to be an isolated incident. Lt. Fitzgerald said that he was unaware of any prior cases, at least in his sector, in which "the distress signal was not responded to in a timely manner by the third-party monitoring service.”

The "official" distress alert options like 406 EPIRBs have problems, too. In our article “What is the Best Backup for a 406 EPIRB?” we reported how clerical errors in the 406 EPIRB registration process nearly resulted in one sailor's distress signal being ignored. Neverthless, a GPS-enabled 406 EPIRB is still Practical Sailor's first choice for satellite-based distress signaling. If you use a SPOT or a similar device, it should be a backup. In either case, boaters need to be certain that their registration data (boat name, point of contact information, etc.) is up to date, and that the owner and point of contact are well informed about what they should do in the event of a distress signal.

Perhaps the best lesson in all of this is that any electronic distress beacon should be regarded as truly a last resort—and an imperfect one at that.




Apparently they issued an emergency "call" via the spot tracker - this should be a lesson to those who are willing to bet their lives on a cheap distress call solution. An EPIRB distress call would at least have gotten through to the CG a lot faster.


From Practical Sailor:




Aegean SPOT Distress Signal Details Emerge
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 01:54PM - Comments: (1)

June 19, 2012

If you recently bought a SPOT Connect for its distress calling capability, or are looking at similar satellite messaging devices such as the SPOT Messenger, DeLorme InReach, or Briartek Cerberus, you'll want to read our upcoming report on the tragic April 28 accident involving the Hunter 376 Aegean during the Newport to Ensenada Race.



Posted ImagePS looked at the Spot Connect (bottom) and the Cerberus tracking and messaging system (top) for a future article.



When we first reviewed the SPOT Messenger, we raised concerns about introducing a private distress monitoring service into the search-and-rescue equation. Unlike a 406 EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), the SPOT “SOS" distress signal is not part of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) that relays distress signals directly to search-and-rescue agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard. The SPOT signal goes to GEOS Alliance, a monitoring service based in Houston, Texas, which follows its own response protocol.

According to the SPOT website, if a distress call is made using the SOS function on a SPOT device, GEOS Alliance’s Emergency Response Center “notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your GPS location and personal information." In case the SPOT cannot acquire its location from the GPS network, “it will still attempt to send a distress signal – without exact location – to GEOS, which will still notify your contacts of the signal and continue to monitor the network for further messages.”

While reading about the Aegean accident, in which four sailors died when their boat reportedly sailed into rocky Coronado Island sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, I began to wonder: What would happen if a SPOT distress alert had no position, but the SPOT's approximate location was known through tracking data? And what would happen if the SPOT's track clearly indicated danger—say, a sailboat plowing into rocky island off the coast of Mexico?

Would that then merit a call to the Coast Guard?

Apparently not.

Sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, the SPOT device owned by Theo Mavromatis, the registered skipper of the Aegean, sent out a distress signal that was received by GEOS Alliance. According to one person I spoke with who is familiar with the incident, “there is no question that this was a distress signal sent by a person.”

Although the distress signal had no position data, Mavromatis had programmed the device to report his position every 10 minutes so that family could track the boat. Shortly after the distress signal went out, Mavromatis' wife, Loren, received a phone call from GEOS Alliance. She was asleep, so the report of the distress signal from her husband’s SPOT went to voicemail. For several hours after that, it appears that there was no effort made by the monitoring agency to contact the U.S. Coast Guard or to confirm the distress alert, even though boat’s track clearly indicated trouble.

The Coast Guard search for Aegean's crew did not begin until more than eight hours later, after fellow racers came across debris from the wrecked Hunter and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard. Initially, it was thought a ship had collided with the boat, but when the track data surfaced later, the grounding on Coronado seemed the most likely explanation.

Lead investigator Lt. Bill Fitzgerald of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego could not offer more details on the timeline of the distress call or the response, citing the ongoing investigation. He said the USCG's final report would be completed within two to six weeks.

Based on what is known at this stage, it seems clear that GEOS Alliance needs to closely examine how the Aegean distress call was handled, and how its existing response protocol might be improved. A distress call was made, and even without the boat's precise position, the Aegean's freight-train track toward Coronado Island spelled trouble, and its last known position would have been helpful to a search-and-rescue effort.

