Monday, June 5, 2017

Maritime Mobile Service Net Helps Coordinate Rescue

A series of radio relays helped bring aid to a sport fishing vessel that was taking on water in Mexico's Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). 

The ARRL Letter reports that the captain of the sailing ship Ubiquity - Brian Stipak, KF7QCX - monitored a VHF marine distress call from the fishing vessel Free Spirit, saying the boat was taking on water, that its source could not be located and that the four people on board were abandoning ship. When Stipak couldn't raise authorities on the VHF marine channels, he tuned to the Maritime Mobile Service Net on 14.300 MHz. He was able to relay the ship's information and last known position to the net control station, who in turn notified the U.S. Coast Guard in San Diego, which notified the Mexican Navy. 

Ultimately, Stipak learned that the Free Sprit's crew had found and stopped the leak but still needed assistance. The boat was towed to shore and all aboard were safe.