Proposal talk:Emergency=lifeboat station

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All comments welcome!

Lifeboat station vs Marine Rescue

During previous discussions, there was concern expressed that using the Marine Rescue title would exclude those stations that are based on lakes and inland waterways.

In addition, a very large proportion of existing use of these tags is in UK waters, so in keeping with OSM's British English traditions, I decided to go with =lifeboat_station. --Fizzie41 (talk) 06:53, 22 November 2022 (UTC)

I feel like lifeboat_station heavily implies that there must be a lifeboat stationed there. If that's a core requirement, fine. But if you want to include all water rescue stations, including those that don't have lifeboats, then I'm not sure this is the right term. As below, in the UK we have  His Majesty's Coastguard and Water Search & Rescue who also perform non-lifeboat-based rescue activities. Casey boy (talk) 11:54, 23 November 2022 (UTC)

Yes, lifeboat-station is intended for bases with a lifeboat. Water Search & Rescue is an interesting one - I'm not sure if they would come under emergency=lifeguard, or possibly it would come under the emergency_service=water, that I had put down to deprecate, as most uses of it appear to be lifeguard stations? --Fizzie41 (talk) 22:38, 23 November 2022 (UTC)

Hmm. I guess I'd never considered lifeguard. As far as I understand, my specific example is a group who assists the "formal" emergency services with water based rescues (like mountain rescue teams do but in the water instead). I don't think they're really lifeguards in the sense they don't ever patrol or maintain a guard of a certain area. Casey boy (talk) 09:54, 24 November 2022 (UTC)
I've got to admit that they're a group that I don't have any personal knowledge of. Out here, that sort of thing is done by Fire Service Swift-water Rescue teams, or by Police Rescue / Water Police, with lifeguards / lifesavers looking after swimmers on the beach. emergency_service=water may well be a good option, so I'll include that. --Fizzie41 (talk) 22:28, 24 November 2022 (UTC)
"But if you want to include all water rescue stations, including those that don't have lifeboats, then I'm not sure this is the right term". Responding to this bit, which I didn't notice earlier. The idea of a lifeboat / rescue station is that they are the people who respond to vessels in distress e.g. sinking, & to rescue sailors, so that implicitly implies that they (usually) use a rescue boat of some form. If rescuers are running into the water / using a rescue board to reach swimmers in distress, then they would be classified as lifeguards, & would be tagged under emergency=lifeguard --Fizzie41 (talk) 06:16, 24 November 2022 (UTC)
What about, for example, helicopter (only) search & rescue stations? They're water/marine rescue stations but not lifeboat stations. Casey boy (talk) 09:54, 24 November 2022 (UTC)

I was about to say that most helicopter rescues (as opposed to patient transfer) are usually done by military units e.g. RAF Rescue Flight, but I see that has now been disbanded & contracted out to private enterprise. However, these would be operating out of established airports, not seaside bases. I see there is also an emergency_service=air tag, used 24 times, mainly in Germany: This could be of use? --Fizzie41 (talk) 22:28, 24 November 2022 (UTC) Regarding this proposal, emergency=lifeboat_station I agree. Gendy54 (talk) 23:19, 27 November 2022 (UTC)

Use on Rescue-related sites

As mentioned in the proposal, use of this tag could be extended to cover such facilities as, which, while not a lifeboat / Rescue-station as such in it's own right, is responsible for coordinating & controlling almost all Maritime Rescue activities for the English Channel, as well as a large area of SE England coastal waters. Another example would be

If it is decided that =lifeboat_station is not suitable for such sites, what would be a better option? --Fizzie41 (talk) 07:05, 22 November 2022 (UTC)

HM Coastguard is an interesting one. I wonder if we should approve emergency=coast_guard (or amenity=coast_guard but I do prefer the emergency tag instead) for non-militarised coastguards. If these coastguard bases also have a lifeboat launch, then we tag just the launch building/area as a lifeboat station or use some sub-tagging (e.g. lifeboat=yes or something)? Casey boy (talk) 10:53, 23 November 2022 (UTC)
Also worth perhaps saying that for the buildings, we could use office=coastguard (or maybe office=government if the coastguard is an agency of the government, which is normally is I guess) if it is just the HQ or similar. Casey boy (talk) 10:58, 23 November 2022 (UTC)

Yes, as was discussed under the original Template:Https:// features/Marine rescue proposal, Coastguard is always going to be a bit of an awkward one to distinguish between armed forces & volunteer Rescue groups. "Military" Coastguard is now included under military_service, so those bases should be mapped under military. Looking at for emergency & for amenity, it would appear that quite a few of those should be changed to military bases, while others could become lifeboat-stations (& a few lifeguards!). emergency=coast_guard could work for those relatively few surveillance / communication bases that don't have actual rescue facilities of their own, or possibly, to get away from any possible Coastguard confusion, how about a new tag "emergency=coast_watch"? --Fizzie41 (talk) 23:20, 23 November 2022 (UTC)

