Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ham activating a Rest Area help Australian sailor adrift off the coast of Mexico.

11/24/2011 -- IHRAS Members assist Australian Sailor adrift near Mexico.
Jon - N5JLD

Well it went sort of like this. KF5FEI and I showed up at the rest stop just before 5 am CST. We got set up and the noise from the lights lighting up the rest stop was horrible. Way to much for SSB even with DSB, oh well so I waited for daylight. Bill was setup for PSK31 and not having much better luck with all the noise. As daylight arrived the band started to wake up with it. Bill made a handful of contacts and I could hear a lot on phone but no one heard me. I switched to Bill's antenna and spun the dial to 14.325 and called CQ. Well VK3LAA came back and answered my call. That's right VK. Problem was that he was not in Australia but off the coast of Mexico. In a boat, dead in the water and looking for help. Bill started looking on how to get a hold of the Coast Guard while I was talking to him getting to location and his current status. He was in a 35 foot sailboat but his motor was not working and he is adrift with no winds. Well Bill got a hold of the USCG in California and we were relaying information back and forth. The USCG was trying to raise the Mexican Coast Guard as VK3LAA was having no luck on Maritime VHF. Bill then called Scott McBain to see if we could find a club member with a base station and maybe a beam that might be better suited, remember we were portable at a rest stop south of Fort Worth. Robert AD5VJ signed on and took over the lead as he was able to get with the folks over on 14.300 with the Maritime Mobile Net. They in turn got in contact with all their support personnel and got him the help he needed. I signed off with VK3LAA as he was in very good hands. I spun the dial again and made contacts with CA and MO. We then called it a day, packed up and headed for Turkey time.

Just your average day and the rest stop...........


The above story was posted on the "Rest Areas On The Air" Yahoo group
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