CHECK YOUR MEDICATIONS

BECAUSE WE CARE

WHAT MEDICATIONS WILL PREVENT FIELD TRAINING PARTICIPATION?

While most medications don't affect driving ability, some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause reactions that may make it unsafe to drive. This includes operating a Rescue Water Craft (RWC).

These reactions may include:
• Sleepiness/drowsiness
• Blurred vision
• Dizziness
• Slowed movement
• Fainting
• Inability to focus or pay attention
• Nausea
• Excitability

Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist what medications could prevent your participation during training days.
Driving or operating a RWC while on medications can also be a legal issue. State laws differ, but being found driving under the influence of certain medications (prescription and OTC products) could get you in the same kind of trouble as people caught driving under the influence of alcohol.

Products That Require Caution

Knowing how your medications—or any combination of them—affect your ability to drive is clearly a safety measure involving you, your passengers, and others on the road.

Products that could make it dangerous to drive include

• Prescription drugs for anxiety
• Some antidepressants
• Products containing codeine
• Some cold remedies and allergy products
• Tranquilizers
• Sleeping pills
• Pain relievers
• Diet pills, "stay awake" drugs, and other medications with stimulants (e.g. caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine)

Responsibility

Products that contain stimulants may cause excitability or drowsiness. Also, never combine medication and alcohol while driving.
Medical marijuana and cigarette smoking are prohibited during training hours.

We may working with flammable or combustible materials nearby and smoking is therefore not allowed. Please limit alcohol content after hours.

There will be no buzzed or drunk driving during the course training dates. This is to ensure not only your safety and reputation but that of the program and other students as well as the host agency.

Operations should be similar to your general work duties and requirements. Reading the warning labels and paying attention to your body's response to medications will help you greatly. Training is a demanding requirement for professional development. There are a lot of external stressors that take place as well as mental focus required.

The more we know, the better we can go after our goals.

Thank you for your participation and understanding.

Reference
https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm107894.htm

_____________________

Posted: 10.27.2018

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
Join the Rescue Water Craft Association

Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.

DEAD ZONE

Rescue Water Craft Dead Zone

The 'Dead Zone' is an area astern of the third seated position of the Rescue Water Craft (RWC). It incorporates the stern eye area, stern deck and the re-boarding handle and is referred to when using a TAD.

This area is one to observe for safety due to the range of motion between the Rescue Water Craft and the Towable Aquaplane Device (TAD-Rescue Board). This area is a location that we are aware of regarding a variety of movements and therefore have termed it the 'dead zone', meaning this is an area we try not to make physical contact with our hands and are mindful of body placement. It is a 'no go' area.

We utilize a developmental attitude of behavior regarding body placement on a TAD and try our best to minimize contact areas and hazards with a concerted awareness of possible strike zones, both from using a TAD and on board the RWC.

Be aware that not all operational situations will be possible to maintain efficiency in body placement or range of motion. These are best determined by the Coxswain training level, instructional content and familiarity with weather, vessel, TAD and not limited to being able to define the forces of action and range of motion and the objectives of training.

This requires of Coxswains and Crew members to have professional understanding and behavioral training regarding this risk area.

Items to consider during training with a TAD:

1. Type of RWC and TAD
2. Conditions of water and weather
3. Communications between Coxswain/Crew and training goals
4. Review, correction and counseling of supervisor and/or Coxswain/crew operations
5. Speed of the craft and turning radius applied with associated weight distribution on the TAD
6. TAD connectivity

It is impossible to cover everything we would normally prescribe in our training program for student candidates. We can give you some ideas to ponder and size up against common sense and water safety. Let's dig in!

Rescue Boards rest on the top transom stern deck and centerline connection point from the bow of the Towable Aquaplane
Device (TAD-Rescue Board) is typically affixed to the RWC stern eye.

We do not add any additional hardware to the upper RWC deck due to vessel and passenger safety. We would not advise
agencies or personnel to drill holes through the RWC hull and add additional bow eyes to the top deck. Especially if
working in flood environments or drawing bodies over these areas.

These could become strike points, facial contact, create entanglement or entrapment, wrap long hair (scalping) or garments and cause breaks/fractures/amputations of fingers if rings are worn.

