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Old 04-16-2005, 08:49 PM   #1
Serious Fun
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Default A good float plan may save your life!

It is time to update your float plan before the big launch for off shore targets. A few minutes with a good float plan could save your life. The one below is a plan I modified from several sources and better ones are probably around if you search the internet. Hope this helps.

Float Plan for: (name of boat)

Date:

Float Plan Filed with:
Name:
Address:
Phone:
Other Emergency Contact:

Captain/Operator:
Name and address
Phone
Home:
Work:
Cell:

Age:
Health:
Experience:

Boat Description:
Make:
Model:
Color:
Name:
Registration Number:
Description:
Hull Size:
Engine: Main Engine:
Auxiliary Engine:
Fuel Capacity:
Safety Equipment on the boat:
Radios:
Cell Phone:
EPIRB
GPS
Depth Finder
Fire Extinguishers
First Aid Kit
Flares
Smoke Flares
Life Jackets:
Survival Suits:
Inflatable Raft:
Anchor:
Extra Gas:
Food:
Water:
Weather Protection:
Back up Batteries for engine and hand held VHF and GPS
Lights
Spare Parts/Tools:
Bilge Pumps:

Vehicle Description:
Make:
Model:
Color:
License:

Trailer:

Location where truck will be parked:

Trip Plan:

Port of Departure:

Time and Date of Departure:

Expected time of return to port:

Expected time back at home:

General description of trip (where we are going, what we will be doing):


GPS Location for Destination:


If Emergency Situation / Fail to return as planned:

IF not in contact with home within one hour of expected time of return at port, call the United States Coast Guard at:

Newport (541)-265-5381
Depoe Bay (541) 765-2124
Garibaldi/Tillamook (503) 322-3531
Winchester Bay (541) 271-4244
Astoria (503) 325-7213
Ilwaco, WA (360) 642-2382
Westport, WA (360) 268-0121
Bellingham, WA (360) 734-1692
Anacortes, WA (360) 293-9555
Port Townsend, WA (360) 385-3070
Everett, WA (425) 252-5281
Victoria, BC (250) 480-2600
Vancouver, BC (604) 666-1840

Tell them of the emergency and give them the float plan information. They will attempt to contact by radio first and then take other action as needed.

Passengers on Board:

Name Phone Age Medical Conditions
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Additional Information:

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Old 04-16-2005, 09:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

Excellent. I will print this up and use it when the time comes to head out. Looks better than the ones that I have seen in the past. Lots of good info will be left with who ever you leave the plan with. Thankyou


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Old 04-17-2005, 05:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

thanks for the post. I copied and immediately filled out the information. Appreciate it.
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

Yep, and they need to become a habit. Pretty hard to find you if we don't know where you are, when you went, or when you figure on returning.

I like this one that Popeye put up, too. It's nice and easy and I can fill it out on-line and print it off.

Float Plan Form

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Old 04-18-2005, 07:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

There are a lot of them out there. This is a great one. The USCG Auxiliary has a good on. see http://www.cgaux.org/cgauxweb/public/pubframe.htm
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

USCG, that's the same one Skein referenced above!

That's o.k., redundancy is paramount in offshore boating!
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

cant stress this one enough, thanks for posting it. Back on active duty on kodiak a whole bunch of years ago, heard a mayday about midnight, only thing they got out was the boat name. We launched em at first light and found 3 guys in a raft, because the owner had the float plan in hand when we called!
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Old 04-27-2005, 03:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

This is kind of off topic but everyone can learn from this. I don't post much but when I read this I thought of the Salty Dogs. It's important everyone on your boat has some boating knowledge! Very sad story:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...x.html?cnn=yes
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

Excellent post, good idea, but you might want include throw ring, or cussion, tidetable, & charts or maps.
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Old 05-23-2005, 07:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

This is a reason why you should keep a float plan like this.
This is a Real life event in my life and will always remember what happended and how lucky I was.

