here are some facts, it seems as if every 21 days or so there seems to be a emergency (perceived/real) aboard some vessel at sea, or anchored in some remote spot... this is easily documentable. Fact, there are many nets world wide that handle these situations
Italian MM net, South African MM net, US MMSN (of which i have the priviege of being a net control station) just to name a few. This particular incident started days prior to the field day. and I was one of the many unnamed, unheralded, stations that took traffic.. so be it. on this particular time and day of the field day i was in contact with the French Naval Vessel and with a station in the cook islands (THIS IS A LONG WAY FROM NORTH CAROLINA SEACOST WHERE I LIVE) running 100 watts from a backstay antenna
(for the sake of accuracy just a vertical or end fed wire).... I have a pretty good antenna and a better location, i have the entire atlantic for a ground plane and my tower (80', mosley TA 34 XL-WARC, ICOM 706 MKII G, HENRY 3KA) and staion setup seems to work quite well, both fwd 18db gain, and has a good pair of ears also, Not only can i reach out and touch, but hear pretty good.... anyway, i was working both the French (bad broken english, i do not speak French) and a relay station that could speak French... I picked up the last four hours of this evolution from the FNV being 4 hours away and wanting a update from the stricken vessel lat/lon (why they did not could not contact direct i do not know) to the FNV being 2 hours away, to the fact that the two stricken people were picked up and now aboard the FNV...and the vessel (sailboat) being abandoned to its fate... this last evolution was during field day...
and being a former military communicator i could pick thru the interference from "CQ FIELD DAY" dead ass on 14300...
FIELD DAY OF 2004, a lot different from FIELD DAY 1984, 1974,,,,,,,,,,,,,, in the past it was a test to see if hams could communicate during a 24 hr period to be able to do so in a emergency,,,,,, but with todays radios all that is needed is 12VDC and no generators,,,, chunk of wire and a auto tuner... 706 or ts-50 and your all set,,,,
There needs to be education on this and there needs to be some compromise on this.. should be room for both............below is another example of the type of situations that happen on the MMSN
After action report,
re mayday call from vessel Endless Journey.
26 Sep 2003
from net log of WB6LNH
MARITIME MOBILE SERVICE NET
At approximately 1920 est I heard a mayday after a triple break on freq 14300 uab.
A crewwoman from the vessel “Endless Journey” was reporting that they were taking on water at a high rate. She reported her position as 15degrees 19 minutes North and
082 degrees 28minutes West.
The vessel was a CT 54, white hull color with 3 POB. Unknown documentation number.
The vessel was equipped with a life raft and a 406 epirb.
Larry Gordon captain
Tammy Tonti-Crissmore crew
Chris Malescha crew
At 1930 I called USCG district 7hq in Miami Fl and contacted a PO Sean Ponegt at this time I advised the PO who I was, and what the call was about re: vessel in distress off Honduras.
I initiated a phone patch from USCG to stricken vessel. USCG advised them to put on pfd.
Tammy who was acting as the stricken vessels radio operator advised that they had deployed their life raft, and were preparing to ditch the stricken vessel. The PO at Miami advised me that they were in contact with the USCG cutter Harriet Lane (270 ft)
And that the cutter was approximately 60 miles away and was being diverted. Air assets would also be deployed. I decided then to maintain the phone patch until rescued or vessel lost.
At about 1945 the captain Larry Gordon came on freq and advised me that the crew had abandoned ship and were in the life raft. That he was unable to gain on the water and that the water was soon to cover the engine. He had deployed two 3700 gph pumps and was not gaining on the water.
At about 1952 captain Larry Gordon came on freq and advised that the water was now over the engine, and he could not find the source.
I advised him to leave the vessel, that there was nothing more to do, and there comes a time when you have passed the time of “no return”, He agreed.
At 1952 the crew of Endless Journey abandoned ship.
I advised the USCG of this fact
Terminated the phone patch and returned to normal net operations.
Ira R (Rick) Jones/WB6LNH
26 SEP 2003
27 Sep 2003
I contacted USCG district 7 hq via land line and got the following report.
“the crew of the vessel Endless Journey were picked up off their life raft at about
0300 est, all three are safe”