Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Man lost at sea near Hawaii found, after a week he got a radio working to mayday  (Read 1407 times)
WA2ISE
Member

Posts: 181




Ignore
« on: December 10, 2014, 08:41:12 PM »

Saw a brief report on the TV news about someone whose' boat capsized and the ship radio got wet or some such, rendering it unusable to call mayday for help.  After a week or so surviving on fish, report says he cobbled together a radio transmitter from a coathanger and wire and called a weak mayday signal that the coast guard? did hear.  The report played part of that transmission, a voice transmission. 

What probably happened was the guy drying out the ship radio, and using the coathanger as an antenna. 

No mention of the guy being a ham, don't know if he is one or not.  Looked up the name at QRZ.com but the only match was someone in CT, but the news story said the guy was a fisherman in Hawaii.

This web story, about the same event, makes no mention about the cobbling together a radio:
http://my.earthlink.net/article/us?guid=20141210/012369ff-9335-40c3-82c5-8f919ac62a5f
Logged
K1ZJH
Member

Posts: 1185




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2014, 07:16:53 AM »

Hard to believe it capsized, since it looked fine in the photos after the rescue.  It sounds like a large wave flooded the boat. You may be right in that the marine antenna was damaged, or the radio got wet.

He did generate an SOS initially, so the radio had to be working at some point immediately after the wave hit the boat. They called of the rescue operation at one point, and only resumed it when he managed to get out another mayday call. I'd guess he used the marine emergency VHF channel, since it was picked up by a Navy ship.

Pete
Logged
W0BTU
Member

Posts: 1852


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2014, 07:42:11 AM »

The way it was said on NBC Nightly News last night was to the effect that he 'made a radio out of a coathanger and wire'.
You and I know that cannot be the case, especially since they played his voice mayday call.
Maybe NBC needs to promote whoever wrote that nonsense to janitor. :-)
Logged

K1DA
Member

Posts: 539




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2014, 05:41:55 PM »

Most "journalists" are legends in their own minds.
Logged
W6EM
Member

Posts: 900




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2014, 05:57:45 PM »

By no means is this anything more than speculation.  Also rpoerted, the sailboat lost (both?) masts.  However, it looked too small to be a ketch or yawl (two-masted sailboats).  Most sailboats use the top of the mast for a wind vane and sometimes a mount for a VHF antenna.  If the mast snapped, short translation: no antenna left.

Coat hanger was probably stuck in the so-239 on the back of the radio.  Maybe it took him a week to figure out that he could unscrew the PL-259 and insert coat hanger.

I doubt the radio drowned in salt water.  If it had, likely it would not have worked, even if it dried out due to salt brides.  Then again, maybe the boat capsized.  Somehow, I think it was just the loss of mast(s).

Marine radios mostly autotune to channel 16.  That channel is monitored 24-7 by the coast guard, and probably recorded.  That would explain the media recording of his mayday call.





Logged
KC2QYM
Member

Posts: 135




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 08:54:53 AM »

I bet you he had a handheld and was already in range of rescue ships to put out a call.  No self respecting captain sailing in open ocean would just equip his boat with one main radio and not have a backup.  Don't expect the media to have their details correct with these types of stories.  They are getting it second hand from reluctant Coast Guard officials anyway.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!