I'm disappointed that SPOT, GEOS Alliance, and the two groups investigating the accident—U.S. Coast Guard and a US Sailing panel, which recently used the SPOT data to conclude that the accident was caused by a grounding—have delayed releasing the apparently well-documented details surrounding the Aegean distress call. SPOT Messengers and similar satellite-based messenging devices are getting snatched up like iPads this summer, and while bloggers blather about the marvels of the new technology, I suspect many buyers don't have a clear understanding of how they work. I don't want to dissuade someone from buying something that might one day save their life, nor discount the advantages of two-way communication that some of the newer devices offer, but knowing what can go wrong with these gadgets is just as important as knowing what can go right.

Several people have reminded me that the SPOT Messengers and similar devices have already saved many lives. They also tell me that Aegean's distress call delay appears to be an isolated incident. Lt. Fitzgerald said that he was unaware of any prior cases, at least in his sector, in which "the distress signal was not responded to in a timely manner by the third-party monitoring service.”

The "official" distress alert options like 406 EPIRBs have problems, too. In our article “What is the Best Backup for a 406 EPIRB?” we reported how clerical errors in the 406 EPIRB registration process nearly resulted in one sailor's distress signal being ignored. Neverthless, a GPS-enabled 406 EPIRB is still Practical Sailor's first choice for satellite-based distress signaling. If you use a SPOT or a similar device, it should be a backup. In either case, boaters need to be certain that their registration data (boat name, point of contact information, etc.) is up to date, and that the owner and point of contact are well informed about what they should do in the event of a distress signal.

Perhaps the best lesson in all of this is that any electronic distress beacon should be regarded as truly a last resort—and an imperfect one at that.




#2523 Somebody Else

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:31 PM

Why is this just now becoming known?

There have been no previous mentions of a distress signal in any media, or from Mavromatis' wife, or any other sourse.

#2524 Wess

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:34 PM

Apparently they issued an emergency "call" via the spot tracker - this should be a lesson to those who are willing to bet their lives on a cheap distress call solution. An EPIRB distress call would at least have gotten through to the CG a lot faster.


From Practical Sailor:




Aegean SPOT Distress Signal Details Emerge
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 01:54PM - Comments: (1)

June 19, 2012

If you recently bought a SPOT Connect for its distress calling capability, or are looking at similar satellite messaging devices such as the SPOT Messenger, DeLorme InReach, or Briartek Cerberus, you'll want to read our upcoming report on the tragic April 28 accident involving the Hunter 376 Aegean during the Newport to Ensenada Race.



Posted ImagePS looked at the Spot Connect (bottom) and the Cerberus tracking and messaging system (top) for a future article.



When we first reviewed the SPOT Messenger, we raised concerns about introducing a private distress monitoring service into the search-and-rescue equation. Unlike a 406 EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), the SPOT “SOS" distress signal is not part of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) that relays distress signals directly to search-and-rescue agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard. The SPOT signal goes to GEOS Alliance, a monitoring service based in Houston, Texas, which follows its own response protocol.

According to the SPOT website, if a distress call is made using the SOS function on a SPOT device, GEOS Alliance’s Emergency Response Center “notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your GPS location and personal information." In case the SPOT cannot acquire its location from the GPS network, “it will still attempt to send a distress signal – without exact location – to GEOS, which will still notify your contacts of the signal and continue to monitor the network for further messages.”

While reading about the Aegean accident, in which four sailors died when their boat reportedly sailed into rocky Coronado Island sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, I began to wonder: What would happen if a SPOT distress alert had no position, but the SPOT's approximate location was known through tracking data? And what would happen if the SPOT's track clearly indicated danger—say, a sailboat plowing into rocky island off the coast of Mexico?

Would that then merit a call to the Coast Guard?

Apparently not.

Sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, the SPOT device owned by Theo Mavromatis, the registered skipper of the Aegean, sent out a distress signal that was received by GEOS Alliance. According to one person I spoke with who is familiar with the incident, “there is no question that this was a distress signal sent by a person.”

Although the distress signal had no position data, Mavromatis had programmed the device to report his position every 10 minutes so that family could track the boat. Shortly after the distress signal went out, Mavromatis' wife, Loren, received a phone call from GEOS Alliance. She was asleep, so the report of the distress signal from her husband’s SPOT went to voicemail. For several hours after that, it appears that there was no effort made by the monitoring agency to contact the U.S. Coast Guard or to confirm the distress alert, even though boat’s track clearly indicated trouble.

