Excellent discussion in the PANPAN vs MAYDAY thread but nobody talks about the fact that MAYDAYS also have different levels of response based on the information provided.
At extremes the USCG is going to deploy a lot more assets for a cruiseship engulfed in flame than a small boat with a mob. It’s your job as captain to give the information needed for the SAR coordinator to make that decision.
But the SAR coordinator is not on scene. You are. And you have to think about what assets are going to help you.
What many don’t realize is that you can ask for certain assets. You can request a helicopter or even a cutter.
Spending some time with SAR coordinators and learning how they think could make the difference between life and death.