Blue Water Sailing Winter 2020 Publishes Article On Boatwatch.org.
A big thank you to Blue Water Sailing for the article Boat Watch: The Cruisers Search and Safety Network. The article and magazine are included below.
UPDATE From Glenn & Eddie Tuttle, Owners and Managers of Boatwatch.org
Boatwatch has recently been very busy on the High Frequency Radio, call sign KPK, in assisting several international Cruising Associations with Covid-19 related situations. The Seven Seas Cruising Association, the Ocean Cruising Club, and the Salty Dawg Sailing Association each year sponsor flotillas of recreational vessels migrating throughout the world. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic forcing many countries to close their ports to incoming marine traffic, it has put many vessels in very uncomfortable, even dangerous situations, as hurricane season approaches. Boatwatch and KPK have been on the HF maritime radio twice a day for the past several months.
The SSCA HF Radio Service Net is on the air daily at 0815 Eastern Time, or 1215 UTC, on SSB frequency 8.104 with news and current events from around the Caribbean, the Caribbean Safety and Security Net, and taking position reports from vessels making long passages at sea. Many of the vessels checking in with KPK are members of the Ocean Cruising Club making transatlantic passages across the Atlantic Ocean. Typically, these vessels depart from the United States or the Caribbean for the Azores and onto Europe. The Salty Dawg Sailing Association hosts annual flotillas of vessels returning to the United States from the Caribbean. While most of the vessels are equipped with satellite tracking devices such as the Garmin In Reach, or Iridium Go satellite phone, many vessels also check into the SSCA HF Radio Service Net to log their positions daily.
Additionally, Boatwatch operates the SSCA Transatlantic Cruisers Net during migration periods. This daily afternoon net operates in concert with the long established Doo Dah Radio Net at 1700 hrs Eastern Time on SSB frequency 8.152 taking position reports from vessels throughout the Caribbean, and those enroute to the Azores, Europe, and Scandinavian countries. Radio Station KPK transmits from Punta Gorda, Florida using a 70 foot tower with custom made rotatable beam antennas tuned to the marine SSB radio frequencies. The net shifts frequency to 12.350 to communicate with vessels making transatlantic passages. The SSCA Transatlantic Cruisers Net operates in conjunction with fellow Coastal Marine Station license holders Dick Giddings, Net Manager of the Doo Dah Net, FCC Call Sign, KNC, in Dover, NC; Jim West, FCC Call Sign KJM, in Elejay, GA; and weather guru Chris Parker, FCC Call Sign WCY, of the Marine Weather Center in Lakeland, FL.
Boatwatch was recently recognized and honored by the Ocean Cruising Club for assistance to OCC Vessels during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the many radio nets and resources available go to the Resources Page of Boatwatch.org.
Remember before setting off on ocean passages to have multiple forms of communication that are working and updated with current information such as EPIRBS, Tracking Devices, VHF, Float Plans and others. Your EPIRB and Float Plans should include individuals who are very familiar with you and your boat. A Float Plan from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary may be downloaded in PDF format from the Resources Page of Boatwatch.org.
Also, a big thank you to the 2,305 individuals that have joined the Facebook Group BoatWatch. Members are from all over the world and all different walks of life. Members are world cruisers, divers, HAM radio operators, marina managers, Coast Guard Rescue Centers, boat companies, people who live near the water, families of the missing, mega yacht captains, port captains, missionaries, and in general people who are concerned about missing and overdue boats. Many of these individuals have been a tremendous service to Boatwatch, Rescue Centers and the families of the missing who are very thankful.