The Coast Guard search for Aegean's crew did not begin until more than eight hours later, after fellow racers came across debris from the wrecked Hunter and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard. Initially, it was thought a ship had collided with the boat, but when the track data surfaced later, the grounding on Coronado seemed the most likely explanation.

Lead investigator Lt. Bill Fitzgerald of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego could not offer more details on the timeline of the distress call or the response, citing the ongoing investigation. He said the USCG's final report would be completed within two to six weeks.

Based on what is known at this stage, it seems clear that GEOS Alliance needs to closely examine how the Aegean distress call was handled, and how its existing response protocol might be improved. A distress call was made, and even without the boat's precise position, the Aegean's freight-train track toward Coronado Island spelled trouble, and its last known position would have been helpful to a search-and-rescue effort.

I'm disappointed that SPOT, GEOS Alliance, and the two groups investigating the accident—U.S. Coast Guard and a US Sailing panel, which recently used the SPOT data to conclude that the accident was caused by a grounding—have delayed releasing the apparently well-documented details surrounding the Aegean distress call. SPOT Messengers and similar satellite-based messenging devices are getting snatched up like iPads this summer, and while bloggers blather about the marvels of the new technology, I suspect many buyers don't have a clear understanding of how they work. I don't want to dissuade someone from buying something that might one day save their life, nor discount the advantages of two-way communication that some of the newer devices offer, but knowing what can go wrong with these gadgets is just as important as knowing what can go right.

Several people have reminded me that the SPOT Messengers and similar devices have already saved many lives. They also tell me that Aegean's distress call delay appears to be an isolated incident. Lt. Fitzgerald said that he was unaware of any prior cases, at least in his sector, in which "the distress signal was not responded to in a timely manner by the third-party monitoring service.”

The "official" distress alert options like 406 EPIRBs have problems, too. In our article “What is the Best Backup for a 406 EPIRB?” we reported how clerical errors in the 406 EPIRB registration process nearly resulted in one sailor's distress signal being ignored. Neverthless, a GPS-enabled 406 EPIRB is still Practical Sailor's first choice for satellite-based distress signaling. If you use a SPOT or a similar device, it should be a backup. In either case, boaters need to be certain that their registration data (boat name, point of contact information, etc.) is up to date, and that the owner and point of contact are well informed about what they should do in the event of a distress signal.

Perhaps the best lesson in all of this is that any electronic distress beacon should be regarded as truly a last resort—and an imperfect one at that.




Apparently they issued an emergency "call" via the spot tracker - this should be a lesson to those who are willing to bet their lives on a cheap distress call solution. An EPIRB distress call would at least have gotten through to the CG a lot faster.


From Practical Sailor:




Aegean SPOT Distress Signal Details Emerge
Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 01:54PM - Comments: (1)

June 19, 2012

If you recently bought a SPOT Connect for its distress calling capability, or are looking at similar satellite messaging devices such as the SPOT Messenger, DeLorme InReach, or Briartek Cerberus, you'll want to read our upcoming report on the tragic April 28 accident involving the Hunter 376 Aegean during the Newport to Ensenada Race.



Posted ImagePS looked at the Spot Connect (bottom) and the Cerberus tracking and messaging system (top) for a future article.



When we first reviewed the SPOT Messenger, we raised concerns about introducing a private distress monitoring service into the search-and-rescue equation. Unlike a 406 EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), the SPOT “SOS" distress signal is not part of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) that relays distress signals directly to search-and-rescue agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard. The SPOT signal goes to GEOS Alliance, a monitoring service based in Houston, Texas, which follows its own response protocol.

According to the SPOT website, if a distress call is made using the SOS function on a SPOT device, GEOS Alliance’s Emergency Response Center “notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your GPS location and personal information." In case the SPOT cannot acquire its location from the GPS network, “it will still attempt to send a distress signal – without exact location – to GEOS, which will still notify your contacts of the signal and continue to monitor the network for further messages.”

