Mayday!

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by rchrd prkr, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. rchrd prkr

    rchrd prkr New Member

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    Without aid of google or Wikipedia,
    Why do they bark "Mayday" on the radio when there's an impending disaster?
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Ah! I just passed my boater education program for Virginia, and this wasn't on the test.... (well, mayday was, but the origin wasn't).

    I googled it, and wikipedia (take it for what it's worth) says....

    From French venez m'aider, meaning "come help me."


    For good measure, say "mayday" a few times, just so people know you're in trouble.

    Also NEVER fake a mayday call. If you hear it at sea, your heart does skip.
     
  3. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    And in aviation (I don't know how it is for you seafaring chaps), mayday is specifically used to indicate grave and/or imminent danger requiring immediate assistance, where as a call to indicate a safety concern which does not require immediate assistance would be signaled by the use of "PAN PAN PAN".
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Pan, pronounced "pawn".

    You would hear it "Pan-pan, Pan-pan, Pan-pan." The USCG does it all the time, so you're likely to hear it. It will get your attention but Mayday turns heads.
     
  5. icarus

    icarus Member

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    " S O S " Morse code distress signal is the precursor to "MAYDAY" was chosen by a British radio officer for air traffic between London and France. Not to be confused or has any correlation with the international workers' day or the Celtic festival of Beltane which is celebrated today May 1st.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Although SOS would go right over the heads of many listening on their VHF radios.


    "Bob did you hear that?"

    "Why yes I did Jerry, sounded like SOS.... followed by more Morse code describing location, nature of distress, POB, condition of people on board, etc"

    "Oh wow, what did they say?"

    "I don't know, the only Morse code I know is SOS."
     

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