Innexpensive handheld VHF/GPS saves lives - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-11-2009
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Exclamation Innexpensive handheld VHF/GPS saves lives

Hello Fellow Sailors:

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.
We spend thousands on toys for our boats but sometimes skimp on lifesaving items.
West Marine sells a VHF/GPS floating hand held for $299.00.

Safe sailing,

Big Moe
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Old 03-11-2009
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That's only assuming they used it to see their position and had a VHF radio, which they didn't. They went to sea like they were going out on a local lake. Unfortunately, Darwinism at work.
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Old 03-11-2009
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Of course common sense would have saved them and it would have been much more useful and a lot cheaper...

They went out in a 22' boat in small craft warning conditions...

A handheld VHF, unless it was like a SH 850s, which has an integrated GPS, would probably not have helped much, and it is questionable as to whether they would have been able to call for help. Not too many boats were out that day.
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Old 03-11-2009
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I would think a handheld radio that automatically broadcasts the GPS coordinates vis DSC when the mic is keyed would have made the difference. There's always an epirb. I mean, when one of your favorite fishing spots is 30 miles out, and you're going in a 21ft open fisherman, it's not a bad option, rather cheap insurance.
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Old 03-12-2009
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"I mean, when one of your favorite fishing spots is 30 miles out, and you're going in a 21ft open fisherman,"
Sounds more like a macho problem, which is to be expected from professional corporate athletes who are bought and bred for having macho attitudes. Radio? Cell phone in a zip lock bag? EPIRB? Nah, that's all girly-man stuff, those manly men can take it all without wasting their beer money on pansy safety things.
Hell, anyone who takes that kind of boat out that far, and doesn't turn back before the water gets that rough, is in trouble no matter what they have on board.
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Lets not forget that a handheld radio is only a 5 or 6 watt radio. If you can't see who you wish to talk to your not going to be able to reach them on the radio. 30 miles out you have no chance of reaching a on shore Coast Guard station with a handheld radio.
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Old 03-12-2009
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The reports I read said that the boat capsized suddenly in which case all of these safety items may have floated away or been trapped under the boat. I wouldn't say that any piece of gear would have guaranteed a rescue.

Certainly lessons can be learned from this incident, but insulting three dead people won't bring any of those lessons to light.
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Old 03-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Sounds more like a macho problem, which is to be expected from professional corporate athletes who are bought and bred for having macho attitudes.
And yet, they were in a boat built for MY budget!!

Poor souls, just shows to go ya.
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Old 03-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
Lets not forget that a handheld radio is only a 5 or 6 watt radio. If you can't see who you wish to talk to your not going to be able to reach them on the radio. 30 miles out you have no chance of reaching a on shore Coast Guard station with a handheld radio.
Ditto.

Have you ever tried to transmit in the open waters on your hand held radio? Good communication is sketchy at best. Receive from a fixed mount or land based, yes, transmit? No.

I stopped carrying a hand held years ago because they are really only useful for playing around in the dinghy or in close proximity to others. Not a whole lot of use in the open water. I do plan on getting another one (seems like the prices keep dropping) for emergecy situations, but I am fully aware that I will need to get my butt to within about a mile or two of my target before it will be effective.

Proper planning and good seamanship; including watching and listening to weather forecasting would have given the lost souls a better chance. A 5 watt radio? Not sure it would have been much help.
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Old 03-12-2009
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Hello Fellow Sailors:

The new hand held VHF/GPS have MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity). It gives you a fighting chance assuming you are close to another craft or someone is looking for you. I keep one in my ditch bag along with an extra EPIRB. Every little bit helps! I would rather have a hand held transmitting MMSI than have nothing at all!

Please understand that I mean no disrespect to the deceased. My comments are made to help sailors add to their survival gear inventories.

Big Moe
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