While reading about the Aegean accident, in which four sailors died when their boat reportedly sailed into rocky Coronado Island sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, I began to wonder: What would happen if a SPOT distress alert had no position, but the SPOT's approximate location was known through tracking data? And what would happen if the SPOT's track clearly indicated danger—say, a sailboat plowing into rocky island off the coast of Mexico?

Would that then merit a call to the Coast Guard?

Apparently not.

Sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, the SPOT device owned by Theo Mavromatis, the registered skipper of the Aegean, sent out a distress signal that was received by GEOS Alliance. According to one person I spoke with who is familiar with the incident, “there is no question that this was a distress signal sent by a person.”

Although the distress signal had no position data, Mavromatis had programmed the device to report his position every 10 minutes so that family could track the boat. Shortly after the distress signal went out, Mavromatis' wife, Loren, received a phone call from GEOS Alliance. She was asleep, so the report of the distress signal from her husband’s SPOT went to voicemail. For several hours after that, it appears that there was no effort made by the monitoring agency to contact the U.S. Coast Guard or to confirm the distress alert, even though boat’s track clearly indicated trouble.

The Coast Guard search for Aegean's crew did not begin until more than eight hours later, after fellow racers came across debris from the wrecked Hunter and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard. Initially, it was thought a ship had collided with the boat, but when the track data surfaced later, the grounding on Coronado seemed the most likely explanation.

Lead investigator Lt. Bill Fitzgerald of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego could not offer more details on the timeline of the distress call or the response, citing the ongoing investigation. He said the USCG's final report would be completed within two to six weeks.

Based on what is known at this stage, it seems clear that GEOS Alliance needs to closely examine how the Aegean distress call was handled, and how its existing response protocol might be improved. A distress call was made, and even without the boat's precise position, the Aegean's freight-train track toward Coronado Island spelled trouble, and its last known position would have been helpful to a search-and-rescue effort.

I'm disappointed that SPOT, GEOS Alliance, and the two groups investigating the accident—U.S. Coast Guard and a US Sailing panel, which recently used the SPOT data to conclude that the accident was caused by a grounding—have delayed releasing the apparently well-documented details surrounding the Aegean distress call. SPOT Messengers and similar satellite-based messenging devices are getting snatched up like iPads this summer, and while bloggers blather about the marvels of the new technology, I suspect many buyers don't have a clear understanding of how they work. I don't want to dissuade someone from buying something that might one day save their life, nor discount the advantages of two-way communication that some of the newer devices offer, but knowing what can go wrong with these gadgets is just as important as knowing what can go right.

Several people have reminded me that the SPOT Messengers and similar devices have already saved many lives. They also tell me that Aegean's distress call delay appears to be an isolated incident. Lt. Fitzgerald said that he was unaware of any prior cases, at least in his sector, in which "the distress signal was not responded to in a timely manner by the third-party monitoring service.”

The "official" distress alert options like 406 EPIRBs have problems, too. In our article “What is the Best Backup for a 406 EPIRB?” we reported how clerical errors in the 406 EPIRB registration process nearly resulted in one sailor's distress signal being ignored. Neverthless, a GPS-enabled 406 EPIRB is still Practical Sailor's first choice for satellite-based distress signaling. If you use a SPOT or a similar device, it should be a backup. In either case, boaters need to be certain that their registration data (boat name, point of contact information, etc.) is up to date, and that the owner and point of contact are well informed about what they should do in the event of a distress signal.

Perhaps the best lesson in all of this is that any electronic distress beacon should be regarded as truly a last resort—and an imperfect one at that.



Wow. That is stunning on multiple levels if true.

#2525 Bill Gibbs

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:47 PM

the "distress call" is referring to hitting the 911 button on the Spot.

#2526 DA-WOODY

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 05:43 PM

I find this new twist most interesting

and Now for a Question about monitoring the tracking of your competition:

what might be different in the outcome had other boats been noticing someone heading into a BIG ROCK ???

what if others could have received the allert over their Spot Tracker ??

What if - What if - What - if ??????????????????

#2527 MisterMoon

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 06:08 PM

I find this new twist most interesting

and Now for a Question about monitoring the tracking of your competition:

what might be different in the outcome had other boats been noticing someone heading into a BIG ROCK ???

what if others could have received the allert over their Spot Tracker ??
What if - What if - What - if ??????????????????


Spots only transmit.

