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Correct Radio Call for POB / Souls on Board

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Correct Radio Call for POB / Souls on Board

Old 10th Jan 2010, 12:28
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Angel Correct Radio Call for POB / Souls on Board

Hi all

Last night we got call out on a medevac flight to get a fella on a jack up rig that had been injured.

Once landed he was pronounced dead , and we flew the body back to the beach, Here's a question what would the correct call be for the POB ?
I mean , i ended up called 4 souls on board but we had 5 bodies and so the confusion sets in ...
Is there anything in ICAO standard radio phraseology for this ? As i have not come across it and think it would be interesting to find out...

your thoughts
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 12:30
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How about four plus one deceased?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 12:49
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Actually a very good question.
Never thought about it before.
If a crash was to occur SAR would look for X POB and if they found the body of the dearly departed, who might not always be in a body bag, then they may stop the search while one was still drifting about awaiting rescue.
So what would be the correct call?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 12:51
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What if some of the breathing pax are Atheists.....can you call them "souls".

Stick to POB.....the deceased is cargo....just a lump of Red Meat.

Your cargo manifest will list him for use by the Investigators should it be necessary.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 13:16
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I agree with albatross,

Its sole purpose is so they know how many bodies are onboard right?

Dead or alive they need to know how many to look for in the event of a problem.

Perhaps we should just go with "4 onboard..."

MADY
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 13:32
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Well, I'm a controller and would say go with "Souls on Board" if you are carrying a dead person.

SAR/Medevac tend to have booked out with/talked to us anyway on the way to the rescue so we know the previous Persons on Board - Normally 4 or 5 anyway - So on the return leg if you report 5 "Persons On Board" we know you have a live casualty, if you report 5 "Souls On Board" we know that the're is a body on board.

Thats how we used to work it anyway. Though the crew normally make it clear if the person is living or dead - ie requests for assistance on arrival etc. but without spelling it out to the world.

If there were any confusion then we would ask them to clarify. It is very important for subsequent SAR if required.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 13:35
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We had the same discussion as we do organ donor flights and on one flight we had about 6 coolers with body parts in them . What shal we say 6 POB and bits?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 17:28
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I would have thought that if you pick up a body known to be deceased it would be placed either in a body bag and/or strapped to a stretcher. Either way chances are if then found following a subsequent crash of the SAR/medevac aircraft it would be fairly obvious that it wasn't a member of the rescue crew. Therefore the correct call would be the number of people alive on board. If a casualty is picked up who has not been pronounced dead then you would include them in the number on board call, possibly updating that number if the casualty died en route but unlikely as ultimately it would make no difference to the number of bodies/casualties being searched for. The most important thing is to remember that plenty of interested parties scan radio frequencies and patient/casualty confidentiality should be maintained by not giving out any more info than is absolutely necessary over the net.

I would be concerned if a controller determined the number of people on board worthy of rescuing based on a POB v SOB call as both are regularly used to mean the same thing and it tends to be the personal preference of the person making the radio call at the time.

So on the return leg if you report 5 "Persons On Board" we know you have a live casualty, if you report 5 "Souls On Board" we know that the're is a body on board.
That argument falls over if for example you have left a member of your crew at the scene of the rescue, perhaps to help with further casualties, and you are transporting 2 bodies. It would still be 5 "souls on board" but only 3 living!

SW
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 19:25
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niknak
 
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In our neck of the woods there's no ambiguity, the SAR guys SOP is to call with, for example, "Rescue xxx, 3 POB and one body on board".

It's not particularly pleasant, but it put you in no doubt and thankfuly, it's a pretty rare occurence.

I would encourage all other SAR operators to do the same where appropriate.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 19:38
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Probably agree with niknak and farmer 1 really. Not pleasant but we should be specific. I always used to check, not - thankfully that it happened often, but if there was any ambiguity it was always worth checking.

"4 POB and 1 Deceased". Specific and to the point no ambiguity.

(However, where I worked previously, we used to work on the basis that there are a lot of people with scanners out there, and in small communities where a SAR heli is responding to a specific fishing boat for example ... well, I'm sure you can understand that discretion on frequency can be important)
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 20:14
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Nikinak

I can't believe that it is SOP to call that you have a body on board. This was never ever done when I was a SAR pilot it was SOP to call 4 crew and X casualties.

This was for 2 reasons - firstly we were not qualified to certify someone as dead and secondly for the reasons outlined before - lots of ears listening that may have knowledge of who we were looking for and we didn't want to cause undue distress.

Imagine if you were looking for 3 hill walkers and you radioed back 2 casualties and 1 body - families listening on scanners and worrying if it was "their" body. So NEVER say you have a body on board.

On a lighter note we used to drop ashes for people who had military connections. Our call then would be 5 sob gradually becoming 4!

HF
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 20:57
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Having been on the flightdeck of a C17 when we flew a body back.... the RAF pilot said 18 POB, 17 Souls.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 21:15
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I once gave the inbound call as "Four pee-oh-bee and one dee-oh-gee".

The dog thought it was highly amusing.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 21:41
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What is the purpose of letting ATC know how many are on board?
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 22:05
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AFAIK it's to inform ATC in case of a crash...so hopefully they send enough ambulances...or in the worst case scenario...they find the right amount of bodies.
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Old 10th Jan 2010, 23:18
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I once brought an unfortunate victim into Sumburgh Airport in a Bolkow. After landing, I was called to the local Customs and Excise office and asked if the victim had been declared dead offshore. I said that I did not know and asked why this was an issue for Customs & Excise.

The reply was along the lines of, if he had been declared dead the body should have been manifested as freight. If not, he should have been named on the passenger manifest. The Customs officer was not amused when I asked if it would make a difference to his Duty Free allowance.




PS. Why do many aviation people still refer to "SOB" (Souls on Board) when all official documentation including Flight Plan forms ask for "POB" (Persons on Board)? I assume it goes back to Titanic days when the newspaper headline would have been

1517 SOULS LOST AT SEA

or in the case of the Aberdeen Press & Journal

ABERDEEN MAN LOST AT SEA 1516 other also lost

Last edited by HughMartin; 10th Jan 2010 at 23:33.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 07:49
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I understand that while the Piper A disaster survivors were being brought ashore, the person in charge of communications was talking to the wife of one of the men on the platform. He explained that a helicopter was bringing the bodies in.

He meant live ones.

Some people are in the wrong job.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 07:58
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Why do many aviation people still refer to "SOB" (Souls on Board)
For the same reason we have SOS = Save Our Souls? Save our Personages doesn't have quite the same ring about it.

It's an old Naval expression.

Cheers

Whirls
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 08:06
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Going the other way, coolest thing I heard working in NZ, was a rescue helicopter calling airborne with four POB, enroute the hospital, followed up about 5-6 minutes later with "Update POB, now 5".

Made our whole crew stop, wipe a little tear, then get back on with it. Wish we'd had cigars.
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 08:58
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Thanks

Thanks for posts seems like it is one of those occasions where it falls on the discretion of the pilot and conditions of carriage.Good Vibrations!
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