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post #21 of 36 Old 10-30-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

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I'm a fossil and an honorary Scotsman among my other quirks. I was taught to dive by a genuine WW2 surplus USN Frogman, UDT, whose philosophy about things often differered from the tourist shops. I still dive a J valve, mainly because there's one better design I forget the letter of, but you can't find them anyhow. (R?) I don't want fancy computer guages, I want to dive with LESS STUFF and a simple depth & time will keep me happy because Froggy engrained in our skulls DO NOT PUSH THE TABLES they are only for extremely heatlhy averages and if you push them you will get bent. Heck, he even showed us where "the tables" were for water warm enough to swim nekkid, and that since we were suited up, we were supposed to be using the COLD WATER TABLES, something I never heard tuaght to anyone from any other agency but there again, it just adds safety and cuts bottom time and hey, I'm fine with that.

All the new stuff...wonderful. More expenses (Oh sure, $40 for a super-VIP without a refill?) more stuff to get snagged on...which is why I still don't use a marker. I figure if I'm dumb enough to lose the boat, they can put that on my gravestone. There's been worse said about folks.

Velcro on the helm seat, velcro on the butt, problem solved.
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post #22 of 36 Old 10-30-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
I have one of these (HX851)... Has GPS with DSC so using that with your on board VHF (with DSC) they will know where you are.
True, but only if the boat's VHF is the type that can display where you are, and only if everything is setup properly on both the handheld and the boat's fixed VHF.

People shouldn't think that all they have to do is buy one of these newfangled handhelds and the ancient VHF on their boat will magically know where they are.
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post #23 of 36 Old 10-30-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
True, but only if the boat's VHF is the type that can display where you are, and only if everything is setup properly on both the handheld and the boat's fixed VHF.

People shouldn't think that all they have to do is buy one of these newfangled handhelds and the ancient VHF on their boat will magically know where they are.
Agreed, the "arrow pointing you to the MOB" is more of a fantasy in my opinion. I would plan on that not working. Having the MOB verbally direct the boat by the normal VHF though is more likely to be reliable.

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post #24 of 36 Old 10-30-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
True, but only if the boat's VHF is the type that can display where you are, and only if everything is setup properly on both the handheld and the boat's fixed VHF.

People shouldn't think that all they have to do is buy one of these newfangled handhelds and the ancient VHF on their boat will magically know where they are.
Yea, didn't go into all the details. Your DSC vhf on the boat will display their log/Lat and from there use your chart or chart plotter to find the MOB. Depending on your set up and equipment a vhf may display the location of the MOB or you could interconnect to your chart plotter to give a display of the MOB.

If the Coast Guard recieves your DSC MOB signal, they will have necessary equipment to know where you are and probably have a bird over you in 1 hours (especially if you are able to tell them you are a MOB over the VHF). If you did not have the GPS/DSC hand held VHF you might be still able to talk to the Coast Guard, but it would be difficult for you to describe where you are. The coast guard could use radio direction finding, but the GPS/DSC is the more accurate and faster option.

I like this man's story, seems one of the most important things is to never give up. BTW, he did have one of those divers VHF but apparently the battery was dead.:
http://www.khon2.com/content/news/ed...45N4J8Llg.cspx

Last edited by casey1999; 10-30-2012 at 02:02 PM.
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post #25 of 36 Old 10-30-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

This is slightly OT, but related.....

For about 2X the money for a good handheld VHF you can now buy a personal AIS transmitter of a size that it can be packed in a PFD. For it to be of maximum use the MOB's boat will have to have AIS receiver, but if it does.....the AIS unit on the MOB will transmit lat/long, COG, SOG etc. to any AIS equipped vessel in radio range (advertised as 4 miles). That can also be a huge help in areas where there is merchant shipping. With such an AIS, even a single hander can have a higher chance of rescue because his position will be shown on any reciever in range as a MOB (not another vessel). Another feature that I think will work with a personal AIS is the activation of the alarm on the ship's AIS when a AIS transmitter pops up with in it's designated "danger circle". If a watch stander falls overboard at night when the rest of the crew is sleeping, his AIS transmitter should activate the AIS alarm on the boat's chartplotter. (The alarm on our Raymarine system is no annoying I usually have it turned off -- it will wake anyone from even the deepest sleep).

Here's a piece on the two units now available: AIS MOB: Kannad SafeLink R10 & McMurdo SmartFind S10 | Yachting Magazine

To me it seems that despite the higher cost (~$300) a personal AIS beacon is a lot more value for money than trying to carry a VHF so you can direct your own rescue, and more effective than the personal locator beacons that in most cases don't have a direct link to the boat.

I have AIS on Billy Ruff'n and it's one of the best pieces of kit I've bought. I'm considering adding these personal AIS units for the big trip we're planning for next year.

Does anyone out there have experience with these units?
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post #26 of 36 Old 10-30-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

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Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
This is slightly OT, but related.....