#2528 Mahogany Reef

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 06:12 PM

WOW! This new information is really interesting and sad!

#2529 DA-WOODY

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 06:25 PM


I find this new twist most interesting

and Now for a Question about monitoring the tracking of your competition:

what might be different in the outcome had other boats been noticing someone heading into a BIG ROCK ???

what if others *could have received the allert over their Spot Tracker ??
What if - What if - What - if ??????????????????


Spots only transmit.


exactly the reason I said * exactly what I said

What "IF" not why didn't they

more a reference to the YellowBrick Drama over the tracking of others

and a Hint for a way to get the message out to the race fleet "Real-Time" so as to have a Chance

Can't even imagine the Horror of finding out your loved ones Died as you slept through their only call for Help

Now even More that we don't know

like how why did they trip the Spot-911 yet not get to a radio etc ???

How long did they have to get rescued before it was too late

Hopefully it was Quick

This Now just makes it more painfull realizing no one could Help them Right Here on our Local Coast Posted Image

#2530 Somebody Else

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 07:21 PM

the "distress call" is referring to hitting the 911 button on the Spot.

We get it.

#2531 Oxygen Mask

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:47 AM

Apparently they issued an emergency "call" via the spot tracker - this should be a lesson to those who are willing to bet their lives on a cheap distress call solution........



Way back near the beginning of this thread I mentioned past history of issues with the Spot service and got shut down.
In fact, this is not the first time someone pressed the rescue button and got nothing. Other stories include people (family) trying to contact Spot service to get info and no one answers the phone.
Etc.
Search SA, the stories are here, and I've read some in magazines.
They have not had a spotless record. (My guess is it's all done on a computer server and no live people even get involved.)

I think the Spot as a tracker is a neat idea, but I wouldn't bet one red cent on it being reliable for rescue.

Epirb.

#2532 Moonduster

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:09 AM

Sounds to me as if, in the interests of safety, SPOT devices ought to be forbidden by US Sailing on yachts competing in offshore events. Clearly they confuse people into making poor decisions during times of crisis. Agean had an EPRIB - if that had been tossed in the water rather than wasting time farting around with the useless SPOT, perhaps they'd be alive today.

And what's with the Practical Sailor recommendation? Clearly if a GPS-equipped EPRIB is the best solution for an emergency beacon then the best backup is a 2nd GPS-equipped EPRIB. Seriously, the logic in their recommendation defies sanity.

SPOT - A really good solution for finding dead bodies!

#2533 axolotl

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:52 PM

Why do you think they collect every piece of an aircraft that has crashed & painstakingly reconstruct the remains at great expense?


Um, apples and oranges. The FAA goes to such effort to determine if something was mechanically wrong with the plane, so sister planes can be modified to eliminate the defect. I doubt Hunter is interested building their boats so they hold together when slammed into the rocks.

#2534 I'moutahere

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:01 PM


Why do you think they collect every piece of an aircraft that has crashed & painstakingly reconstruct the remains at great expense?


Um, apples and oranges. The FAA goes to such effort to determine if something was mechanically wrong with the plane, so sister planes can be modified to eliminate the defect. I doubt Hunter is interested building their boats so they hold together when slammed into the rocks.

Do you have a comprehension problem?

Do you think the FAA "is interested building planes so they hold together when slammed into the ground?".

The CG should make an effort to determine what caused the incident and maybe prevent further deaths in the future. Don't you think that would be a good idea?

#2535 K38BOB

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:12 PM


the "distress call" is referring to hitting the 911 button on the Spot.

We get it.


I guess I missed the pressing the 911 button. I thought it was just transmitting to the tracking site until it stopped transmitting?

#2536 karua

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:34 PM

Sounds to me as if, in the interests of safety, SPOT devices ought to be forbidden by US Sailing on yachts competing in offshore events. Clearly they confuse people into making poor decisions during times of crisis. Agean had an EPRIB - if that had been tossed in the water rather than wasting time farting around with the useless SPOT, perhaps they'd be alive today.

And what's with the Practical Sailor recommendation? Clearly if a GPS-equipped EPRIB is the best solution for an emergency beacon then the best backup is a 2nd GPS-equipped EPRIB. Seriously, the logic in their recommendation defies sanity.

SPOT - A really good solution for finding dead bodies!