I am one of the survivor's of A fishing vessel. Which sunk just north of cape blanco. On 3/27/99 my father woke me, asking me to get up and watch the wheel. While I was on the wheel I had noticed the water temp was about 45 degree's, The sea was a sharp 18 to 20 foot swell with a 10 to 14 foot chop. my dad went down to the engine room to fix a plugged bildge pump. The bildge alarm was going off but the water level was not at a point that we thought was life threatening. We were unable to unplug the bildge pump, at that time my father told me to get out the generator and the 110- volt pump. The gernerator would not start. The next step I took was to get out the gas powered pacer pump. It started and we were ablt to pump out the bildge. With myself standing outside on the starboard bow, holding the pump while it was running. we took a wave over the port side bow which swamped me and the gas powered pacer pump. The engine was dead and I was unable to get it restarted. all I could do is try to get the pump started again. my father called the coosbay coast guard. There was no reply. He then called a mayday to northbend coast guard. They replied back, my father gave them our location and change of ittinerary and the nature of the mayday. We were taking on a little water but intended to reach coosbay in 4 to 6 hours. The coast guard asked if we had a cell phone on board. We did and dad gave them the number. The coast guard then told us that they would call us on the cell phone so that the radio could be left open. My father then told me to go back and start throughing pots off the boat. I turned and told him that they were allready falling over on there own. He cut me off and told me to get to the raft. He pushed me out the starbard door. as I stepped back I looked towards the bow of the boat I saw the peak of the wave about ten feet above the vessel. The stern had fallen but had not reached the bottom of the trough. Grabbing the latter to get to the life raft, I never made it. I put one foot on the ladder and was under water. The pressure of the vessel rolling over on top of me was to great to hold onto the ladder. I was pulled from the ladder and pressed against the rigging of the stabilizer pole. I dont know how long I was held there but all was black and I was under water.I was held there for some time but was able to break lose of the rigging, but when I tried to swim to the surface something was holding me back and I could feel the vessel sinking and pulling me with it. I struggled fiercely. At that moment I thought this was it I was not going to make it, I had a choice to make. Do I just relax and let it take me or do I fight to get lose. I was exhausted and felt that I was going to die. My next thought was where is my father. He needs my help so I fought to get lose, it worked I was swimming freely. I came out of the water not knowing which way to go or where my father was. I was now hanging onto what I think was the top of the mast. I could here my dad yelling my name in a frantic manner. After the third yell I answered him. He told me to swim to the raft. I tried but the current was too strong and was taking me away from the raft. I grabbed the mast again not wanting to get away from the boat. I looked and saw the side of the green box that the e-perb was connected to. I had to get to it and release it. I grabbed what I think was the bow stay wire, and pulled my self to the box that held the e-perb. It was too dark and my hands were too cold to release it. I kept trying but then felt the boat start to role over slowly. I walked with it and then was trying to hold onto the botton of the vessel. The raft was not about 8 feet from me. My dad told me to swim to the raft again. So I tryed to reach it again and made it. Hanging onto the canister strap I told my dad that I am here. He told me to pull the cord but I couldnt find it. Finally I was able to find it, then I started pulling. My dad yelling " pull the cord John ". I pulled and pulled to the point that I had let go of the raft and was now under water pulling the cord. The cord came tight and I pulled my self to the raft. Grabbing the raft I jerked the cord. The canister blew open and the raft inflated. I pulled my self around to the entrance that my father was at. I tried to pull myself into the raft but with no survival suit on, no personal flotation devises on, my clothes soaked I wasn't strong enough to pull myself into the raft. My father tried to push me in but was unable to do so. We were getting very cold and I knew we had to get into this raft if we were going to survive. I couldn't find the step that was on the raft, so my father grabbed the outside lanyard and told me to climb across him to get in. I was able to get my chest in at that point there was a little break. I grabbed the inside lanyard and started pulling myself in with my dad pushing me, and the swells hitting me from the back. I was able to get in. Turning around looking at my dad in the water, I had no idea if I could get him into the raft. At the moment I had lost all feeling in my hands and feet. I put my arm over his back and tried to find his belt. Not being able to feel anything I raked my fingers across his waist but couldn't find his belt. Looking past him I whatched the bow of the Boat disappear. The vessel was gone for ever. I asked him if he was wearing a belt. He said yes. I started raking for his belt again. After several tries I found his belt and began trying to pull him in. He was very tired and was running out of strength. I was running out of strength. He then rested his head onto the entrance of the raft and pleaded me to pull harder. The tears falling from my eyes, I didn't think I had the strength to pull him in but I wasn't going to give up and I wasn't going to let go of him. I told my self that I had to pull harder and I had to get him into this damn raft. Because I knew I wouldn't be able to live knowing he died in my hands. So I pulled as hard as I could. So hard that it felt like my guts were going to burst. But with my strength and the help of the swell behind my father I was able to pull him in. I fell against the back of the raft and was unable to move from exhaustion. My father thanked me several times for pulling him in. He then said lets say a prayer together, which we did. He then wanted to cuddle to conserve body heat. But my first thought was the stability of the raft. We both weighed over 250 pounds, which made me concerned on the stability in the rough seas. So we stayed apart. Shortly after getting into the raft I started vomiting, which my father followed. We were both sick and vomiting onto our selves. We both drank a couple bags of water after vomiting. After a while we realized the raft was very stable and met in the middle to cuddle. We needed to conserve body heat. After a while I heard a helicopter. It was the coast guard looking for us. When they got close enough both my father and I fired a flare. They then went off the other way not knowing if they saw our flares or us we waited. The helicopter returned again and I fired one more flare they saw us. We began waving flashlights out of the raft. I saw a rescue swimmer being lowered. After a few minutes he appeared at the raft and asked us if we were ok. We both said yes. The rescue swimmer then explained that they were going to lower a basket down and he was going to swim us to the basket and put us into it one at a time. Neither one of us really wanted to get out of the raft. My father insisted I went first so the rescue swimmer took me. The water was very cold and I told him so. With the waves crashing into my face I was having a hard time getting a breath and had no strength to help him swim. I felt like I was drowning and began to wonder why did I get out of the raft. But we finally reached the basket. I climbed inside it and they hoisted me into the air. Getting into the helicopter I had never felt so relieved as I was at that moment untill I saw my father being brought into the helicopter. We were both saved and I knew every thing was going to be ok.
Reaching the coast guard air station they escorted us into the showers so that we could restore our body temperature. After about 30 to 45 minutes in the showers we were given jump suits to put on. The officer then escorted us to a room where they gave us coffee and aloud me to call my wife. They asked us several questions on what happened and then other misc. talk. After they examined our situation and were confident that we were ok. An officer drove us to a hotel where we rested and waited for our family to pick us up.
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Old 05-25-2005, 12:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

