Further to the recent post I wrote about our friends violent attack at anchor in St. Vincent & the Grenadines http://amarulasail.com/2013/10/07/lets-all-ensure-anchorages-are-for-cruisers-not-criminals/ I would like to write about a safety awareness meeting Tina organised here at the Port Louis Marina in St. Georges, Grenada.
Following their attack Tina has proved what an amazing spirit she has by focusing her energies on creating positives from this horrific experience. Last Thursday she brought together cruisers and other interested parties to discuss what we can learn from this and how we can be better prepared.
She began by telling her story and the meeting was then opened up for everyone to contribute any suggestions and ideas.
Through the sharing, the main points which came out of this are as follows (this is taken from the Grenada Cruisers Facebook group post by Mark from SV Sea Life, who hosted the meeting);
Security Meeting report: Thursday 10 October 2013 Pt Louis Marina.
(Please feel free to add comments/ideas questions etc)
Great turn out. More than 150 less that 200 i’d think. Food was excellent from Pt Louis Marina.
A myriad of great intelligent thoughts. But we certainly weren’t taking votes of set procedures. You do what you want. You’re the skipper, no one is preaching to you, your the master and commander, and all ranks below and above.
Best ideas were cockpit lights with switches below in the saloon and by your bed. If hearing a noise instead of going up for a look turn on the cockpit lights. If they don’t get off at least you can see them.
Guns now are all being removed from boats on arrival and get stored at the Fort in St Georges.
Go visiting when you first drop anchor and find out what frequency folks are listening to. Its very important with people with other languages who haven’t heard about 66.
VHF we discussed DSC and Mayday calls while we are here with 66 the repeater.
A DSC red distress button will send of Ch 70 which doesn’t have a repeater and switch radios to 16 also without a repeater. There was some discussion that you could change your radio DSC distress to switch radios to 66. My instruction book of my Standard Horizon says the radio is set to use only 16 for sending and acknowledging calls. ON a DSC all ships call you can, but the digital package still goes out on ch 70 without a repeater. Neither the Police or Coast guard have DSC. So while in Grenada the advice is Don’t use your red DSC distress button. Use 66 with a voice call. And try to use pro-words like Mayday Pan Pan or securite as otherwise it may sound like a domestic violence situation.
Rescue 1 Radio exercise for children, keep your ear out or that. also adults have expressed interest too, so rescue 1 might be putting one on for adults.
Coast guard start regular unscheduled patrols from Monday including all Grenada and Cariacou.
From Eric from Amarula (edited):
1) Lights: Douse inside lights, turn on outside lights, cockpit, spreader lights, strobe if you have one, most lights are switched from nav station or adjacent. Have a strong torch/flashlight close by to blind intruders if they try to enter..
2) Noise: Make as much noise as possible. We have an air horn activated from the nav station, we also have a bell in the cockpit. Pressure pack horns are cheap & portable with plenty of noise.
3) Defence: Be aware of using guns as this could land you in a lot of deep water.
4) Security: Introduce yourself to others in the anchorage, chose a comm channel & leave the radio on, safety in numbers! Also the 5 blasts of a horn are a good idea as an agreed warning system between neighbours. Secure the vessel as best as possible to prevent entry. Dogs are a good thing!
5) Ensure wives/partners/ crew are competent with boat handling, radio procedures etc in the event that the skipper is disabled.
6) Basic Info: Have a laminated document with boat & crew info adjacent to nav station, Boat name, type, all details (Call sign, MMSI etc), crew information etc
Thanks for everyone’s involvement! It was truly a great experience!
And a very special thank you to the two most important people in our cruising world: Mark and Tina from Rainbow for setting up the meeting and being so honest, forthright, open and simply WONDERFUL!