I have been using Spot for some five years or more - but would never think of using it as a distress beacon. I use it so my family and friends can see where I am - usually I sail solo and my wife can see I am safely home and get dinner ready. It is supposed to take a position every ten minutes, but from my experience it may take a few in a row every ten minutes and then nothing for an hour or so. Over a 24 hour period it will miss a number of positions. My wife also tells me whilst I am sailing it is often hard to log in as perhaps their server gets too busy, so again another reason not to rely on it.

The thought that anyone needs to "ban" something is just ridiculous. You cannot legislate against ignorance. If Aegean really was using a Spot device as a safety unit then that is sad, but should not deserve any reaction from any authority.

#2537 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:36 PM



Why do you think they collect every piece of an aircraft that has crashed & painstakingly reconstruct the remains at great expense?


Um, apples and oranges. The FAA goes to such effort to determine if something was mechanically wrong with the plane, so sister planes can be modified to eliminate the defect. I doubt Hunter is interested building their boats so they hold together when slammed into the rocks.

Do you have a comprehension problem?

Do you think the FAA "is interested building planes so they hold together when slammed into the ground?".

The CG should make an effort to determine what caused the incident and maybe prevent further deaths in the future. Don't you think that would be a good idea?


Maybe you need to go back to whining in the BG thread.

The FAA flight safety folks look at crash data to determine why the airplane crashes into the ground. If there is unmistakeable info as to why, they don't complete the forensics. In addition to the fact that a close friend is a senior safety inspector for the FAA, I've picked up my fair share of pieces of crumpled aluminum and carbon over the years.

The CG will have determined if there is value in further investigation. Satisfying the morbid curiosity on SA isn't part of their charter.

#2538 I'moutahere

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:49 PM




Why do you think they collect every piece of an aircraft that has crashed & painstakingly reconstruct the remains at great expense?


Um, apples and oranges. The FAA goes to such effort to determine if something was mechanically wrong with the plane, so sister planes can be modified to eliminate the defect. I doubt Hunter is interested building their boats so they hold together when slammed into the rocks.

Do you have a comprehension problem?

Do you think the FAA "is interested building planes so they hold together when slammed into the ground?".

The CG should make an effort to determine what caused the incident and maybe prevent further deaths in the future. Don't you think that would be a good idea?


Maybe you need to go back to whining in the BG thread.

The FAA flight safety folks look at crash data to determine why the airplane crashes into the ground. If there is unmistakeable info as to why, they don't complete the forensics. In addition to the fact that a close friend is a senior safety inspector for the FAA, I've picked up my fair share of pieces of crumpled aluminum and carbon over the years.

The CG will have determined if there is value in further investigation. Satisfying the morbid curiosity on SA isn't part of their charter.


The FAA flight safety folks look at crash data to determine why the airplane crashes into the ground.

Why shouldn't the CG do the same for a boat when 4 people have died?

Or are you just posting to stir shit?

Asymptote post 2516

Far from unexplained: They have the bodies. They have the Spot track. They know where they hit the island. They have the USSailing inquiry. There are no witnesses or survivors or "black boxes. I expect they have done toxicology screens on the crew. The debris will tell them nothing.

What do you possibly think would be learned that would be valuable to the community at large, and at what cost?



#2539 Sailabout

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:39 PM

The MAIB in the UK do pretty much what the FAA does
www.maib.gov.uk
they do a great service to improving safety by finding out what caused the accident

#2540 Sailabout

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:50 PM

which satellites does Spot use to transmit to?
EDIT ok Globalstar

#2541 Moonduster

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:43 AM

Karua,

I agree with you on principal, but let's face it - the US Sailing recommendation and emerging USCG requirements for racing out of San Francsico change the whole ball game. Surely the same throught process that requires someone to sit through hours of "education" in order to race out to the light bucket must ban SPOT as a dangerous distraction for these wreckless and ill-informed sailors, no? It only follows ...

#2542 DA-WOODY

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:57 AM

Cal Worthington called Spot a Dog Posted Image

#2543 karua

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:09 AM

Karua,

I agree with you on principal, but let's face it - the US Sailing recommendation and emerging USCG requirements for racing out of San Francsico change the whole ball game. Surely the same throught process that requires someone to sit through hours of "education" in order to race out to the light bucket must ban SPOT as a dangerous distraction for these wreckless and ill-informed sailors, no? It only follows ...