That is the most incredible first hand, real life experience of an ocean rescue I have ever read! Praise to God you both survived! I am sure you will relive the experience again and again for the rest of your life! You should send your story in to Reader's Digest and they would probably publish it, and pay you $500 or so for submitting it. Glad you are still with the living!
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Old 05-26-2005, 02:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

All I can say is "Wow."

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Old 06-25-2005, 08:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

Question: Would the members of the Salty Dogs be interested to email their float plans to a secure 'repository' which a restricted and REGISTERED list of USCG personnel could access for S & R[Search & Rescue] situations ONLY ?

I ask this question because I personally do NOT have a reliable person to contact the USCG in case of an accident.

If there are other skippers and crew members that would like to provide the USCG with a secure source to access their float plans [and biographical outlines] on-line in case of an emergency, I am willing to champion a long term venture in creating such a system in support of our safety on the water.

The technology is currently available to create such a system. The software would have to be developed privately. There are a thousand and one legal and logistical nighmares to resolve, but I believe the creation of such a system can be created. My current vision also includes a replication of such a system that could be used nationwide for all boaters, originally started by the Salty Dogs.

USCG Officer Shipman of the Seattle station has initially responded that the USCG would be receptive to review any appropriate proposal provided to them.

I believe the expressed interest and backing of the Salty Dogs for the creation of such a system would garner the appropriate attention of local USCG reviewers and decision makers.

If you have either an active or passive interest in supporting such a project, please PM or post a response... your thoughts would be most appreciated.
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Old 06-25-2005, 04:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

I think this is a great idea. Seems like we should be able to file it with the CG at the port from which we leave. We'd be responsible for notifying them of our return and would deserve a big penalty if we didn't. I thought of something like this last week when I asked for a report on the bar conditions and the CG asked how many on board my vessel. I didn't notify them of my return, but thought about calling them to see if I should notify them of my return in the future. I wonder what the local CG would think of this idea.

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Old 06-25-2005, 04:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

I have taken the Advanced Coastal Navigation Coarse from the Coast Guard Auxillary. One of the things they teach is having a good float plan. The Coast Guard will not accept your plan for just the reason above when you get in and don't let them know are they supposed to start a search for you? Make your float plan and give it to someone who will know wether or not you get back if you don't they should contact the Coast Guard with the information you have provided.
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Old 06-25-2005, 06:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

Gundog...you got it! Very well said.
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Old 06-26-2005, 06:24 AM   #17
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

Here is my limited understanding of what a USCG representative told me...

..the USCG can not be involved with the holding of floatplan information because someone may potentially sue them if they had the floatplan info before an accident occurred. Knowing our culture, you can bet your life the USCG will be sued.... by someone..... so to potentially get around this legal issue, a floatplan should be held by a civilian organization, and readily accessible to the USCG in case of an accident ! As a result, the USCG is not liable because they had no fore knowledge of the floatplan. Hence, I have this proposal for consideration..

What could occur is the following.... a floatplan is emailed to a secure email account managed by a civilian entitiy. Account access is granted to registered USCG personnel for a local area; mulitple accounts covering different areas. In case of an emergency, the loved one would report that a floatplan was registered to the USCG. In response to the reported emergency, the USCG would use their account/password to access all the floatplans emailed into the account, and download all the information provided. Based on certain legal disclosures and standard operating procedures used by the USCG, the USCG should be free of libility for any information used to aid personnel in the emergency...

..I would also like to tell the USCG when I'm executing a floatplan.. there are a number of potential possibilities, but they should be agreed to with the USCG as an approved operating procedure while a floatplan system is in development...

Another feature of an email based floatplan repository is that crew members can also submit a notice when they will be fishing on another boat. This ENSURES some sort of information is being registered of their departure on another boat, in case a floatplan is not registered.

With increasing number of captains allowing new individuals to fish on their boats, how much information does the captain know about the new person coming aboard ??? When was the last time a crewmember gave you a biographical outline before taking him out fishing on your boat ??? Through the use of a website, individuals/crewmembers could securely store their biographical information that could be referenced to in a floatplan. Now the captain's work is limited to creating/registering his/her float plan, and the crewmember's private info is not openly disclosed, except in case of an emergency to qualified personnel.

One of the limitations of the current system is that the loved one reporting an emergency rarely knows detailed information about the crew members on board the boat. They may know something about the captain, and possibly the boat [ ...it's big, and white... ], but they are not likely to know about the crewmembers... so when an emergency occurs, the crew members are the most likely people to be forgotten about... Could this situation apply to you, as the land slips over the horizon while tuna fishing ??

I would like to prevent a bad situation getting worse... hence, this proposal....

This system can also be used to register a flotilla of boats, such as going out for tuna. If a boat becomes missing, the flotilla/float plan will provide additional information.

...your comments would be most appreciated...
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Old 07-06-2005, 04:40 AM   #18
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

Craig, great idea you're onto here, keep on it. I've got the same problem -- nobody reliable on shore to call the CG when not back to port within a reasonable time beyond planned return. So I leave it mine on the dash of my truck and hope someone will break a window at the right time. I also try to stay in close contact with others in the area and head in together so I'm not the last one out on the pond at the end of the day.

Foulweather, awesome story. How big of a boat were you on anyway?
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Old 07-06-2005, 02:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

I think John forgot to mention that neither one of them wanted to get out of raft and rescue swimmer responded saying one of you will, or I will sink the raft. Now from the story he has told me, that rescue swimmer was a little juiced up from his first attempt being lowered into the water from the electrical shock he got. I have dealt with the coast guard from being towed in to being boarded and they are more profesional than any agency I have dealt with on land or at sea. Now I think this is the guy I worked with and he also told that he went and visited the station and brought them goodies. One thing he also told me is not many people come back to thank them. Now with that said I am glad to see a group of fishermen taking their time to say hey thanks guys you don't go un-noticed. I won't be able to make it to the station on the 16th. I have met alot of them coasties and most of them are young kids who have a huge amount of responsibility, WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT THEM! Have a good time at Coast Guaard Station Yaquina Bay - Have a good day!
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Old 09-15-2005, 06:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

Had a little float plan mishap yesterday at Newport. Short version - here are a few things that I could have done better:

1 - tow vehicle info and location, so CG/Sheriff can look there first.
2 - person watching the float plan for you should have call waiting or alternate method of 'closing' your plan. Couldn't get through to the person who was talking on phone. Couldn't get anyone else who could relay. I didn't think I was late yet so just headed back.
3 - unclear on the no-later-than time, worried person interpreted the earlier.
3 - if I am pushing the time coming back and think I have any chance of triggering "the search", give the CG a call.
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Old 09-15-2005, 06:43 PM   #21
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

Great ideas, JohnE. Sorry you had a mishap, but glad you're okay - and really glad you shared those shortfalls with us.

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Old 07-15-2006, 10:46 AM   #22
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Default Re: A good float plan may save your life!

I believe the site has changed since the posts above. I did some searching and here is the new address:

http://floatplan.uscgaux.info/downlo...GFloatPlan.pdf

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