Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Duluth, MN
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Just FYI - I have a McMurdo Fastfind that was issued to me by my employer in 2004 (so it's probably an older model than what you're looking at). Last fall I had a problem with 'locating' my locator beacon (ironically) and discovered that I had somehow lost an $800.00 piece of gear. Not good, but it does happen.
So I had to report it to NOAA. They told me that the device had actually been activated. I'm thinking "good, someone picked it up and I can get it back from them...". But then no follow-up call from NOAA or anyone else about getting it back.
Two weeks later, I "find" my beacon wedged into a corner in one of my packs, so it was never missing. It was also still intact/unactivated, so whatever NOAA or the CG had read regarding my beacon was obviously an error.
Point being that these things aren't all they're cracked up to be - either the device or the system used to track it. Unless you're in AK, where they actually take this stuff a lot more seriously (and they use mainly EPIRBS there, anyway). I no longer look to this thing as the golden parachute. Rather have a decent cell phone or a VHF radio.