For about 2X the money for a good handheld VHF you can now buy a personal AIS transmitter of a size that it can be packed in a PFD. For it to be of maximum use the MOB's boat will have to have AIS receiver, but if it does.....the AIS unit on the MOB will transmit lat/long, COG, SOG etc. to any AIS equipped vessel in radio range (advertised as 4 miles). That can also be a huge help in areas where there is merchant shipping. With such an AIS, even a single hander can have a higher chance of rescue because his position will be shown on any reciever in range as a MOB (not another vessel). Another feature that I think will work with a personal AIS is the activation of the alarm on the ship's AIS when a AIS transmitter pops up with in it's designated "danger circle". If a watch stander falls overboard at night when the rest of the crew is sleeping, his AIS transmitter should activate the AIS alarm on the boat's chartplotter. (The alarm on our Raymarine system is no annoying I usually have it turned off -- it will wake anyone from even the deepest sleep).

Here's a piece on the two units now available: AIS MOB: Kannad SafeLink R10 & McMurdo SmartFind S10 | Yachting Magazine

To me it seems that despite the higher cost (~$300) a personal AIS beacon is a lot more value for money than trying to carry a VHF so you can direct your own rescue, and more effective than the personal locator beacons that in most cases don't have a direct link to the boat.

I have AIS on Billy Ruff'n and it's one of the best pieces of kit I've bought. I'm considering adding these personal AIS units for the big trip we're planning for next year.

Does anyone out there have experience with these units?
I think this would be a better option, since it has a two way communication capability:
http://nautiluslifeline.com/
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post #27 of 36 Old 10-30-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

Billiruffin,

Not off topic at all! I've seen those AIS beacons as well and think they have potential, but I'm not exactly sure how. I find that the problem with beacons of any sort (even a real EPIRB) is that SAR is usually delayed until they can be sure it is not a false alarm whereas a verbal declaration of MAYDAY always gets the ball rolling instantly.

A couple years ago I was the closest boat to an EPIRB that went off and instead of sending a chopper, or even calling out a MAYDAY the Canadian Coast guard called the vessel in question a couple times, then sent out a PAN PAN asking if anyone had seen it and if it really was in distress. I was able to answer and offer a little help, and it did turn out to be a false alarm. I did find this distressing though as a potential MOB. If you activate your EPIRB, PLB, or AIS ti will take a while for them to be sure it is actually a real event.

For me, I still favor the DSC VHF. Mostly because you can direct YOUR OWN BOAT back to you, but also so you can actually tell the CG that you really are a person in the water.

Another option that I currently employ is my submersible cell phone. I've had a Samsung Xplorer B-2100 for several years now and I've swam with it and accidentally fallen into the water with it as well. I keep my local Coast Guard's SAR phone number in my speed dial since the CG has discontinued the "Dial *CG" program. The phone has a spot for a lanyard and I tie it to my PFD when racing and have it on my person when cruising. It has 3-4 days of battery life and it has a separate button on the side that you can find by feel that activates a VERY bright LED flashlight. Once you have that light on your phone, you'll never be able to live without it.

Besides telephoning the USCG, you can also telephone the crew members left on your boat and direct the boat back to you, much as we were talking about with the VHF.



I reviewed it previously here:
cell phone for wet use?

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Last edited by MedSailor; 10-30-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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post #28 of 36 Old 10-31-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

If you're more than 3 miles offshore, the cell phone (no matter how rugged) is useless. My vote would be to have a PLB (with GPS capability) + AIS MOB beacon attached to my personage at all times. The bigger thing would be to also have a pfd with crotch straps so that if you overboard, the pfd stays on you.

The PLB will alert SAR teams like USCG. The AIS beacon will alert boats in the vicinity. The two together will help you if you're in warm water. If you go MOB in cold water...well, with those two gizmos + a good pfd, at least they'll recover your body for the funeral.

So we're talking about $350 for a PLB w/GPS capability
$300 for an AIS MOB
$140 for a self inflating, hydrostatic activated pfd
$30 for retrofitting crotch straps.

In my opinion, worth *EVERY* penny if you do a lot of singlehanding or overnight watches...

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post #29 of 36 Old 10-31-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

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Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
If you're more than 3 miles offshore, the cell phone (no matter how rugged) is useless. My vote would be to have a PLB (with GPS capability) + AIS MOB beacon attached to my personage at all times. The bigger thing would be to also have a pfd with crotch straps so that if you overboard, the pfd stays on you.

The PLB will alert SAR teams like USCG. The AIS beacon will alert boats in the vicinity. The two together will help you if you're in warm water. If you go MOB in cold water...well, with those two gizmos + a good pfd, at least they'll recover your body for the funeral.

So we're talking about $350 for a PLB w/GPS capability
$300 for an AIS MOB
$140 for a self inflating, hydrostatic activated pfd
$30 for retrofitting crotch straps.

In my opinion, worth *EVERY* penny if you do a lot of singlehanding or overnight watches...
Would not you want a cheap (available for under $100) hand held vhf so you could communicate with rescuers? Many times a rescue is delayed while the responders verify it is not a false alarm. If you could communicate you would be golden.
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post #30 of 36 Old 11-03-2012
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Re: hand held radio for man overboard

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Would not you want a cheap (available for under $100) hand held vhf so you could communicate with rescuers? Many times a rescue is delayed while the responders verify it is not a false alarm. If you could communicate you would be golden.
Sure...why not. Add $250 to that cost number...but with all those gadgets hanging off me now, I worry about buoyancy!

S/V Jendai
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