Port and Starboard side rescue board tether points generally are affixed to the trailer tie down eye points underneath the RWC top deck bond line. The trailer tie down eyes are actually a very strong tow point, but rarely is there direct load on these two points. Generally there is a giveway or slack and shock effect depending upon the style of board, the interface of connectivity and the amount of weight pushing downward with gravitational force.

Rescue boards are not floating per se, they are dragging, pivoting, rising and lowering. They are a towable aquaplane device that rests semi forward on the stern deck of a Rescue Water Craft.

There is a pitch upward and downward at the fulcrum point of interface between the rescue board bottom deck. There is also interface of the bow tether point that can crease the topside of the rescue board if too much force is applied or if pinned against a fixed object or rolled such as in waves. Always touch check and visibly inspect your rescue board and retire when needed.

When in a training environment we coach our students as role players to understand the risks to bodily injury using a TAD such as placing their head when lying in a prone face down position to port or starboard astern of the craft and to monitor survivors body positioning or changing positions while underway.

When underway in the same fashion changes of body position will occur with the interface between water movement and Coxswain helms control and trim. There is not a lot of deck space however we have studied the most practical methods by observing RWC, board, water and human movements and have determined that the 'dead zone' is a clear reminder for personal safety.

It's easy to say and clear to remember. This is a non-operative area. No hands should be in this area between the board and the boat, these are pinch points due to the lifting up and downward motions between the two leverage points.

This takes some time for students to incorporate into their training skillsets, this does not happen as a behavior during their first rotation. It takes many reminders and self assessment to correct and enable the safety behaviors. These corrections can be mere inches and change while underway due to vessel movement or body positioning.

It is important to consider anchor points, handheld points, foot wedges (not entrapment) and the pivot or sway of the rescue board. This does not mean they are gaining any visual capabilities. This is a measure to protect the head from either lifting and rising, or dropping and striking the ‘Dead Zone’ area in case of mishap.

There are a lot of contributing factors. Video review of incorrect and correct methods may assist you in understanding the risks and determining what would be the best course of action with the make and model of RWC and board. This is a difficult discussion to harness without proper coaching, so do not use all of this as a set in stone way of operating. There are many contributing actions that apply, such as operator and crew knowledge, Rescue Board inspection, RWC inspection and a firm understanding of the waterway you will be training and working under. And then, add pressure of a real life situation.

This is also a safety consideration during transport of survivors. Another rule we would like you to consider along with the 'dead zone' is a safe speed transport set at about 25 miles per hour. There are many technical needs, so don't fixate on just one, we teach hundreds of variations that enable the operators to select their underway options.

Don't forget that wise saying 'where the head goes the body follows'.

Use Common Sense, Evaluate, Study, Learn and Correct

REVIEW YOUR PROGRAM USE

Let's recap:

1. Do not add hardware to the RWC top deck where bodies come in contact
2. Observe the Dead Zone area astern and be mindful of points of contact
3. Safe Speeds Underway (25 mph rule), crew communicates with Coxswain is speed is determined unsafe
4. Coxswains maintain a level, steady and stable RWC at all times, Crew maintains the efficiency use of survivor loading and
underway security and secures the final stop measures
5. Observe counterbalance measures between the RWC and TAD and Persons on Board (POB).

We spend a lot of focus time to work with rescue boards to gain understanding in simple physics, vessel/board type, water dynamics and operator technical abilities. We want our Coxswains and Crew to be 100% responsible for their underway actions. We believe this is possible with a strong mindset, knowledge base and policies that work for success of the mission.

The Dead Zone is a reminder that this area is not a safe zone for us, to respect our board and rescue board use, and we must be mindful of potential impact or strike zones when operating in dynamic conditions other than calm water.

Speed is a critical component of professional marine units, safe operations mean Safe Coxswains and Crew who maintain a safe and successful program!

There are typically three ways of operations for crew to consider and train under until familiarization occurs:

1. Laying prone face down on a TAD
2. Layering weight and body positions on a TAD (multiple persons on board)
3. Kneeling-bracing position on TAD as Crew
4. Sitting position on RWC stern seat

Please consider taking a class and find out what you do not know!

It's far less expensive than the long rough road of mishap review and repair.

We hope to see you in a class!

Posted: 10.27.2018

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
Join the Rescue Water Craft Association

Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.

