The system gives the SAR crew a starting point for their search. This is important, because even experienced, skilled mariners can get flustered when things go wrong. “It reminds me of a case I had in St. Petersburg, Florida,” Meyer says. “In December 2006, a Mayday came in over the radio: The individual passed us a GPS position, he was the only person on board, and his vessel was taking on water and then we lost communications. Since we were able to collect the critical information before losing communications, the case seemed to be pretty straightforward.” When the crew arrived on scene they found no person in the water, no boat or debris. There should be some indication they’re in the right spot.