Originally Posted by travlineasy
I've always said safe boating is 90-percent common sense, which can easily be backed up with some relatively inexpensive electronics. One of the neatest tools I acquired in my electronics arsenal is the Spot GPS Satellite Messenger. It's a fantastic device the size of a package of cigarettes that allows me to tell friends and family where I'm at at any given time of day or night. I purchased it via the Sailnet store, and with the discounts it ended up costing about $45. The annual service fee is about $105, which is dirt cheap. It works throughout most of the world, and during my trip down the ICW, at locations where there was no cellular telephone signal, it only took the press of a button to let my family know I was safe. SPOT SATELLITE MESSENGER :: HOME PAGE
Yeah, SPOTs sure are becoming popular, alright...
I'd love to have a nickel for every taxpayer dollar that will be wasted in the years to come on needless SAR missions triggered after a SPOT battery dies, or someone at sea hasn't posted to their blog or Facebook page in more than 24 hours... (grin)
One recent example...
Missing Honolulu boat headed to Long Beach is found with broken satellite phone
Updated: 05/05/2013 04:02:00 PM PDT
LONG BEACH -- A sailboat that went missing while en route from Hawaii to California has been found with a broken satellite phone, and relatively close to the islands, Coast Guard officials said today.
The sailing vessel "Siesta" had missed its scheduled radio contacts, and Friday authorities asked California mariners for help spotting the boat, which was described as a 44-foot white and blue vessel, captained by a Hawaiian named Curtis Collins.
Coast Guard officials in Honolulu said the crew of the missing vessel was found in no distress this morning nearly 500 miles northeast of Oahu.
The crew aboard the motor vessel "Kristen Picer" notified Coast Guard officials of the discovery around 8:55 a.m. and helped rescuers locate the "Siesta."
The "Siesta" crew cited a malfunction in their satellite phone as the reason for the missed contact over the 12-hour communications schedule the crew had with friends in Honolulu.
The captain intends to continue on to San Pedro or Long Beach, without satellite communications, Coast Guard officials said.
Missing Honolulu boat headed to Long Beach is found with broken satellite phone - Press-Telegram