Sorry, I must have had an irony deficiency this morning..certainly restrictions are getting stronger everywhere. I have just received an Aquatic Licence (approval to run yacht race) from NSW Maritime and Roads. We have to leave at least 1 cable clearance around any island or marked reef, and must report to Port authorities when the first yacht enters their area, and when the last yacht leaves. All two-handed or solo yachts.

Maybe I should just send them the log-in to my Spot account? It should be correct at least every few hours?

#2544 DoRag

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:27 PM


Karua,

I agree with you on principal, but let's face it - the US Sailing recommendation and emerging USCG requirements for racing out of San Francsico change the whole ball game. Surely the same throught process that requires someone to sit through hours of "education" in order to race out to the light bucket must ban SPOT as a dangerous distraction for these wreckless and ill-informed sailors, no? It only follows ...


Sorry, I must have had an irony deficiency this morning..certainly restrictions are getting stronger everywhere. I have just received an Aquatic Licence (approval to run yacht race) from NSW Maritime and Roads. We have to leave at least 1 cable clearance around any island or marked reef, and must report to Port authorities when the first yacht enters their area, and when the last yacht leaves. All two-handed or solo yachts.

Maybe I should just send them the log-in to my Spot account? It should be correct at least every few hours?


Thanks for sharing that. It's always good to get input from foreigners and learn how they do things.

Or not.

WTF?

#2545 DA-WOODY

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 05:47 PM



Karua,

I agree with you on principal, but let's face it - the US Sailing recommendation and emerging USCG requirements for racing out of San Francsico change the whole ball game. Surely the same throught process that requires someone to sit through hours of "education" in order to race out to the light bucket must ban SPOT as a dangerous distraction for these wreckless and ill-informed sailors, no? It only follows ...


Sorry, I must have had an irony deficiency this morning..certainly restrictions are getting stronger everywhere. I have just received an Aquatic Licence (approval to run yacht race) from NSW Maritime and Roads. We have to leave at least 1 cable clearance around any island or marked reef, and must report to Port authorities when the first yacht enters their area, and when the last yacht leaves. All two-handed or solo yachts.

Maybe I should just send them the log-in to my Spot account? It should be correct at least every few hours?


Thanks for sharing that. It's always good to get input from foreigners and learn how they do things.

Or not.

WTF?




#2546 Dude

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:40 PM

6-23-12
Why don't we ask "Virgin Oceanic" to dive the North Coronado Island and look for the Engine and Keel of the "Aegean"?

http://theenterprise...conneciton.html

#2547 Asymptote

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:54 PM

For those who have wondered "How could they just motor into an island"......

http://tv.yahoo.com/...ive-video-.html

Staged, I know. I know.

#2548 us7070

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:42 PM


Sounds to me as if, in the interests of safety, SPOT devices ought to be forbidden by US Sailing on yachts competing in offshore events. Clearly they confuse people into making poor decisions during times of crisis. Agean had an EPRIB - if that had been tossed in the water rather than wasting time farting around with the useless SPOT, perhaps they'd be alive today.

And what's with the Practical Sailor recommendation? Clearly if a GPS-equipped EPRIB is the best solution for an emergency beacon then the best backup is a 2nd GPS-equipped EPRIB. Seriously, the logic in their recommendation defies sanity.

SPOT - A really good solution for finding dead bodies!


I have been using Spot for some five years or more - but would never think of using it as a distress beacon. I use it so my family and friends can see where I am - usually I sail solo and my wife can see I am safely home and get dinner ready. It is supposed to take a position every ten minutes, but from my experience it may take a few in a row every ten minutes and then nothing for an hour or so. Over a 24 hour period it will miss a number of positions. My wife also tells me whilst I am sailing it is often hard to log in as perhaps their server gets too busy, so again another reason not to rely on it.

The thought that anyone needs to "ban" something is just ridiculous. You cannot legislate against ignorance. If Aegean really was using a Spot device as a safety unit then that is sad, but should not deserve any reaction from any authority.



The SPOT device is not well understood by a lot of people.

But first..., it is worth pointing out that there have also been failures of the EPIRB system that have led to fatalities. They have been publicized and you can read about them. I am not referring to technical failures - as in the signal not being received - but failures of the bureaucracy passing along the info and coordinating the rescue.

