I thought this was interesting from the ACR site:
ACR Electronics Inc - ACR and ARTEX BeaconsFoster Stanback Rescue / ACR and ARTEX Beacons
"When I arrived they told me that the base commander wanted to talk to me. I thought, "Oh no, here we go. He's going to chew me out for sinking a boat and involving dozens of people in an expensive rescue operation." Soon a smiling young man came out and listened attentively as I divulged all the details of our ordeal. When I was finished, he said, "Well, we just want to thank you for making our job a whole lot easier." My three friends, who were taken further north to the air station at LAX, asked the rescue swimmer how often he had had to go out at night on rescue operations. He replied that, surprisingly, such missions were quite common, but we were the first actual "survivors" he had pulled out of the water in seven years. People typically lose consciousness in 1 to 2 hours in 50-60 degree water. Our wetsuits would perhaps have given us a few more hours,
but there was no way we would have made the ten mile swim to the shore of Catalina.
The only things that saved us were the ACR Survival Craft Radio and the ResQLink personal locator beacon. Yes, even the radio still did its job after I had dislodged the battery, thanks to an amazing new system developed by the Coast Guard called Rescue 21. Any distress call on the emergency channel is picked up by various receiving towers and immediately recorded on a computer. A program then calculates the exact coordinates of the source of the transmission using triangulation. The Coast Guard personnel were able to pinpoint exactly where we were when I made our brief May Day call. They then overlaid the position being reported by the ResQLink and got a perfect match. Thanks to these amazing electronic devices and the dedication and professionalism of the Coast Guard, we were the lucky participants in a "textbook rescue.""
Seems in addition to life jackets and maybe a life raft, a wet suit or survival suit for each crew may be a good idea.