IDENTIFY YOUR WEAK OPERATORS

BECOME THE STRENGTH

Identify Your Weak Operators. Identify your role as team leader or administrator.

Strength and Weakness are reciprocal. Insert either word and we still discover the same framework of concern.

How much foundational knowledge do you possess to manage a Marine Unit?

What is an Marine Unit Administrator? What is a Coxswain? They are the Operator. They are the Captain. They are in charge of the Crew. They are in charge of the ship (Rescue Water Craft). It is important to identify your weak Coswains for a variety of reasons:

1. Reduction of liability through competence
2. Teaming (building a cohesive unit)
3. Safety at Sea
4. Operational Integrity
5. Mentoring
6. Operational Acumen

It is the precision of opposites we identify. We can easily state this is the same 6 criterion needs for a strong operator or crew!

LACK OF EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT

When you can identify the weakness in your Operators you have a distinct advantage to identify the complimentary strengths in your team. This is something that needs to be conducted periodically.

How can you make an assessment?

1. Review the condition of the Rescue Water Craft(s)
2. Review the condition of the trailering and Transport equipment
3. Quiz the Operators
4. Skillset assess monthly the technical ability of your team
5. Rate the level of competency and assign the rating in the database
6. Describe the shortcomings and capabilities, make improvement on both!
7. Assign degrees of performance related to service work

If you have an Operator that is identified as problematic in techincal skills, but is high in managing equipment, perhaps a reassignment is necessary? Where are their strengths? What are they comfortable doing? What are the uncomfortable doing?

Provide an honest counseling session regarding performance, executive and completion of all tasks. Ask them if they would be willing to take on another level and manage that specific area of the program. Correlate that with documentation that will verify their factual performance and related success or defaults.

It is important that an administrator oversees and inspects the performance of the team, leaders and program guidelines.

You may need an outside program assessor to partner with who is unbiased but willing to check deficiencies that could lead to a lawsuit, injury, death or program destruction. There is nothing wrong with this, but everything goes wrong when it's not in place and considered important.

K38 Jet Ski Training

STRENGTH

Strength is a needed ingredient in program management and sustainability, but how do we measure strength?

Is id conducted by setting a program and essentially abandoning it year after year because its always been that way or do we determine to investigate the program failures and success?

That begins with the personnel in charge. Whether administrators, operators, crew or mechanics the teaming aspect is critical for future safety as well as present safety and program sustainability.

Make a commitment right now to review your Rescue Water Craft program.

Interview your team.

Ask them what they think is working well and what areas they would like to see changes.

Be courageous and represent integrity, as you may be saving one of your team members reputation or your own.

Care About Your Team

EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP CARES ABOUT RESULTS

Conduct periodic program reviews. Inspect equipment. Look at mishap or injury reports. Get the entire team together and ask them to share with you their concerns. Do they have adequate budget? Do they have the right equipment? Is the service of the boats adequate? Do they believe their skills are competent?

Review other mishaps. Can you see your team in the video or storyline?

...Otherwise the door is open for a mishap.

Don't wait until you have to learn from a lesson.

Take the lessons now and make a plan. A solid plan.

People do not have to get hurt, Rescue Water Craft do not have to be damaged to learn a lessonM, nor reputations damaged.

Backing up and slowing down your program flow can save your department and your staff intense grief and discouragement.

Review your mishaps. The story is in the actions and the subsequent behaviors can be alerted.

Ask us how we know?

Good luck, we wish you a safe and noble program that you are proud of and your people are operating safely!

_______________________________
Posted: 10.27.2018

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
Join the Rescue Water Craft Association

Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.

PROTECT YOUR HELM

DON'T DO THIS

Helm Safety is Security Underway.

I would advise all of Rescue Water Craft crews, teams and operators to never strap anything down on top of the Rescue Water Craft handlebars (helm) that places direct and consistent pressure against the helm station.

Rescue Water Craft helms do not have the structural strength in storage or transport to maintain a weight load placed up against them, let alone any ratchet cargo straps pressing down.

Disregarding the structural strength of the helm and over bearing a significant weight load against it could lead to a catastrophic failure of the helm.

Resulting in a serious mishap, injury or fatality.

Also to note that the rear stern re-boarding handle is also plastic and can suffer damage as well.

