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Mayday Ignored

Monday 1 October 2012
As a sailor I make sure that I have an array of tools aboard to call for help if needed. The VHF, flares and EPIRB are all checked regularly to make sure that the message goes out loud and clear. What if the authorities were simply to ignore the call because it happened to be the weekend that I was to get into distress?

This is exactly what happened to three sailors when their yacht was swept onto rocks in Fiji. They raised the alarm via their radio and satellite phone but were told that the Fijian Navy does not work at weekends and so could not provide assistance. The Navy relayed the Mayday call to other vessels in the area to no avail.

The sailors were later rescued by a group of divers from a lodge some distance from the scene that intercepted the distress call.