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  #1  
Old 04-19-2015
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My New MOB Procedure

Last year I picked up a new handheld VHF. It floats and has GPS with DSC, complete with the panic button. It also has a strobe light that starts if it hits the drink. Wonderful little gadget. I keep it in my pocket or on my belt.

So I got to thinking about how cool this thing is and how I could use it aside from calling bridges or the USCG if I fell overboard and my boat sailed away.

I decided that the FIRST thing I would do in a critical MOB situation is turn it on, hit the panic button and toss it overboard in the direction of the crew who went in. Then stop the boat, etc.

Why, you might ask:

Even if there is poor visibility and the MOB is unable to reach it I might hear it by using another VHF.
The strobe might aid me seeing the MOB.
Anyone can track it's location via the signal. Hopefully it might drift in the same vicinity as the MOB.
And, of course, if the MOB can swim to it, they can talk me or anyone else back to them.

Am I missing something? I welcome your comments.
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Old 04-19-2015
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Re: My New MOB Procedure

If it floats "flat" the antenna might be slightly underwater and not transmit. But that's something that you could test with a MOB drill. Do it in calm water or you might lose your radio.
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Old 04-19-2015
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Re: My New MOB Procedure

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
Last year I picked up a new handheld VHF. It floats and has GPS with DSC, complete with the panic button. It also has a strobe light that starts if it hits the drink. Wonderful little gadget. I keep it in my pocket or on my belt.

--- SNIP ---
What model is it?

Greg
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Old 04-19-2015
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Re: My New MOB Procedure

Guess that it is a Standard Horizon HX870


I just bought this one and it has all of the mentioned features & functions.

It can do the following when it senses water (user configurable);
  • float, and do nothing else
  • float and flash the LED
  • float, turn on, and flash the LED
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Last edited by eherlihy; 04-19-2015 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 04-19-2015
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Re: My New MOB Procedure

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post

Even if there is poor visibility and the MOB is unable to reach it I might hear it by using another VHF.
The strobe might aid me seeing the MOB.
Anyone can track it's location via the signal. Hopefully it might drift in the same vicinity as the MOB.
And, of course, if the MOB can swim to it, they can talk me or anyone else back to them.

Am I missing something? I welcome your comments.


How easy do you suppose it would be for a MOB, his eyes never much more than about a foot above the water surface, spot that thing floating in 5-6 foot seas?

KISS... I think the first thing to go overboard in the event of a MOB situation, should be the MOB pole and attached strobe, or equivalent MOB module... Something easily seen from a distance by both the swimmer, and the the remaining crew on board, to make for...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 04-19-2015 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 04-19-2015
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Re: My New MOB Procedure

IMHO step one should be;-

Press the MOB button on the GPS or GPS Plotter.


You can can only rescue someone if you can find them.

I have done this once for real single handed when the cat went overboard between St Lucia and St Vincent.Typical trade wind conditions 15 to 20 knots with a 6 to 8 ft swell.

It took me some time to get sails down and turned around. I was sure he was a gonner but as the distance to point ticked down to zero there he was, swimming for his cat life.
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Old 04-19-2015
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Re: My New MOB Procedure

OK, I may have confused the issue with too much information. I was not looking to replace any MOB procedure, just adding one more. I can hit the MOB on my chartplotter and toss a hand held over the side in probably 3-5 seconds and be stopping engines/releasing sheets, starting to turn in less than 30 seconds.

The question of if it will transmit on it's side is interesting. I'll have to test it out once the water warms up a bit.

I was not aware of the options of the radio turning itself on if it hits water. That manual was pretty dry reading, I must have given up at some point (or dozed off).

As for MOB pole, I don't have one. I think there are more boats that don't have them then do. How visible is that strobe in pea soup?

I know that if that DSC is transmitting lat/long it can be found in anything.

The MOB with his head just above the water might not see it, but it should drift with him/her and if it is seen and they can get their hands on it, they will be found, even if it's a USCG chopper.

Again, I'm not saying it's the only answer, or a replacement for any other MOB rescue procedure. I was looking for reasons not to add that to the list.

Thanks everyone for your replies.
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Old 04-19-2015
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Re: My New MOB Procedure

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Guess that it is a Standard Horizon HX870


I just bought this one and it has all of the mentioned features & functions.

It can do the following when it senses water (user configurable);
  • float, and do nothing else
  • float and flash the LED
  • float, turn on, and flash the LED
Yes, that's the one. I think Simrad, West Marine, Uniden and Lowrance all make one as well. Others are sure to be close behind.

edit: and you all know it's only a matter of time until they are touch screen/full screen chartplotters.
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Last edited by RobGallagher; 04-19-2015 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 04-19-2015
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Re: My New MOB Procedure

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
How easy do you suppose it would be for a MOB, his eyes never much more than about a foot above the water surface, spot that thing floating in 5-6 foot seas?

KISS... I think the first thing to go overboard in the event of a MOB situation, should be the MOB pole and attached strobe, or equivalent MOB module... Something easily seen from a distance by both the swimmer, and the the remaining crew on board, to make for...
Actually, I'd suggest the FIRST thing to go overboard in an MOB situation should be one of these: SOSDanbuoy. If you haven't got one, get one now!!(*)

At least then you have a target to thrown the radio at..


*= I have no affiliation whatsoever with these people, it is just that a single, small, cockpit-stowed bag to throw overboard is such a vast improvement on the old ways, it makes anything else look silly.
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Old 04-19-2015
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Re: My New MOB Procedure

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
As for MOB pole, I don't have one. I think there are more boats that don't have them then do. How visible is that strobe in pea soup?

.
Well, probably more visible than anything else would be... :-)

As for hitting the MOB button first, I think it can sometimes depend on the boat... Sure, if someone is standing at the helm, and the chartplotter is right there, of course hitting the button right away is a no-brainer...

but if the plotter is not within easy reach, I still think it's more important to get the MOB gear in the water immediately... Even a virtually instantaneous deployment of the pole will follow the boat moving several boat lengths, perhaps... Getting that gear as close to the MOB as possible is in my opinion more vital than getting a more precise GPS fix of the MOB, especially in rough weather, or at night, as it gives both parties something clearly visible and distinctive to 'aim for'...

On a boat like mine, I'm often sailing - particularly if offshore - without the larger plotter/radar unit turned on... So, hitting the MOB button would require a quick jump down to the nav station, to the smaller plotter... In that sort of scenario, it would be far more important to deploy the MOB gear first, before recording the position on the plotter...
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