A rule of thumb? If you capsize your Rescue Water Craft and it heels over upside down in shallow waters, when you right it, check the re-boarding handle, rear seats and helm, forward cowling, turn the helm and pull back throttle and inspect the steering nozzle before you start the craft.

This typically happens because of a lack of education regarding the care and maintenance of the overall craft itself. A simple solution would be to have every member of your team read the Owner's Manual warnings and cautions of the Make, Model and Year of Production of your Rescue Water Craft.

Sheared off Helm

KNOW YOUR BOAT

Not all of the steering column necks are not metal fabrication unless you have an afermarket one designed for race builds. Construction can be a combination plastic and metal and both can receive stress fractures from objects that produce repetitive movement, such as air pushing against an IRB and creating a bounce affect with a downward force towards the Rescue Water Craft.

This could also be caused by a poorly maintained trailer where the trailer bunks are failing or the axle, tires and wheels are overloaded with more weight than their rating or the tongue weight is incorrect.

1. Protect the helm
2. Protect the handlebar grips to not cause rotation which can result in wrist flexion
3. Protect the throttle lever and clutch lever (port/starboard helm sides)

The only way you can inspect the helm after a transport such as this showed in the header photo is to remove the shroud and inspect the entire steering assembly closely and even then, maybe not.

First care is to protect the helm and the water jet pump because of their relationship values, inspect your throttle lever and don't allow any lines near it, that could be a fatal mistake.

You don't want to be underway and have your helm shear off when hand hold forces are applied and it let's go, loss of steerage and stopping distance to fixed objects or other crews cannot be controlled at this point, and the operator and or crew could be ejected.

This could become a serious situation if ignored due to not understanding the craft, not knowing its construction design and not having enough storage for ancillary gear.

Remember, you are a mariner, not a rescuer!

Don't get it backwards! Repeat after me: I am a mariner.

Know your boat as a prudent mariner and care for them as you care for yourself; rescue is an application of our maritime community. It is one facet of operations. If you consider yourself a rescuer first you are going to experience many mishaps and chronic failures of your Rescue Water Craft Program.

Recommendation: Deflate the hypalon tubes for the IRB and set your gear up on site instead, don't compromise your boats. Don't strap anything above the helm station. Take a RWC maintenance course, check ours out!

Ask me how I know? lol

_____________________

Posted: 9.14.2018

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
Join the Rescue Water Craft Association

Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.

VHF Radio Use for Rescue Water Craft

MARINE VHF RADIO

Let’s take a very quick basic overview of the use and function of a Marine VHF radio analog technology. Keep in mind there is a lot more to know FOR VHF Radio use, so use this guide as a precursor for further educational benefits by conducting your own research. VHF band is by law intended for use by mariners.

TERMINOLOGY-Marine VHF radio refers to the radio frequency range between 156 and 174 MHz VHF signifies the ‘Very High Frequency’ of that range. So that leads to what is MHz? Megahertz is used to express microprocessor clock speed. The unit is occasionally used in measurements of bandwidth for high speed digital data, analog and digital video signals and spread spectrum signals.

CHANNEL 16-Here in the USA, on a hand held Marine VHF radio Channel 16 (156.800 MHz) is reserved for distress messages only. It is not to be used to make contact with other mariners. You also would not conduct your radio check on this channel! Channel 16 is monitored by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and they will issue weather, hazards and restriction placed on navigation alerts when they are needed in your area of operation (AO). There are 50 different channels available with select defined roles by the FCC. Once contact is made on Channel 16 the USCG may redirect you to another channel.

Channel 16 should be monitored when you are underway in case a distress signal and request for emergency support is issued you can respond. Keep this channel open for those who truly are in need of lifesaving connectivity.

ETIQUETTE - Do not use foul language, do not allow children to handle your Marine VHF radio but do teach them how to use it properly for an emergency distress call, it is not a toy, and is monitored for transmissions that are forbidden. Keep Channel 16 open for true emergencies. Know the channels and their complimentary functions.

But most importantly, know your radio! You may want to place in a waterproof bag, and not all of them float. So we operate with them affixed to the front of our lifejacket, but not near our chest, off towards our shoulders. Marine VHF is not for shore use only for on-water, if used on land you are in violation of the law unless you have a special permit.

Don’t hog a channel, be mindful others may need to use it, it’s not a social device for communication but is intended to support safety at sea and navigational needs.

