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The Norfolk Broads Forum / General Chat / Breakdown versus emergency
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Breakdown versus emergency

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ruby
Jun-18-2022 @ 3:26 PM                           Permalink
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Having regularly read the call out thread posted by steve I have become a bit confused as to what the various emergency services regard as an emergency.

If my car breaks down,  runs out of fuel or gets stuck in some mud or sand I am pretty certain I am responsible for sorting it out and would get short shrift from the police, fire or highways agency if I asked for a free tow.

On the face of it on the Broads the rescue services (mainly volunteers) seem to be ready to help out anyone at the drop of a hat. Quite often Steve's report seems to mention various organisations who have arrived to help at the same incident. Very laudable but I am not sure it encourages people to take personal responsibility for their actions.

For example there seems little point in taking out breakdown recovery if you can get towed back to your own mooring by the rescue services.

Also why bother about keeping to the channel on Breydon if you know someone will come along in an hour or two and return you to shore. Maybe a couple of uncomfortable nights on the mud would help concentrate the mind.

Being deliberately provocative are not these free services taking legitimate business away from the small number of companies operating a paid rescue and towing service.



Graham





This message was edited by ruby on Jun-18-22 @ 3:47 PM

billmaxted
Jun-18-2022 @ 4:35 PM                           Permalink
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Well said Graham, you echo a thought I have had for some time.  Further I am concerned that newbies to the Broads today do take safety issues far too lightly and assume that they don’t have to worry too much because if they get into any sort of difficulty someone else is bound to step in and help them out.  The Broads are not some sort of grand municipal boating lake where you might get your feet wet but otherwise not come to any harm and in my view it’s important that no commercial interest should suggest that it is.  Could it be that it the past when there were a lot more hire yards and daftness resulted in businesses having to use their own resources to remedy matters and emergency services were more circumspect about call outs, boaters exercised more care. Or, has the pursuit of luxury really made designs intrinsically less safe.  Yes, back in the ‘60’s boats got stuck on Breydon,  but,  one did not have lifeboats and even helicopters dashing about.  You just waited for the tide or for a local boatyard to offer help, may be at a cost.  If a lower freeboard boat really does pose a much increased risk maybe they should be removed forthwith.

Does publicity on a forum like this help or just renforce the view that you don't have to think.

Bill...(The Ancient Mardler)

Richard
Jun-18-2022 @ 6:14 PM                           Permalink
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I don't often post these days, but I must do a follow up to the previous comments from very respected members.

I'm a bit of a newbie to the Broads, only having started sailing in the mid 70's. If you went aground, you either got in the water and pushed off, or waited for the tide.

If the boat broke, you walk a few miles to find a pub or phonebox to call the yard, and tie up to a tree when it gets to dark to navigate.

My business partner has just stepped down after 10 years on the lowestoft lifeboat, and been in many life saving, and LIFE RISKING situations, not only to himeself but all the other unpaid volenteers.

Many thanks to Steve, for posting the call out reports, it really goes to show that when their is a REAL emergancy how fantastic our paid, and unpaid rescue services are.

It also shows that some people should never leave their house in case they break a nail.

Late 70's, I jumped off a boat to moor up, twisted my ankle in a coypu hole. I blamed the coypu, then someone explained, always step off a boat. Lesson learned.

Although to this day I still belive said rodent is in a glass case in the Bell, St. Olaves.

While the BA is trying hard to promote safety, there's an old phrase that I use with new staff.

YOU CAN'T TEACH STUPID.

Many thanks to the rescue services, please don't waste their resources, they could be used by someone who really needs help.

Paladine
Jun-18-2022 @ 7:21 PM                           Permalink
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Unfortunately, the BNA give out mixed messages. On the one hand, having been given a bit of a kick by the MAIB, they are 'promoting' safety, while, on the other hand, giving out this sort of message: "The safe and easily navigable stretches of serene waters in the Broads will take you on a fascinating trail of discovery."

The latter comment may well apply to the upper reaches of the Ant and Waveney, but elsewhere the waters are anything but serene.

I have tried to find some sort of guidance as to when one should dial 999 in an emergency - I suppose the best I have found is, typically,:

"An emergency can be:

A person in need of immediate medical assistance;
Suspicion that a crime is in progress, or that an offender is in the area;
Structure on fire;
Another serious incident which needs immediate emergency service attendance."


Running aground on Breydon Water, or practically anywhere else on the Broads, hardly meets any of those criteria.

In some areas of the country, the Fire & Rescue Service will charge for call-outs where people call 999 and ask them to attend incidents when there is clearly no emergency, risk of danger, or threat to life.

999 calls for an ambulance are triaged and categorised from 1 (life-threatening illnesses or injuries) to 4 (less urgent calls).

I would have thought that the emergency services that attend groundings on Breydon Water have gained enough experience to be able to triage the call in a similar fashion. If it is a straightforward running-on-to-the-putty, the owner (if a hire boat) or local recovery service should be notified. Only if there is an injured person aboard or other risk to health should the emergency services be deployed. If the call handlers for the Police, NHS and Fire Service are competent to make these judgement calls, why isn't the Coastguard?

Or is there a macho, gung-ho, let's-get-those-horses-galloping ethos at play? Before I get slated for suggesting such heresy, I have witnessed this at first hand with some blue-light drivers, who love nothing better than to get the tyres screeching, so I know it can, and does, exist.

As to the question, "Does publicity on a forum like this help or just reinforce the view that you don't have to think", I don't think it does any good to publicise these incidents.  All it does it gives an opportunity to ridicule those unfortunate enough to be the subject of the publicity and, yes, it does reinforce the view that the emergency services are simply a recovery service. Perhaps the only incidents which should be reported on here are those involving a real emergency - injury or genuine concern for welfare.