Hmm. Personally, I'd stick with emergency=coast_guard (it's more intuitive, to me at least, what the tags means and matches with the militarised coast guard tagging) but would be interested to hear what others think. I guess this is actually an aside to this proposal but it is useful to think through the wider ramifications. Casey boy (talk) 10:02, 24 November 2022 (UTC)

In France, I have mapped the few control centres for sea rescue operations as follows Template:Tag:emergency and office=government. This seems to me to be a good solution. Gendy54 (talk) 23:15, 27 November 2022 (UTC)

Thanks, that also makes good sense. Places that I was wondering about yesterday are Harbour Control Centres: e.g. & Could they also be covered under an "emergency" heading such as this? --Fizzie41 (talk) 23:32, 27 November 2022 (UTC)
for me, harbour control centres are like airport control towers, nothing more and nothing less. So there is no reason to put them in the "emergency" category. Gendy54 (talk) 23:41, 27 November 2022 (UTC)

From Gendy's comment above, thinking that emergency=control_centre would be a good option for such sites as the Dover Coastguard base mentioned earlier? Again, your thoughts please? --Fizzie41 (talk) 00:05, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

Another option: emergency=water_rescue

Sorry if this isn't helpful. Rather than trying to split hairs over what would count as a lifeboat station etc, how about a more generic emergency=water_rescue?


Possible con:

Casey boy (talk) 11:18, 25 November 2022 (UTC)

Undocumented, but is actually already in use 3 times!, one on a gate leading to an unspecified boathouse; one Austrian Water Rescue Agency, which is apparently their lifeguard service; & the third is a Polish MOPR base, which is a combo lifeguard & Rescue service.
It could work as you suggest, combining everything under =water-rescue as an effective top tag? I could see that leading to a rewrite of the whole emergency page, with emergency=fire + fire=fire_station & all the other current "fire" tags, which would really cause a commotion! :-)
I'll throw it out there for comment & see what people think? --Fizzie41 (talk) 21:54, 25 November 2022 (UTC)
So why is emergency=water_rescue not chosen? I would oppose to replacing the more general emergency=marine_rescue with a too specific emergency=lifeboat_station. Furthermore "lifeboat" is ambiguous against ship evacuation boats, compared to "rescue boat" or other titles. --- Kovposch (talk) 09:21, 6 December 2022 (UTC)
Mainly because on the original proposal for emergency=marine_rescue, a number of people complained that "marine rescue" meant that teh unit only operated at sea, & therefore didn't cover rescue units on lakes & inland waterways. Yes, "lifeboat" can refer to either a evacuation boat on board ship, or a rescue boat, but OSM doesn't tag ship-board lifeboats, so that shouldn't be an issue. --Fizzie41 (talk) 21:10, 6 December 2022 (UTC)
As for emergency=water_rescue, yes, as I said ^, that could be introduced as a new top tag, combining both lifeboats / marine rescue units & lifeguard services? --Fizzie41 (talk) 21:33, 6 December 2022 (UTC)
4, That's silly. Life saving equipment is not active rescue service. --- Kovposch (talk) 10:48, 26 November 2022 (UTC)

Suggestions after first voting

-- Something B (talk) 23:55, 15 December 2022 (UTC)

Splitting each of these into their own sub-topic --Fizzie41 (talk) 01:54, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Air rescue

How is helicopter and fixed-wing airplane maritime search and rescue stations or bases handled currently? They are not always an aeroway=heliport or aeroway=aerodrome of their own. Often gets a corner at an existing airport. --- Kovposch (talk) 09:27, 6 December 2022 (UTC)

As far as I am aware, they aren't? Here's one that I know of: & I just left the name on the hangar as I couldn't find any sort of appropriate tag? & another for the Flying Doctor (which is Air Ambulance rather than Search & Rescue as such, but a similar problem):
I only mentioned helicopters as a comment was made that marine rescue isn't always done by boats, which is correct, but as you say, how should they be tagged? I willingly agree that emergency=lifeboat_station on a hangar in the corner of an airfield looks strange (but it would have been a lot better as emergency=marine_rescue). Maybe it could be broken down as I mentioned to emergency=water_rescue + water_rescue + helicopter? --Fizzie41 (talk) 02:36, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

During earlier discussions I mentioned that I had also spotted the undocumented tag emergency_service=air, currently used mainly in Germany:, but this seems to be more of an Air Ambulance service, rather than Search & Rescue?

