SOS WOOH DE NMN = DO YOU HAVE PFD AND ARE YOU ABANDONING SHIP
Provided by David Ring Jr.
Merchant Marine Radio Officer
Here is a transcript of a real SOS message sent by the M/V Marine Electric call sign WOOH on February 12, 1983. It was transcribed from a tape recorded at NMF USCG COMMSTA Boston Marshfield, MA). Unfortunately, all except three persons died in the cold winter Atlantic waters.
SOS CQ DE WOOH = SS MARINE ELECTRIC AT 0800 GMT VESSEL DOWN BY
HEAD PREPARING TO ABANDON POSN 37-51.8N 74-45.5W = MASTER +
WOOH DE NMF = PLS POB POB AND DESCRIPTION
SOS WOOH DE LJKR = NMF SAYS POB AND DESCRIPTION? K
SOS DE WOOH = POB 31 VESSEL COAL CARRIER BOUND NEWPORT/RI FOR
FALL RIVER + HW K
SOS WOOH DE LJKR = RRR =
NMF DE LJKR QSL? K
LJKR DE NMF = OM ARE YOU PROCEEDING TO ASSIST? K
SOS NMF DE LJKR RRR = YES WE ARE PROCEEDING TO ASSIST SPEED 12
KNOTS = K
LJKR DE NMF = PSE ETA ETA
WAIT (LKJR SENDS)
SOS WOOH DE NMN NMN R R R SOS P
SOS DE WOOH R TU
SOS NMN DE LJKR = ARE YOU TAKING OVER DISTRESS TFC? K
SOS LJKR DE NMN R R R K
SOS NMN DE LJKR
LJKR DE NMN PSE ETA SOS?
WAIT (LJKR SENDS)
SOS NMN DE LJKR ETA H: ABT (QRM)
SOS LJKR DE NMN R R
SOS DE WOOH WAIT SOON THINK WAIT
SOS DE NMN R
SOS SOS SOS WOOH DE SVLR SVLR QSL HW
SOS NMN DE WOOH
= THEY GETTING BOATS READY NOW YES HAVE FLARES
AND PFD DONOT UNDERSTAND PFD IMI
SOS WOOH DE NMN = PFD - PERSONNEL FLOAT DEVICES?
NOTE - MARINE ELECTRIC IS RAPIDLY FADING - QSA 1/NIL
SOS NMN DE WOOH
= POB TWO LIFE BOATS WILL BE S???? LAUNCHING
THEM = + k
SOS WOOH DE NMN
= RRR = QSL PSE ON SCENE WEATHER AND NATURE OF
DISTRESS? SOS WOOH DE NMN K
SOS WOOH DE KLHC == QRMING WOOH !!!!! QTH 32 MILES FROM YOU
SOS KLHC DE WOOH RRR = WHEN WILL YOU GET HERE? K
SOS WOOH DE KLHC
QSL WILL ASSIST QTH 38-21.5N 74-35.5W 32 MILES NNE
FROM YOU WOOH DE KLHC K
SOS KLHC DE WOOH
R R TU
SOS SOS SOS WOOH DE SVLR SVLR I AM 120 MILS OF YOU + TKS
NOTE - MARINE ELECTRIC/WOOH IS OBVIOUSLY EITHER ON
RESERVE TRANSMITTER OR BAD WX IS CAUSING SEVERE RF LOSS FROM
ANTENNA AS SIGNAL IS MUCH WEAKER THAN KLHC 32 MILES FROM HIM **
SOS WOOH DE LZKH LZKH R SOS PSE QTH LJKR K
SOS WOOH DE LJKR
POSN 0840 38.18.7N 74.37W DISTANCE TO U 26 MILES
SPEED 15 KNOTS = QRA BERGANGER/LJKR K
OPERATOR'S NOTE: MARINE ELECTRIC/WOOH IS UNREADABLE NOW.
SOS DE LJKR RRR
= SOS NMN DE LJKR = WE ARE 26 NMILES FROM WOOH
AND DOING 15 KNOTS PREPARING TO ASSIST AS NEEDED = K
SOS LJKR DE NMN R R R = PSE ON SCEEN WEATHER?
(BERGANGER/LJKR SENDS) RATHER ROUGH = FER DETAILS WAIT SECOND
The remainder of the tape is a loud hum as if the microphone connection went bad.
But there is more to the story. One day, David
Ring was in his local church hall several years ago, when
he had this "strange" urge to turn and talk to the man next to him. Within several minutes, David had
found out that he was Bob Cusack, the Chief Mate of the Marine Electric/WOOH.
David quotes "Bob Cusack lived in New Hampshire.
He told me that the third mate, Eugene Kelly had
been on a life ring and about four people had been clinging for life, but everyone slipped off into the sea
anddied, and just himself and Albion "Al" Lane, the Radio Officer were left. They were both hanging
onto the same life ring.
Mr. Kelly, the Chief Mate turned around, and
when he did, he saw the orange red racing strips of the
approaching Coast Guard cutter. Excited by this, he turned around to give Al the good news that they
were rescued. Unfortunately, in the time it took for him to look and look around, Albion had lost his grip
on the life ring, and drowned.
I am always amazed by these promptings I sometimes
feel. I have also noticed them on ships. One day -
in response to an inner prompt, I manually tuned off 2182 kHz with the tunable Radio Room receiver.
When I did I heard a ship calling for help. They were off frequency - and except for someone with a
manual receiver, tuning off frequency, they would have never been heard. My ship answered their SOS
and took off a badly injured sailor".
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