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That's How You Make a MAYDAY Call

U.S. Coast Coast Guard Sector Columbia River boat crew responds to F/V Coastal Reign distress call.

Click the link above to hear a good example of a well-executed MAYDAY call. According to KOIN 6 News, the F/V Coastal Reign struck a submerged object while transiting the mouth of the Columbia River in the early hours of February 5. The vessel began taking on water, flooding the engine room.

The captain called in a distress and repeated vital information clearly and calmly. He maintained the helm while his crew donned immersion suits. There was an immediate radio response by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. The Coast Guard was professional, fast, calm, and reassuring throughout.

Within 60 seconds the Coastal Reign's captain had:

  • Asked for help;

  • Given his position;

  • Had a 2-way conversation with the Coast Guard;

  • Provided the number of people onboard;

  • Given a description of the vessel;

  • Described the nature of distress;

  • Expressed urgency and asked for dewatering pumps.

Within 80 seconds of the call, the captain had relayed all initial vital information and the Coast Guard was asking Good Samaritan vessels to lookout and assist.

It’s notable that the captain knew to repeat critical information like MAYDAY, the vessel name, and latitude & longitude. The Coast Guard was able to receive his information the first time and was ready to take action without asking him to repeat information. It’s also notable that the captain knew to ask for a dewatering pump. Coast Guard boat crews rescued the three fishermen by assisting them in dewatering their vessel and towing them to safety.

Well done, captain and a hearty thanks to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River for their readiness, skills, and bravery!

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