Proceedings Of The Marine

FALL 2011

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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There are two positions critical to this SAR organiza- tion: :4* The SAR mission coordinator (SMC) is the per- son at the rescue coordination center who is LQ FKDUJH RI SODQQLQJ DQG GLUHFWLQJ D VSHFLÀF operation. For maritime incidents in the U.S., Coast Guard personnel serve as SMCs. 6:* The on-scene coordinator (OSC) is the person or unit designated by the SAR mission coordinator to coordinate operations on scene and imple- ment the mission coordinator's SAR plans. The Role of the Good Samaritan For centuries, maritime tradition—the old "law of the sea"—compelled mariners to help fellow sailors in trouble. This tradition is still very much alive. Addi- tionally, federal statute also requires a master to ren- der assistance if the master can do so without serious damage to the vessel or individuals aboard. The standard of care for a Good Samaritan vessel is to exercise reasonable care to avoid negligent conduct that worsens the position of the victims and also to avoid reckless and wanton conduct in performing the rescue actions. Good Samaritans are vessels Important Recommendations People come first, boats and equipment later. Those in the water without personal flotation devices are a top priority. Only the on-scene coordinator should attempt to contact the distressed vessel. The master has an emergency on board, and therefore does not have time to respond to multiple requests information. for similar Check and double-check the number of people recovered on each rescue vessel. Do not attempt a rescue that exceeds the limits of your capabilities, your training, or your vessel. Do not place your vessel, crew, or passengers in serious danger. Have a plan prior to action. Communicate the plan as well as your expectations to your crew and, if possible, to the distressed vessel. Keep the Coast Guard informed of your actions. Know how you will recover survivors onto your vessel. This is especially important for high-sided vessels. Ensure all crewmembers are wearing safety gear required for the rescue. 52 Proceedings that render voluntary aid with- out compensation to a person or vessel in distress. *RRG 6DPDULWDQV DUH RIWHQ WKH ÀUVW YHVVHOV WR DUULYH RQ WKH VFHQH RI D FDVXDOW\ ,I \RX ÀQG \RXUVHOI LQ WKLV position, alert the Coast Guard that you are prepared to assist. Depending on what other assets are respond- ing and their arrival time, the SAR mission coordina- tor may designate you as the on-scene coordinator. You can expect to retain this role until a Coast Guard cutter or other more capable vessel can relieve you. The SMC will broadcast this information and direct all assisting vessels to report to you upon arrival and departure. Functional OSC actions that you should be prepared to assume normally include: ✓ Conducting tasks assigned by the SAR mission coordinator. ✓ Directing immediate rescue operations. ✓ Providing direction and tasking to arriving res- cue vessels. ✓ Serving as the sole communicator to the dis- tressed vessel. ✓ Providing the SMC with information such as: Weather, wind, and sea state and their effect on the situation. Drift rate of vessel and potential to drift aground. Vessel description: draft readings, visual GDPDJH OLVW ÀUH RU VPRNH REVHUYDWLRQV ORFD- tion of passengers or crew, what passengers or crew are wearing, number and condition of people recovered. Fall 2011 www.uscg.mil/proceedings

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