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  emergency calls (diva27)
Posted: 9:01:40 pm on 9/28/2012 Modified: Never
I may be stating the obvious for some people here, but I had a medical emergency on Diva in August. My father (about to turn 82) suddenly didn't feel so hot and collapsed in my cockpit on an afternoon sail out of Midland on southern Georgian Bay. We were a couple hundred yards off Port McNicoll at the time. (He wanted to see the vintage ship SS Keewatin.) I have a digital VHF wired to my gps plotter which will give lat/lon with an emergency call. All very nice to have, but instead I just hit 911 on my iPhone4 and summoned the ambulance. The dispatcher told me she could see exactly where I was on her electronic map as I motored for a dock in a private development.
Dad is okay—he's still got more tests on his ticker—but I learned a couple things. One is that if you have a RAM mike at the helm and don't bother to connect it before leaving the dock, it's not very useful for making an emergency call, and leaving the helm to rummage around inside the cabin to grab the mike on the VHF when you have a passenger in distress wouldn't be ideal. The second of course is that if I have cellphone coverage, I'm just reaching for the 3G phone and summoning help that way.Doug Hunter
C&C 27 Mk1
Midland Bay Sailing Club
  Re: emergency calls (Anna69)
Posted: 9:39:21 pm on 10/1/2012 Modified: Never
Hi Doug,

Glad to hear your dad is doing well.  I am a proud owner of a CC27 mark III and the Officer in Charge of a Coast Guard communication centre in Comox BC. My recommendation to mariners is to always have a VHF to call for help; when you call the coast guard for help you are also broadcasting the same information to other mariners in the area who may also be in a position to assist The cell phone is a good backup but never a replacement for a VHF.

  Re: emergency calls (diva27)
Posted: 8:47:34 pm on 10/2/2012 Modified: Never
Hi Russ: small world. My sister lives in Comox and has a medical practice in Courtney.
If I did everything all over again, I would still reach for the cellphone first in that situation. We were close to a dock, had no need of assistance from another vessel, and only wanted to get an ambulance to meet us there ASAP. (I also needed to be in constant contact by cell with the dispatcher because we had to figure out how to guide the ambulance into a gated residential development whose roads weren't on the map. After docking I had to dash into the neighborhood, described the road via cellphone and watch for and confirm the ambulance had found me.) As it happened, our other option for the sail that day was to hang a left and go towards Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Had we made that choice and my dad then got into trouble, I would have reached for the VHF. There's a Coast Guard IRB station at Brebeuf Island and I would have needed assistance from them or someone with a powerboat to speed him to shore.
Doug Hunter
C&C 27 Mk1
Midland Bay Sailing Club