The SPOT has two modes for summoning assistance - an SOS button, which is what was apparently used in the NE situation, and is supposedly for life and death emergencies, as well as a "Help" button, which is supposedly for less serious situations.

The SOS message goes to the SPOT rescue center which apparently fucked up in this incident.

The "Help" is entirely user-configurable - which is a really great feature.

what can you configure?

you can pre-configure a text message that might say.., for example:

Vessel XXXX, competing in Newport-Ensenada Race
Consider this message a MAYDAY
5 people aboard
Possible Man over board
Possible abandonment of vessel

this message will be sent with the GPS lat lon

the great part is that the message can be sent to whomever you want it sent to...

it can go as an email to multiple email addresses, as well as a text to multiple phone numbers.

these can include a friend whom you really trust to make sure a rescue gets started..., the email and phone of the race organizer, which often monitors their contact info 24hrs a day for distance races

and so on - even the coast guard email can be included - not that they want to receive mayday's that way..., but my point is you can sent it to lots of people.


no this is not a substitute for an EPIRB - but, it does have features that the EPIRB doesn't have, not least of which is the ability to put your mayday in the hands of someone you know and trust, within seconds of your pressing the button.

#2549 Billy O

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:51 PM

[quote name='Dude' timestamp='1340466034' post='3761794']
6-23-12
Why don't we ask "Virgin Oceanic" to dive the North Coronado Island and look for the Engine and Keel of the "Aegean"?[/quote]


or.............



#2550 dash34

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:58 AM

no this is not a substitute for an EPIRB - but, it does have features that the EPIRB doesn't have, not least of which is the ability to put your mayday in the hands of someone you know and trust, within seconds of your pressing the button.


The biggest reason Spot isn't a substitute for an EPIRB is that coverage isn't global - no coverage in mid-Pacific for example.

I don't think "within seconds" is accurate either - there is some delay.

dash

#2551 us7070

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:47 AM



no this is not a substitute for an EPIRB - but, it does have features that the EPIRB doesn't have, not least of which is the ability to put your mayday in the hands of someone you know and trust, within seconds of your pressing the button.


The biggest reason Spot isn't a substitute for an EPIRB is that coverage isn't global - no coverage in mid-Pacific for example.

I don't think "within seconds" is accurate either - there is some delay.

dash


i think i typically get a message in under a minute.

the coverage isn't global, but the service does work better than the globalstar voice telephone service.

the SPOT is a short-burst device, not a phone.

#2552 Christian

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:49 AM



no this is not a substitute for an EPIRB - but, it does have features that the EPIRB doesn't have, not least of which is the ability to put your mayday in the hands of someone you know and trust, within seconds of your pressing the button.


The biggest reason Spot isn't a substitute for an EPIRB is that coverage isn't global - no coverage in mid-Pacific for example.

I don't think "within seconds" is accurate either - there is some delay.

dash


i think i typically get a message in under a minute.

the coverage isn't global, but the service does work better than the globalstar voice telephone service.

the SPOT is a short-burst device, not a phone.


That very much depends on the congestion on the Globalstar network....................it seems like the Spot does not get a very high priority. There can be quite large delays for both messages and tracking. The biggest problem though, is the less than stellar protocol adhesion for the emergency sub-contractor

#2553 DRIFTW00D

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:51 AM




Karua,

I agree with you on principal, but let's face it - the US Sailing recommendation and emerging USCG requirements for racing out of San Francsico change the whole ball game. Surely the same throught process that requires someone to sit through hours of "education" in order to race out to the light bucket must ban SPOT as a dangerous distraction for these wreckless and ill-informed sailors, no? It only follows ...


Sorry, I must have had an irony deficiency this morning..certainly restrictions are getting stronger everywhere. I have just received an Aquatic Licence (approval to run yacht race) from NSW Maritime and Roads. We have to leave at least 1 cable clearance around any island or marked reef, and must report to Port authorities when the first yacht enters their area, and when the last yacht leaves. All two-handed or solo yachts.

Maybe I should just send them the log-in to my Spot account? It should be correct at least every few hours?


Thanks for sharing that. It's always good to get input from foreigners and learn how they do things.

Or not.

WTF?









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