via Hamble Lifeboat
Naturally a good day for us means no-one had cause to seek our help. The open sea is a fantastic place to explore and enjoy while expanding your knowledge and building on your experience. But do remember, it can quickly turn on you. Know your route and your danger points. Keep an eye on the tides and weather. Have an emergency action plan and make sure someone knows where your heading and when you expect to arrive. And if you think you might need to head for shelter, that's the point to start heading in!
Take charge of the situation. What sort of assistance is going to be needed? Is loss of life or the vessel probable?
If there is immediate danger to anyone's life or the vessel itself, send a Mayday distress call on Channel 16.
If there is no grave danger, you should send a Pan-pan.
MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY, This is (name of vessel repeated three times)
MAYDAY, MY POSITION IS (give your GPS latitude and longitude or compass bearing from a well known object)
I AM (state problem such as on fire, sinking, etc.) WITH (number of) PERSONS ON BOARD, I REQUIRE IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE
PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN, This is (name of vessel repeated three times)
PAN-PAN, MY POSITION IS (give your GPS latitude and longitude or compass bearing from a well known object)
I AM (state problem such as non-threatening injury requiring ambulance, extinguished fire, etc.) WITH (number of) PERSONS ON BOARD
Once contact with the Coastguard is established, follow their instruction and continue to remain as calm as you can. Stay on Channel 16 and try to talk in a calm and clear manner. It will help.
If a helicopter evacuation is advised, have someone clear the decks of all loose items. Anything that is not fixed down should be taken below decks. The pilot will offer further advice once communication has been established. In the Solent, the usual call sign for the Coastguard helicopter in a rescue situation is Rescue One Zero Four.