In keeping with the current format of the Emergency page, Search & Rescue bases should probably be listed under Rescue Stations, possibly as emergency=air (air_rescue, perhaps?), further broken down into air=search_and_rescue & air=air_ambulance.

Again, thoughts & comments, please? --Fizzie41 (talk) 01:18, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

Not handling that in this proposal seems viable. Note that there are quite tricky cases like general-purpose air rescue that has in range both water rescue and mountain rescue and airlifting patients in other cases. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 12:56, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
In most cases, pure patient-transport helicopters are not equipped with winches to be able to pick it people up from the ground / water, they land to load them aboard. Rescue choppers do have winches so can lift people directly. From looking at their site I mentioned above, the German DRF would appear to be an "air-ambulance", as would the Australian Royal Flying Doctor, while groups like: to count as "search & rescue" --Fizzie41 (talk) 23:43, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

Replace emergency=lifeboat_station with emergency=water_rescue

Yes, could be done, but that would then have to become a new top tag, which then splits down to water_rescue=lifeguard + water_rescue=lifeboat_station (& possibly water_rescue=helicopter) --Fizzie41 (talk) 01:57, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Going back & reading all the comments that have been made to date, this one has been mentioned a few times. So, what would be everyone's thoughts on combining everything into a new top tag as emergency=water_rescue? This would then include a variety of sub tags:
  • water_rescue=lifeboat_station - basically this tag - location of rescue units that usually use boats to rescue sailors from vessels in distress
  • water_rescue=lifeguard - move the existing emergency=lifeguard to here
  • water_rescue=lifering - move the existing emergency=life_ring to here
=lifeguard & =lifeboat_station would need to be differentiated as they fill two completely different roles. Yes, they are both involved with rescuing people from the water, but one works from the beach & concentrates on swimmers, while the other is deep/er water & concerned with sailors in boats.
It would also then make sense to include =lifering under this top tag as well.
Thoughts & comments please? --Fizzie41 (talk) 00:59, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Mixing rescue stations, lifeguards and life rings isn't good idea, IMHO. Simply use emergency=water_rescue for water rescue stations for shipping. Something B (talk) 09:22, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

Fair call! --Fizzie41 (talk) 23:45, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

Drop emergency_service=water, amenity=lifeboat and "seamark" from the proposal (not mention this tags)

  • emergency_service=water - yes, possibly, but that was added after somebody pointed out the existence of What do we call them, or just ignore them? --Fizzie41 (talk) 02:00, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

  • amenity=lifeboat - a bad tag, especially whee being used to map mobile items, which, by policy, OSM doesn't do.


" Houseboats that are moving are not mappable in OSM"

Yes, it could be either written up to specify it's the location where a lifeboat is moored, or changed to amenity=lifeboat_mooring, but, is it verifiable? Can anybody walk up to that spot 24/7/365 & say "Ah yes, that's the George & Mary Webb"? Sorry, but no they can't, as it may be elsewhere at that moment. --Fizzie41 (talk) 02:03, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

My other concern with the current information that is listed under this tag, is that most of it appears to have come from an unauthorised source --Fizzie41 (talk) 01:32, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

Drop "seamark" - this was mentioned once before, & as I asked at the time (with no response) - why, what is wrong with seamark tags, especially if ( "The tags defined on this page will render in various nautical charts"? --Fizzie41 (talk) 02:07, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Mark emergency=lifeboat_station as deprecated

In favour of what?

My original proposal was for emergency=marine_rescue_station, but I changed it to lifeboat to satisfy those people who considered that it only referred to Blue-Water / open-sea rescue, not inland lakes & waterways.

There are currently 3 basically identical tags in use: emergency=lifeboat_station, amenity=lifeboat_station & emergency=marine_rescue; & most of the POIs tagged are tagged with multiples of these options. Which should be the best choice? --Fizzie41 (talk) 02:12, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

In favor of emergency=water_rescue - this tag is suitable for both inland waters and helicopter stations. Something B (talk) 09:17, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

Yes, I'm rapidly coming across to this view as well!--Fizzie41 (talk) 23:56, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

Another options is emergency=waterway_rescue emergency=sailors_rescue or emergency=ship_rescue - this tag unlikely to be confused with emergency=lifeguard. Something B (talk) 15:03, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

Sorry, but they all seem rather convoluted! & I think you'd have the same complaints that the second two mean rescue at sea, excluding inland waters; & personally, I think exactly the opposite about "waterway-rescue" - that means inland, not sea! --Fizzie41 (talk) 23:56, 17 December 2022 (UTC)