This morning I had the good fortune to speak with Ben Strong from the US Coast Guard’s AMVER unit. (Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System) AMVER is a voluntary system where commercial ships report their positions so that they can assist in at sea rescues.
Let’s face it, the oceans are vast and boats, no matter how big, are still small. If something happens out there and you need some help, there’s a good chance that the first responder will be a commercial ship. An added benefit of participating in the system is that regular position reporting will help you to be found if you encounter some kind of catastrophic event at sea.
Ben confirmed that all three vessels involved in the Concordia rescue were enrolled in the AMVER program. (Concordia, Hokuetsu Delight and Crystal Pioneer) AMVER blog post: Concordia update- Amver ships save school children in high seas rescue
Here’s my discussion with Ben about EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) and rescues at sea.