Been hit by another boat? Report the incident to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s dedicated accident reporting line on 023 8023 2527 which is monitored 24 hours a day.  Help to make the Broads safer.

Paladine
Jun-18-2022 @ 7:52 PM                           Permalink
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Here are two very recent incidents, which rather make the points that have been made so far. My comments are based on the information provided in the posts:

Incident 1

Hemsby Broads Rescue was paged again last night at 22:25 to reports of concerns for the welfare of the occupant of a leisure craft that was seen to be moving erratically in the area of Mill Farm Moorings; the informant then witnessed the vessel head into the reeds and stop. With no visible signs of life, the informant was rightly concerned about the welfare of the occupants and raised the alarm.

...A male occupant was found asleep in bed. It was ascertained that he was fit and well and had decided to moor in the reeds on the river's bend rather than pay the £8 mooring fee required to moor in a designated area.


I would sign this one off as 'false call with good intent'. It may well have been that the tight-fisted helm had, in fact, suffered a medical emergency (heart attack/stroke?), had veered into the reed and was unable to call for help. Neither the witness, nor the caller handler, was in any position to question this.

Incident 2

Hemsby Broads Rescue was pager just after 1800 this evening by Humber Coastguard to assist a broken-down vessel with two persons on board on Catfield Dyke off Hickling Broad. Also called to assist was Bacton Coastguard Team.

On locating the leisure craft, Hemsby Broads Rescue put two crew members on board and took the vessel under tow to its original mooring on the Dyke. The Bacton team assisted with the mooring and secured the vessel. Hemsby Broads Rescue was then released to return to base to prepare for the next call for assistance.


This is a clear case of no emergency, total misuse of the emergency service, and the boat owner should be thoroughly ashamed of him/herself.



Been hit by another boat? Report the incident to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s dedicated accident reporting line on 023 8023 2527 which is monitored 24 hours a day.  Help to make the Broads safer.

spiderman
Jun-19-2022 @ 7:51 AM                           Permalink
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On Easter Sunday we "suffered engine failure " upstream of Ludham Bridge and "drifted into the reeds". With a pup on board it was rather tricky to get her ashore for a comfort break with myself at full reach on the slippy bank and my wife at full reach on the boat. I "tasked" a friend for spares and repairs but we could not be reached due to the location and the drainage dykes that run parallel to the river. He had to be "stood down and returned to base"
I have a heart condition and this was definitely stressing me out,so rather than waiting till morning and calling LBBY for assistance and funding my own rescue should I have "escalated " the situation to an emergency call?
Hearing of these call outs next time I just might.










JollyRodger
Jun-19-2022 @ 11:39 AM                           Permalink
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I have no experience of 'Hemsby' other than their very fine fried herring stall at the Gt Yarmouth Maritime Festival but I have had dealings with the RNLI lifeboat at Oulton Broad. On one occasion I was holding the tide at Somerleyton railway bridge, a situation that I was quite content with. An individual came by on a small, private motor cruiser. He suggested that he could call out the Oulton Broad lifeboat. I said 'no', the tide would turn in my favour, I was happy to wait. He went on to explain that the lifeboat station could only exist if there were call-outs. Nevertheless, I had no wish to be seen as a casualty so I declined. The RNLI eventually closed down that station. There might be a moral in that story.

That any lifeboat should become a service similar to the AA or RAC is surely to be resisted. That said perhaps there are rescue services that like to be seen that way.

All things considered, In my humble opinion, there are boat owners who have absolutely no pride. Being able to extricate oneself from a predicament is for many folk a part of the hobby.

Jolly Roger

This message was edited by JollyRodger on Jun-19-22 @ 11:40 AM

TerryTibbs
Jun-20-2022 @ 10:23 AM                           Permalink
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Is there not a case for the emergency services to be using these incidents for practice or training? Cost cutting has reduced the training of professionals to the point of it being almost non existent.

Dave  

if it is to be it is up to me.

Cocklegat
Jun-20-2022 @ 12:09 PM                           Permalink
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I think we have visited this subject before. The BA is not an emergency service so has to pass on information to the Coast Guard who then make the decisions. Clearly we have seen recent occasions where the call to raise the lifeboat, air-sea rescue ect. was correct and also where it was not. It used to be that Yarmouth Coast guard, based in Haven Bridge house, now of course Humber coastguard looks after the region from their office in Bridlington
How very different from the 1960's 70's and 80's where people took much more responsibility for themselves.
One of the joys of boating for me and many others is in learning how to safely enjoy a boat. A process which takes more than a lifetime and teaches us respect for the environment and how to be self reliant. To do that you have to make mistakes and being stuck on the mud at night at an unpleasant angle waiting for the tide is a good way to start.

Paladine
Jun-20-2022 @ 1:29 PM                           Permalink
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"Is there not a case for the emergency services to be using these incidents for practice or training?"

I have no doubt that each event is (or should be) followed by a debrief, to establish what, if any, lessons could be learned by the emergency crews. But I don't see any case for the incidents to be used for either practice or training, in lieu of designated training sessions. If I find myself in a situation in which I need the assistance of an emergency crew, I expect the attendees to have the necessary skills to perform their duties efficiently, not a crew that is still learning how to tie ropes, or bandages.

Been hit by another boat? Report the incident to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s dedicated accident reporting line on 023 8023 2527 which is monitored 24 hours a day.  Help to make the Broads safer.

This message was edited by Paladine on Jun-20-22 @ 1:31 PM

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