What was said was not what was meant…….
Taking on Water
by John J. Miller
Southern California has a large number of yachts, boats, catamarans, trimarans, sailboats, you name it, who take to the waves as weekend sailors, keeping the Radio Station Long Beach, NMQ, busy copying reports of trouble they have run into. Becalmed sailboats might request a helicopter to furnish them with wind from their rotor blades to help them get back into port before dark. On occasion a helicopter would be used in this manner if the sailboat was in danger of going aground because of an incoming tide.
If this was not the case, the standard reply from the district office to relay to them is to wait for the wind to come up, causing many of these "salts" to wonder what they were paying taxes for. The radiotelephone position for these craft was extremely busy on the weekends. I remember one event at NMQ that always makes me laugh, even today.
During the summer of 1952, a fishing boat reported they needed assistance. We copied the necessary information, then called the USCG Reserve unit at Coast Guard Base San Pedro to advise them an enroute fishing boat was taking on water and needed assistance.
A few minutes passed before we received an inquiry, "How much water does he need?"