Wednesday, March 20, 2013

VHF marine radio operators are standing by

Who would of thought just a few short years ago that your mobile phone could replace all of that expensive complicated, and bulky electronic equipment on your boat. It has a GPS, lots of marine charting apps are available, radar weather, and even a fish finder app. If you get into trouble you can also call for help, or can you?

Posted on the Flager Live website was the story I took this excerpt from.

"The drifting boat and passengers were located by Air One on the Intracoastal Waterway near the Whitney Lab in Marineland around 1:15 a.m. The Palm Coast boat owner, Danilo Gomez, 43, explained that he, three family members and the teenager were heading home from St. Augustine when they experienced engine problems. He said the cell phone they had did not work and he was unable to call for assistance."

I don't know exactly why the cell phone on the boat didn't work. It might have been broken, had a dead battery, or maybe they were just too far from a cell tower. But I think we can comfortably infer they didn't have a VHF radio. Otherwise why would they have been way over due, and drifting around in the ICW in the middle of the night?