BATTERY-They have a self-contained antenna and battery pack. Normal range of battery life is approximately 8 hours, but it depends, some claim 20 hours of use, but for me, it’s dependent on location, weather and use of the radio. Batteries can fail due to corrosion of it the case is cracked of the cover not secure. Also make sure you use the proper charger and follow the charging instructions.

GPS

VISUALS-Being able to see the display helps to know which channel you are on. You can lock the channel in as well, we use iCom radios. Dot Matrix Display is helpful when choosing the menu functions, over a standard 7 segment LCD display. Dot Matrix pixilation count is rated for its screen resolution. Some are backlit brighter than others and the buttons as well.

GLOBAL-Some of the radios have a built in GPS that can send to the USCG your exact position in case of emergency. This provides you your Latitude and Longitude position. You can used stored waypoints with this feature for navigation. Some radios have Digital Selective Calling (DSC), it’s similar to using a device like Spot Locators as an emergency beacon. You just have to push down on a button usually lit as a red or orange emergency distress and it will send an automated digital distress message to the USCG and others vessels with radios in the vicinity. Channel 70 is Note that channel 70 is now authorized only for Digital Selective Calling, an emergency automated distress system mandated by international treaty; channel 70 may no longer be used for voice communication

This feature is great because you can store your emergency contacts. Some radios have other accessories such as different battery types or headsets. You can use your radio to hail Towing companies such as Vessel Assist, which is more reliable than using a cell phone due to dropped calls and on-water range, waterproofing and battery life.
K38 recommends you have a separate GPS tracking device. In case one fails you have a backup.

RWC VHF Radio

CARE

WATTAGE-There are limitations of range due to a transmit power of six watts. This is why you see some RWC operators in calmer waterways adding a larger external antenna to transmit from a high location. For our Rescue Water Craft use you can average a five watt transmit power to work at three to eight miles of range with variables. Switching to some models using higher watt output you may drain your battery quicker, so be careful on your settings.

Recreational Marine VHF radios for recreational boaters are limited to output of 25 watts so transmitters cannot be boosted and operate on a line of sight between stations, the higher the atenna the better the result. However our handhelds are limited.

BATTERY LIFE-Radio manufactures have a generic recommendation for battery life. 90% standby, 5% to receive and 5% to transmit at high power. Read the owner’s manual and you can have great tutorials on your specific brand model.

By having your radio with you on your person you can communicate when away from your Rescue Water Craft, which is a great safety feature for yourself as the Operator or Crew. Even better if the vessel capsizes and you are separated from the RWC you have a safety threshold to hail for assistance.

CAREFUL-Do not drop your radio! This is how irreversible damage occurs and can render the radio dead. Also any strikes to helm while underway can damage the lens or the housing and destroy your radio, so use due care! Never store your radio inside the glove box or any other compartment without completely protecting your radio from strike damage and breakage!

Make sure you use silicone grease to maintain an anti-corrosion base your battery housing for water or condensation inside the housing, mainly near the battery cover opening and the buttons and the antenna base. Apply silicone weekly to the battery terminals. Make sure the radio is dry before placing in charger.

Do not bend the antenna! If the rubber is cracked, replaced the antenna immediately.

Rinse with fresh water! What I like to do is to evacuate the water from the microphone and button areas to try to reduce the signature of corrosion. Conduct a final post inspection by opening up the battery case and look for condensation or water invasion, cracks in the case and be sure to use silicone grease to maintain anti-corrosion practices.

CHECK! If you want to hail a second Rescue Water Craft or vessel here is some advice:

1. Before you splash your RWC, make sure your radio is fully charged.
2. Power your Radio ‘on’.
3. Set your volume and squelch buttons.
4. Conduct a Radio Check on Channel 9 (noncommercial and non-emergency channel)
5. Make sure you are both operating on the same radio channel, Ch. 1078 is good for some areas if there is not a lot of traffic, but then switch back to 16 when underway to listen for emergencies
6. You can also monitor your local weather broadcasts on your VHF radio
7. Push down the mic key for clearance to talk, it’s usually located on the side of the radio, then send your message and depress the key button.
8. Hail the second RWC pressing the mic key and holding it by stating the vessel name twice, followed by your vessels name: “K38 one, K38 one, this is K38 two on Channel 1078, over” release the key.
9. Once contact is made, and our conversation is completed “K38 two returning to standby Channel 16 or K38 two out”. Do not say ‘over out’.
10. Channel 9 is designated for the boat calling channel (156.450 MHz)

Don't leave shore without your VHF Radio

EMERGENCY

1. Securite-Securite-Securite: Warns crew or others about important safety information. Also used to issue warnings and meteorological updates. Such as towing someone with restricted maneuverability and you want others to avoid you.

