Help Take Search out of Search And Rescue

HELP TAKE THE SEARCH OUT OF SEARCH AND RESCUE!

PUT SAFETY FIRST! 

Use Your VHF Radio

(This information was taken from a document produced under a grant from the Aquatic Resources (Wallop/Breaux) Trust Fund. Administered by the U.S. Coast Guard / National Boating Federation / P.O. Box 4111 Annapolis, MD 21403  Some modifications have been made to meet conditions for Great Salt Lake

 

WHEN YOU'RE IN TROUBLE, CELL PHONES MAY NOT WORK!

The use of a cell phone from a boat has many disadvantages including:

  • Area geography may limit or block a cell phone signal, making the cell phone unusable (cell phone coverage on the Great Salt Lake is very poor and varies upon cell phone companies)
  • Caller's location cannot be determined using radio direction finders
  • 911 calls from maritme locations are frequently misdirected to police or fire departments, which may delay any water rescue response
  • A cellular call cannot be monitored by other boaters
  • It may not be possible for the caller to be contacted by the rescue boat or aircraft.

 

WHEN YOU NEED ASSISTANCE, USE CHANNEL 16

  • Have all persons put on life jackets!
  • Transmit "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY THIS IS (BOAT NAME), (BOAT NAME), (BOAT NAME)"
  • Report your location (Latitude and longitute if known, or "We are 3 miles west of Indian Bay"), or last seen reference point (buoy, landmark, etc).
  • Report the nature of your emergency (boat flooding, on fire, on the rocks, etc).
  • Report the number of people aboard including yourself.

Wait for a response for 10 seconds, and if there is none, repeat the message.

  • Be prepared to give the following information:
  • Describe the boat and its seaworthiness ("Boat is a 30 foot white sailboat with a blue canopy.  Engine has stopped due to flooding and the boat is in danger of sinking").
  • Condition of any injured persons.
  • What assistance is needed ("Need to have children removed from the boat and we need a pump and tow").

 

WHEN A CELL PHONE IS YOUR ONLY MEANS OF MAKING DISTRESS CALLS

Take the following precations before leaving the dock:

  • Make sure the battery is fully charged
  • Keep the cell phone in a waterproof bag that floats
  • Have the U.S. Coast Guard and other appropriate water rescue phone numbers with you (GSL State Marina 801-250-1898 / GSL Harbor Master 801-209-9142 / 911)  Have them highly visible.  It is useful to tape the numbers to the phone
  • When you first place the distress call, immediately give your:
  1. Cell phone number
  2. Vessel name and/or description
  3. Position and/or location
  4. Nature of the emergency
  5. Number of people on board
  6. Repeat the cell phne number before ending the call.
  • Speak slowly so you can be clearly understood

 

VHF CHANNELS & THEIR USES

FOR SAFETY'S SAKE, USE THEM PROPERLY!

Purpose (intended Use) Channel
Distress-Safety-Calling 16
Ship-to-Ship (SAFETY ONLY) 6
Ditigal Selective Calling (DSC) 70
Channels available for Recreational Boats  
Ship-to-Ship or Ship-to-Shore 9,68,69,71,78
Ship-To-Ship Only 72
Boater Calling Channel 9
Mariner Operator N/A
Weather (receive only)  
Salt Lake City, Tooele Valley & Wasatch Front 1
Cache Valley, NE Utah and Bear Lake 2
Wasatch Moutain Valley Area, Park City 3
Extreme SE Idaho and Northern Utah 4
Evanston, Wyoming 5
Salt Lake City, Tooele Valley & Wasatch Front 7
   
   

 

WHEN USING VHF

  • Use the lower power setting (1 watt) except during emergencies.
  • Keep radio traffic to a minimum
  • Do not chatter on 16. After making initial contact, move to a working channel.
  • Great Salt Lake State Marina and Antelope Island State Park monitor VHF channel 16