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View Poll Results: How would you rate this ditch bag?
5-Star - Excellent! 2 22.22%
4 Star 5 55.56%
3 Star 2 22.22%
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  #21  
Old 11-18-2012
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Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
A good question to be sure, but I would like to point out that Steve Calahan DID have an EPIRB that was was recently serviced, but failed to function.


MedSailor
Hmmmm. I had to do a bit of checking on that! I thought his voyage was before EPIRBs. You're half right...

Quote:
. No rescue was initiated from Callahan's use of an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) and many flares. EPIRBs were not monitored by satellites at the time, and he was in too empty a part of the ocean to be heard by aircraft

So it should be better these days.

Agree with your point on more than one EPIRB. Two would be good, plus the sat phone to ask the Coast Guard what's the delay and can they drop pizza!

Also PLBs are now around $250 with GPS so the second one could be a PLB it's only the battery that's different only lasting for 24 hours instead of 48 hours. Could buy 4 for the price of a hand held water maker.
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  #22  
Old 11-18-2012
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Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Right, Calahan's EPIRB was likely a 121.5MHZ EPIRB but while it was theorized that nobody was close enough to hear it, it was also theorized (by Calahan himself) that it malfunctioned. In other cases where a survivor went into the raft and the EPIRB did malfunction it's likely that we never got to hear their story because they eventually became shark poo....

Most people who rely 100% GPS and don't have a sextant aboard carry multiple GPSs for an offshore trip. I think the same logic should be applied to EPIRBS and multiples should be carried if you aren't packing all the other equipment required for a lengthy raft trip.

Another idea I had to effect a quicker rescue would be to invest in a handheld ham radio. They come in submersible versions for around $300 (the cost of a PLB) and non-waterproof ones for around $100.

The reason for handheld ham is that you can see aircraft overhead by their strobe lights and could call them on the international aircraft distress frequency and they could relay your mayday, verify your position etc. Or, as recently seen in the news they could fly down and spot you themselves. The handheld HAM also doubles as a VHF helping you affect your rescue directly when you sight a ship and also allowing you to alert rescuers via contacting a plane.

For those concerned about not being HAM licensed, it is not a crime for a non-HAM to use a HAM radio and or frequency in an emergency. It would behoove you though to familiarize yourself with the radio beforehand as they are usually more complex and intimidating than a VHF.

For the technologically inclined I would thing the following would make a good minimum kit for getting found and rescued. Prices are retail and can be found cheaper:

PLB 406MHZ $300
Handheld waterproof VHF $100
Handheld waterproof GPS $100
Handheld non-waterproof HAM radio and waterproof radio bag $150

$650 and a few extra dollars for the fanny pack it would all easily fit in.

This allows you a primary method of alert (the sattelite PLB) with a backup (using the HAM to call airplanes). It allows you a primary method of helping your rescuers (using the VHF to direct the ship to your tiny raft and talk about the boarding plan) and a backup in the form of the HAM. The GPS helps augment the radios as you can tell the rescuers exactly where you are and your rate of drift. Anything you would add to this, like a full EPIRB or backup PLB or VHF would all be to the good.

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  #23  
Old 11-18-2012
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Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Was doing a little research on tall ships and across an account of the sinking of the Canadian tall ship Concordia 2 years ago.

Read the parts about the EPIRB and how long it took the Brazillions to get off their butts and send a plane out. Scary stuff.

Quote:


All aboard successfully abandoned ship. As the capsizing was so fast, no radio distress call was made but a distress radiobeacon (EPIRB) was hydrostatically released and automatically activated[10] when the vessel sank.
The Concordia sank at 1423 hrs local time Wednesday. At 1425 Concordia's Bosun Geoffrey Byers swam to retrieve the EPIRB and brought it aboard the rafts. The Captain directed that someone hold the EPIRB upright at all times and keep it safe from damage.[11] The EPIRB signal was received at 1505 hrs by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-12. The position of the sinking, 27°28′S 40°53′WCoordinates: 27°28′S 40°53′W, was resolved at 1525 local time. The TSB report noted the EPIRB database only listed one telephone number for the Concordia and that number had not been in service since 2004.[3]
The following morning at 0806 hrs the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Brazil sent a fax to Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax requesting information about the Concordia.[3] After attempting to contact the Concordia a Brazilian Air Force aircraft was dispatched at 17 hrs local time Thursday and sighted the liferafts 3 hours later.[12]
The survivors spent nearly 30 hours in liferafts before the aircraft spotted them. Flares were fired from the rafts, and the aircraft blinked its landing lights in response and directed nearby merchant ships to the scene. The lights of the Mitsui O.S.K. Lines[13] woodchip carriers Hokuetsu Delight and Crystal Pioneer were sighted by the survivors at 1:30 am local time and the rescue was completed by 8 am local time.[11]
41 hours after the sinking the crew were safely aboard the rescue ships.[14] All 64 people (48 students, eight teachers and eight crew) who were on board were rescued from 3 large and 1 small liferafts.[15]
Maybe a PLB isn't good enough.
Maybe a sat phone is very important so you can ring your own country and get them to tell the country your wrecked near to get activated.

