GBA - Summer 2019

2 ≥ GBA UPDATE Summer 2019 Continued from page 1 On Georgian Bay, the Coast Guard might respond to the following types of incidents: ≥ Vessel on fire (the Coast Guard does not fight the fire but they will assist with rescue) ≥ Vessel aground ≥ Vessel disabled or broken down ≥ Vessel taking on water ≥ Vessel capsized ≥ Vessel lost in fog ≥ Person overboard ≥ Missing persons ≥ Medical emergencies ≥ Assistance to other agencies The Coast Guard will not: ≥ Fight fires ≥ Conduct law enforcement ≥ Compete with salvage (they won’t tow when a commercial or private entity is responding) ≥ Charge you for vessel towing Community Outreach The Canadian Coast Guard recognizes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and as such are happy to offer community outreach services. Where time allows, the Coast Guard often gives boating safety presentations at annual general meetings (AGMs) and performs Pleasure Craft Courtesy Checks (PCCCs) at the same time. These checks involve reviewing all the equipment you have on board to make sure all safety requirements are being met. And because they don’t do enforcement, you won’t get a ticket – just a friendly reminder of what you need to be all shipshape. To explore these options contact: XCA- SARSarnia@DFO-MPO.GC.CA Continues on page 4 You’re in trouble so what do you do? There are three ways to reach the Coast Guard via the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Trenton: ≥ CALL 1-800-267-7270. Have it programmed into your phone! ≥ Use channel 16 on VHF Marine radio. ≥ You may be able to use *16 on your cell. Note that not all cell carriers enable this number, so it is less reliable. Reminder: You need a licence to operate a marine VHF radio. It is called a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator’s Certificate (ROC-M). You need to take a course - Sail Canada and the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons offer such courses. What happens next? Your call goes to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC). When talking with the JRCC tell them the nature of the distress, the number of souls on board, your position (they prefer GPS coordinates) and give a description of your vessel. The JRCC will determine the appropriate response and dispatch the required resources. They will coordinate with 911 services and other federal agencies too (i.e. MNRF, RCMP, and Parks Canada). Note that emergencies are categorized and ranked by risk to life and severity. Disabled vessels          So, you’ve run out of gas or hit a rock. Everybody is fine and you’re anchored and not at risk but you’re going nowhere. The best solution is to contact family, a friend, your marina, or a commercial towing company to come get you. But if you can’t do that, do not hesitate to contact the Coast Guard, using the contact information listed above. They will, most likely, issue a Maritime Assistance Request Broadcast (MARB). This request is broadcast to surrounding vessels, including commercial salvage/tow providers. They will then wait for fifteen minutes to see if there is a response. If there is an affirmative response, they will continue to monitor your situation to ensure you are picked up. If no one responds, they will likely dispatch a Coast Guard vessel. But note that the Coast Guard will not necessarily assist disabled vessels merely on request and will not compete with commercial or private interests. The response from the Coast Guard will depend on risk factors and the availability of vessels. Generally these sorts of calls are deemed lower priority, so you could be waiting for hours. If a higher priority call comes in while the Coast Guard are towing you, they may need to leave you at a safe harbour in order to respond. They might return to get you, or they might arrange for other assistance, depending on the situation. You can find the full policy here: