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#292150 - 04/08/19 03:23 PM Giving Up: Why the Coast Guard quits looking
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1136
Loc: Alaska
For many of us, prime boating season is about to begin. There will be searches for missing boats, people lost overboard, etc. Here is an interesting article on how the USCG decides to suspend a search:

Giving Up: Why the Coast Guard quits looking

When the Coast Guard suspends a search for a missing boater, hearts that were breaking already fully break and the news is met with more than just tears; there is often also anger, confusion. That anger canít be helped, but the confusion can be. Most people lost at sea stay lost. Itís a harsh reality that the USCG deals with every day. So when the Coast Guard suspends a search, they arenít ever giving up early.
To me, the most remarkable thing about the PSDA and how the USCG makes decisions about search times is the extraordinary benefit of the doubt they give to persons in the water without a life jacket.

Note that Mario Vittone is a retired USCG Rescue Swimmer. He was also one of the subjects in the "Cold Water Boot Camp" videos that came out a few years ago.
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

#292151 - 04/08/19 07:26 PM Re: Giving Up: Why the Coast Guard quits looking [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6897
Loc: southern Cal
Their model is certainly sophisticated,and the laws of physics are inexorable, but I hope they consider other factors, if pertinent, when making that decision.

I am reminded of a search at Santa Barbara Island, part of Channel Islands National Park, conducted just a few weeks before I arrived there. The CG searched waters surrounding the island, and eventually terminated the search. This was 1985, so this current model may not have existed then. The Park Service sent out a boat, who found the person, alive, on an isolated beach on the island and recovered him.

This neatly illustrates the problem of adequate coverage of boundaries during a search. We experienced the inverse problem during a search in the desert southwest, where the sides of a canyon were searched, but the stream bed was neglected, where the body was found way too late.

Terminating a search, or admitting that there is no hope for the victim being alive, is tremendously difficult. Somehow, you always hope there will be at least successful resolution.
Geezer in Chief

#292153 - 04/09/19 01:33 AM Re: Giving Up: Why the Coast Guard quits looking [Re: AKSAR]
Montanero Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1491
Loc: North Carolina
Just more validation of the need to be "Equipped to Survive"!


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