Heard a similar story a few years ago of a boat sunk near Costa Rica and took 3 days before they started the search, that's 3 days AFTER they set off the EPIRB.
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  #24  
Old 11-18-2012
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Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Ring..ring...
Hello, thanks for calling the USCG. For english, press 1...
Thank you. To better serve you, we have changed our menu options. Please listen carefully.
For a SeaTow DSC radio check, press 5.
If you are calling to report an illegal marine sanitation discharge, press number 2.
If you are calling to report a vessel in distress, press 00000!!!
If Your vessel is in peril, you have called for an offshore dustoff, you are carrying give/take $50K on your person and are ungrateful that your CG came to your assistance but didn't assist you in quite the way you want to be assisted... please hold.
If you consider a fanny pack to be the height of nautical fashion, Sheldon says, "Bazinga!"
If you have the time to listen to this menu, maybe you're really not in too much trouble, and you should get off the damn phone and help the rest of the crew pumping, fixing or whatever it is that needs to be done on your boat that obviously isn't sinking.
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  #25  
Old 11-18-2012
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Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Read the parts about the EPIRB and how long it took the Brazillions to get off their butts and send a plane out. Scary stuff.
Ummm...... I'd kiss the feet of any nation's coast guard that was willing to spend the money on the fuel and risk the resources to save a foreign national like me. As for calling uncle Sam and having them call the local CG it would all depend on the relations between nations at the time wouldn't it? Besides, isn't that what happens when you press the EPIRB button? Doesn't the US get the signal and take if from there?

Here is a fine example of a boat in distress handled by a foreign coast guard.


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  #26  
Old 11-19-2012
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Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Besides, isn't that what happens when you press the EPIRB button? Doesn't the US get the signal and take if from there?


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No, it gets automatically routed to the country that is responsible for the waters the emergency is in.

It does not get routed to the country of origin of the MMSI number attached to the EPIRB.

In Asia Australian boats have that problem too, particularly those that rely on HF radio. Thinking that its monitored. It is.... By the USA and Australia... But not by anyone else!

The cost of diverting aircraft is high.... For a country like Brazil can afford it, but a third world country?

When we used a Sattelite phone in an emergency it was wonderful to be instantly connected to someone who spoke the language, in a duty room, fully versed with these type situations. (It was to the UK navy when we were in the Gulf of Aden). So I kinda think the best thing is to have a sat phone and the phone number of ones own country's rescue service. Faster than EPIRB too.... Did you note the satelite takes an hour to resolve the lat and Lon?

Quote:
At 1425 Byers swam to retrieve the EPIRB ..... The EPIRB signal was received at 1505 hrs by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-12. The position of the sinking, 27°28′S 40°53′WCoordinates: 27°28′S 40°53′W, was resolved at 1525 local time. .
The phone is much quicker. You describe he situation, and have your own nationals liaising with the rescuing country.
Of course you still set off your own EPIRB so you rate of drift is calculated etc.


Mark
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  #27  
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Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
.....The phone is much quicker. You describe he situation, and have your own nationals liaising with the rescuing country.
Of course you still set off your own EPIRB so you rate of drift is calculated etc.


Mark
Agreed the phone is undoubtedly quicker, though newer EPIRBS that have an onboard GPS send an instant location with the distress message. You're right though that older style EPIRBS (still being sold) which don't have GPS can take an hour or two for a fix, and then another hour or two or four to establish drift. See the coast quote from a coast guard article at the end of this post for clarification.

I forgot to mention the sat phone as a viable technological option and thank you for pointing it out. I think the VHF/HF radios have the advantage over EPIRB of being able to describe the situation and coordinate directly (or indirectly) with your recuers and the Sat phone certainly adds that additional benefit with unlimited range.

Another plus of the sat phone is that it can be a BUDGET minded option. There are companies that will rent you a phone for a week or few for you to have for your crossing. Then, you FedEx it back to them once you're safely on the other side of the ocean and now within VHF range. This company was the first to come up in a google search and they list SatPhone rentals at $112/month. Iridium Satellite Phone Rental Kits, Fees and Rates by Globalcom


Article from the coast guard on the above GPS/Location issue here:
Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon (EPIRB)
EPIRBs detected by the GEOSTAR system, consisting of GOES and other geostationary satellites, send rescue authorities an instant alert, but without location information unless the EPIRB is equipped with an integral GPS receiver. EPIRBs detected by COSPAS-SARSAT (e.g. TIROS N) satellites provide rescue authorities location of distress, but location and sometimes alerting may be delayed as much as an hour or two. Although these EPIRBs also include a low power 121.5 MHz homing signal, homing on the more powerful 406 MHz frequency has proven to be a significant aid to search and rescue aircraft. These are the only EPIRB types which can be sold in the United States.

A new type of 406 MHz EPIRB, having an integral GPS navigation receiver, became available in 1998. This EPIRB will send accurate location as well as identification information to rescue authorities immediately upon activation through both geostationary (GEOSAR) and polar orbiting satellites. These types of EPIRBs are the best you can buy.


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  #28  
Old 11-19-2012
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Best-Case SAR Scenario

An interesting article on the best case search & rescue scenario:

Best-Case SAR Scenario

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  #29  
Old 11-19-2012
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Re: Best-Case SAR Scenario

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
An interesting article on the best case search & rescue scenario:
]
Well that didn't happen in the 2010 sinking.
A sat phone call would have chopped off the first hour, and verified the emergency in one go.
That given scenario only works because its within 450 nms of a propper country (south Africa). Try it a hundred miles further north on either side of Africa and the system burps.

Anyway, the boat in the drawing is close enough to shore to swim.

By the way, Amver is mentioned, I'll bet no one here lists their voyages on it!
I would but I don't have email at sea.
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  #30  
Old 11-19-2012
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Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

No prepared ditch bag is complete (even someone elses list), you can always customize it to your needs. It will have stuff you don't need and/or don't apply to you and there will always be other stuff you can add. Ditch bags "evolve" as yopu discover your needs and find out from other people "tips" and thier mistakes
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