Innexpensive handheld VHF/GPS saves lives - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 30 Old 03-15-2009
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Ever heard of signal bounce? Slim chance, better than none. Maybe it's a hazy day, oh, i dunno, like when a front comes through. Your potential rescuer would be easily visible on a clear day, but not in the fog, spray, rain, or chop. Waiting til you see a potential rescuer is bad advice, not to mention at night. Maybe a potential rescuer is close, but they were beat up too and their lights are out. See them? Not likely. What are you saving the batteries for? Hypothermia is closing in, fatigue, drowning. Just how long are you gonna outlast the batteries? You don't want to wail on it constantly, but judicious use is your best bet.
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post #22 of 30 Old 03-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabreeze_97 View Post
Ever heard of signal bounce? Slim chance, better than none. Maybe it's a hazy day, oh, i dunno, like when a front comes through. Your potential rescuer would be easily visible on a clear day, but not in the fog, spray, rain, or chop. Waiting til you see a potential rescuer is bad advice, not to mention at night. Maybe a potential rescuer is close, but they were beat up too and their lights are out. See them? Not likely. What are you saving the batteries for? Hypothermia is closing in, fatigue, drowning. Just how long are you gonna outlast the batteries? You don't want to wail on it constantly, but judicious use is your best bet.
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Last edited by bubb2; 03-16-2009 at 12:29 AM.
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post #23 of 30 Old 03-16-2009
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BUbb—

You're spending way too much time browsing Youtube...

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post #24 of 30 Old 03-17-2009
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Last year I added SPOT to my safety equipment. Already had a fixed mount GPS and a portable handheld VHF w. MMSI and a fixed mount VHF. My view is that SPOT is at least almost as good as EPIRB and lots cheaper. Any comments or issues with SPOT? BTW - I'm sailing a Micro Cruiser in coastal waters.
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post #25 of 30 Old 03-17-2009
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I wouldn't say that the SPOT is almost as good as an EPIRB, and it really isn't any cheaper, since you have to pay the subscription service fee for the SPOT messenger service, and you don't have to pay one for an EPIRB. Globalstar has some serious network problems that can lead to the SPOT not working for hours at a time—which isn't the case with a 406MHz EPIRB or PLB.

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post #26 of 30 Old 03-17-2009
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I don't think SPOT has the power and reliability of EPIRB, but the fee isn't unreasonable if you want a way to leave breadcrumbs so your family or others can keep an eye out for you. EPIRB can't do that.
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post #27 of 30 Old 03-18-2009
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Better to be a dreamer with a simple handheld than give up HOPE after only a couple hours. There is a very good reason a fixed mount 25 watt radio is required for commercial boats, but this wasn't one, and it was also turtled, so if they even had one, it was UN...DER.....WA...TER. The only survivor never gave up hope, and that's a powerful thing. Had they bothered to have any sort of device, they might all have made it. Put it this way: If you have it, you at least can try, but hey Bubb, you go your way, I'll go mine.
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post #28 of 30 Old 03-18-2009
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True, but it really isn't a replacement for an EPIRB. It may work, but an EPIRB or PLB is probably a better bet.
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I don't think SPOT has the power and reliability of EPIRB, but the fee isn't unreasonable if you want a way to leave breadcrumbs so your family or others can keep an eye out for you. EPIRB can't do that.

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post #29 of 30 Old 03-18-2009
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Quote:
Bog Moe: "The recent capsizing and subsequent death of three NFL players was a preventable accident. A floating handheld VHF/GPS would have given the men a fighting chance."
Moe et al--while there is no doubt merit to a GPS enabled hand-held VHF, it would have been of no use in this case except in the unlikely event that another boat had been in range--which as a practical matter is probably about 3 miles from the water's surface. A copy of the Coast Guard's report on the incident was obtained by a local news paper under a FOI submittal and disclosed that the boat was 62+/- miles off-shore at the time of the capsize and that--according to the lone survivor--two of the men discarded their life jackets and swam away from the capsized boat within 20 minutes or so of entering the water--likely due to the effects of dementia induced by hypothermia in the 62* water. Those two were likely dead within less than an hour, much less after the 10+ hours before they were reported missing and a search launched.

While a SPOT might have helped, as an owner/user of a SPOT I would not bet my life on it. Moreover, when one compares the cost of the SPOT and the subscription charges over the 3 year shelf-life (minimum) a PLB battery is good for, or 5 year shelf-life of a GPEPIRB, there is no material cost savings. Had that boat been equipped with even a minimal PLB, their cry for help would have been heard within 5 minutes and a SAR mission launched to the locale of the signal in less than 30 minutes. Without a GPS position, the SAR mission would still have been within a mile or two of the capsize--at which point a hand-held VHF would have come in handy--within 20 minutes more, less than an hour after those boys hit the water.

Unfortunately, this incident illustrates the consequences of inexperience and ill preparedness and the need for minimal safety training requirements and, frankly, a little common sense.

I think Moe's comment was well intended but in this case, the usefulness of a hand held doesn't hold a candle to the usefulness of a PLB and sophistic rationales are senseless.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte

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post #30 of 30 Old 03-24-2009
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Update

As a consequence of the events that gave rise to this thread, there has been a great increase in interest is EPIRB's and safety equipment among the casual boter/fishing crowd, at least in the Tampa Bay area. See the following:

Boating device sales up since fishermen lost at sea - Bay News 9

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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