2. Pan-Pan-Pan: Urgent situation but not at imminent risk. You are in moderate risk, and a hazard to navigation

3. Mayday-Mayday-Mayday: SOS distress signal. Sets Search and Rescue (SAR) in motion. Life threatening situation. You are going down, you have lost a man overboard or you are heading to the beach or rocks, imminent danger.

During emergencies we can rely on our volunteer Ham radio operators. Ham radio operators using their frequency will state ‘Break-Break-Break’ as the equivalent to a Mayday call, never use the term ‘Break’ unless imminent threat to property or life is present.

REFERENCE

Channel 16
International Distress, Safety and Calling. Ships required to carry radio, USCG, and most coast stations maintain a listening watch on this channel.

Channel 70
Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed)

Channel 1078
Non-Commercial. VDSMS (USA Great Lakes commercial channels 1079, 1080)

USCG INFORMATION: Frequencies are in MHz. Modulation is 16KF3E or 16KG3E.
Note that the four digit channel number beginning with the digits "10" indicates simplex use of the ship station transmit side of what had been an international duplex channel. These new channel numbers, now recognized internationally, were previously designated in the US by the two digit channel number ending with the letter "A". That is, the international channel 1005 has been designated in the US by channel 05A, and the US Coast Guard channel 1022 has been designated in the US as channel 22A. Four digit channels beginning with "20", sometimes shown by the two-digit channel number ending with the letter "B", indicates simplex use of the coast station transmit side of what normally was an international duplex channel. The U.S. does not currently use "B" or "20NN" channels in the VHF maritime band. Some VHF transceivers are equipped with an "International - U.S." switch to avoid conflicting use of these channels. See ITU Radio Regulation Appendix 18 and ITU-R M.1084-5 Annex 4.

These new channel numbers should eventually begin to be displayed on new models of VHF marine radios.
Boaters should normally use channels listed as Non-Commercial. Channel 16 is used for calling other stations or for distress alerting. Channel 13 should be used to contact a ship when there is danger of collision. All ships of length 20m or greater are required to guard VHF channel 13, in addition to VHF channel 16, when operating within U.S. territorial waters. Users may be fined by the FCC for improper use of these channels.

USCG Website

_______________________________
Posted: 8.28.2018

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
Join the Rescue Water Craft Association

Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.

ETHANOL AND YOUR RESCUE WATER CRAFT

Ethanol in the United States is a big problem for our rescue water craft engines.

The problems with ethanol in other countries may not exist due to the corn based fuel we are using here in the USA.

Ethanol is a big concern for us as it acts as a solvent, is not good for long term fuel storage and gums up breather vent hoses for our fuel tanks. Inspections have increased and so have expenses.

Now we must purchase of marine grade fuel additive. One more problem to manage!

Storage needs to be limited of fuel for a period of 14 days in storage cans.

Make sure you are using a Marine Grade Fuel conditioner.

Fuel pumps can easily be destroyed, fuel filters clogged with the toothpaste looking ethanol.

Gaskets, rubber and the interior of fuel lines and storage cans are problematic.

No matter what it boils down to, it’s money. You need to update your RWC annual budget and calculate how many gallons of estimate fuel burn to expect. Then do the math for fuel additive to fuel use and determine what your budget will require.

More time and money to manage, inspect and maintain hourly logs.

Most importantly this becomes a safety issue and a liability issue.

This is one action your department cannot afford to ignore.

Be careful with gummed up fuel ventilation hoses, the fuel tank needs to expand and contract with atmopspheric changes, such as heat or cold. Make sure you remove the seats prior to starting your Rescue Water Craft and allowing any low lying fumes to ventilate prior to engine start.

You are going to have to add in additional budgetary needs to cover the expense of a fuel stabilizer.

Add this check on your department inspection logs and make sure that you maintain efficiency with proper use and care.

These suggestions are to help you maintain a safe operation of your Marine Unit. However, please conduct your own research and update annually your program to compliment any changes in our Rescue Water Craft community.

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!

Content Creator – Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

TOWING THE LINE

Towing the Line.

Saving time, resources, logistics and manpower.

Anyhow, its much easier to tow a few of them than to have multiple operators at times.

We do this often in a few of our training grounds as well, because logistics can really impede on the clock!

Tension is your friend, not shockloading the tow line. This can be a bit of a struggle like in this photo with swell. Each craft will have a ‘step and pitch’ to its hull length and the oncoming water action and height.

It is important to have a solid understanding of the following:
1. Connector point hardware
2. Breaking strength of line
3. Towing speed (safe speed)
4. How its going to end

I oftentimes tow alone with four Jet Skis, as well as load them onto a single 4 place water vehicle trailer.

Taking my time and being methodical helps, but also thinking ahead, not where I am at presently or behind me where the craft are dragging. It’s important to be relaxed, calm and sure.

This can save time and resource management with low personnel available.

If by chance the towing vessel takes on debris into the water intake and a hand clearing of the water intake screen doesn’t solve the situation, its not too hard to switch out with another towing boat as long as its not sidelined as well.

Look down the line.

Observe your idle speed.

Observe the length of your tow string (boats).

Think about using a pivot point to slowly draw the craft towards you at a stopped position.

If trailering draw them towards the trailer bunks and let the forward section of the craft rest on them until its time to fully load and secure. One at at time…

If its a shoreline, secure a landing zone that has about 30′ feet for you to draw each bow up onto the shore.

Do not tug too hard on the lines, draw them slowly and steadily.

Practice! You may find this is a simpler solution for some situations you have to operate with.

Thanks for listening!

Shawn Alladio – 6.15.2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

DO NOT USE HIGHLY FLAMMABLE PRODUCTS ON YOUR RWC ENGINE

Never use any type of anti corrosive spray that say ‘highly flammable’ in the Information section.

I have come across far too many of my k38 students who have been given poor advice by others.

This advise could be dangerous or even deadly.

This is why the manufacturer’s of Personal Water Craft give direct advice and guidance for the types of products
they would like clients to use. Many ignore their safety warnings and place themselves and their crews at risk for explosion or injury.

The second threat is to the exhaust cooling rubber hoses. If the hoses lost their structural integrity they will fail. This means a Rescue Water Craft can take on water suddenly and sink. This could end up as a total loss.

Your preventative sprays are to be used with a cooled engine after washing down the engine compartment or completing the fresh water rinse/flush of the exhaust cooling lines.

Pay attention to all your actions and research the information and get other opinions if you are learning.

It does not require much effort and you will do better with your program in many ways.

Shawn Alladio – 6.14.2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

SOGGY HANDS

Scientific Laboratory tests have a theory that wrinkly soggy fingers improve our human grip on wet or submerged objects.

The grooves in the wet skin work to channel away water in the same fashion that rain treads in vehicle tires moving underway. People often assume that wrinkling is the result of water passing into the outer layer of the skin and making it swell up.

This directs to the change being an involuntary reaction by the body’s autonomic nervous system, the system that also controls breathing, heart rate and perspiration according to the study.

This creepy and distinctive wrinkling is caused by blood vessels constricting below the skin the study says, but this has been recently disputed. So far there is no accurate description of why our bodies experience this.

I have always said ‘these are my cadaver hands’. They bounce back within an hour when away from moisture. This also happens during sweating from high humidity, so it is some definite physiological response, but I am not sure why.

Since I am on the water for hours upon hours wearing gloves, all saturated with water, my skin goes ‘soft’ pretty quick. I always assumed it was from being ‘waterlogged’. The soles of my feet also experience the same soggy foot syndrome lol. My lips will eventually fall prey further after during long distance events.

I do know from experience having broken down at sea and been in the water for hours waiting for rescue that my soft skin that was exposed was aggressively and persistently attacked by small bait fish as a food source. They would burrow until the first epidermis layer was flayed away.

There is something to nature not missing a beat for an opportunity to survive from another living organism.

I am still waiting for a true scientific confirmation on soggy hands and feet.

Meanwhile, cover up when training and keep the bugs and leeches away from any open skin areas. Wear good Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You will feel better.