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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > EPIRB's
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Thread: EPIRB's Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-08-2008 07:17 PM
Jaxxon Thanks for everybody's response. I feel a lot better about those things now and will probably get one myself.
04-08-2008 04:34 PM
Plumper They can be registered online. With my ResQFix i can go online and update the details or the adventure I'm having each time I leave. If you have any health issues etc that can all be added. Keeping the registration up to date is quite important. I update mine each time to say how many are on my boat, what stuff I have brought with me, who my safety contact ashore is etc. If anything should ever happen, they have some good info right at the get go.
04-08-2008 02:15 PM
Boasun But remember one thing: With the EPIRB it has to be registered before the "powers to be" will respond to it. IF you have failed to register the EPIRB, then they will ignore its broadcast. Thus the Prime Rule on Getting an EPIRB is to register immediately, right now, by yesterday. Do you get the picture??
04-08-2008 11:41 AM
Plumper Last spring I bought a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) which, in my opinion, is the best of all worlds. It is a 406 EPIRB with a 121.5 homer and transmits a GPS signal within 3 minutes of being activated. It is small enough to fit in my pocket and, rather than being associated with a boat it is associated with me. I use it on my boat, on others boats and whenever I am doing any outdoorsy stuff in the wilderness. Unfortunately they are a little pricey but I think I'm worth it.

Check out the ACR ResQFix: ACR ResQFix 406 GPS Personal Locator Beacon (unadvertised price)
04-08-2008 09:11 AM
sailingdog Hartley-

Most 406 MHz EPIRBs work as SAR transponders, as they also broadcast on the 121.5 MHz frequency that the SAR craft will be looking at.
04-08-2008 04:26 AM
artbyjody I have a EPIRB and I have two of the personal devices...

Personally, it doesn't matter whether you are only sailing 500 feet outside your marina or sailing around the world...You take your cell phone with you even tho the odds of you having coverage may be slim to none. Nope you take it "JUST in CASE"...

One can argue safety at sea is mainly a result of experience or luck of the draw. But if you have ever been in a experience where your luck was drained out.. You can not argue about not having one... As Properly installed - its one item that when it all goes downhill - that COULD save your life... there are no guarantees (it may not work or maybe no one picks up the distress), but wouldn't you want to be stranded in your car with at least a cell phone knowing it MAY help you? The same goes with EPIRBs and other MOB devices...increase the odds..

Seems the prudent thing to do and one safety item that should actually be mandated in my opinion...After all flares are mandated - they only work if someone is around to see them...one has much better chances with a digital signal announcing the situation than one does when in the middle of nowhere shooting off flares, hoping someone see it...

Its expensive and that is the only prohibitive argument I see against it - but we spend more for less most of the time in our lives and decisions on purchases...IE: Having full sized spares for our vehicles in the event a tire goes flat - what are the odds that you need a full sized spare - not great but lots of us buy them for the peace of mind...

04-08-2008 03:32 AM
Classic30 The old EPIRBs are not even available for sale over here any more - you can only get the 406MHz ones.

The 406MHz EPIRBs still use Doppler but, unlike the older ones, contain a unique code that identifies the type and name of the ship or person it is registered to so the SAR people know what they are searching for. AFAIK, they are not linked into the GPS system, although some of the more expensive ones can transmit a GPS position.

Another rescue gadget that can get people confused is a SART which looks exactly like an EPIRB, but is designed to show up on a passing ship/aircraft radar as a very hard to miss distress signal and give them a precise bearing to your location.
04-07-2008 10:02 PM
Plumper It can't hurt to have one, that's for sure.
04-07-2008 09:29 PM
rennisaint Can't remember the name of the, but there was a book about a guy who managed to (mostly) sink his catamaran in the middle of the Pacific. When his EPIRB went off ships were diverted immediately and aircraft sent to flyover with supplies etc.. He lost his crew (a cat) but made it out alright himself. Now my guess is he would have been fish food if not for his EPIRB. But, if you've read the book he did try his damnedest to kill himself repeatedly by leaving his fricking boat. Anybody know the name of the book?
04-07-2008 07:14 PM
Idiens SD- Yes, I was trying to say just that, obviously badly

However, I think the 406 MHz signal is still used the same way by the satellites, the more recent change is the addition of GPS and adding its information to the 406 message. The satellites relay the message but still provide their own position measurement on the EPIRB, I believe based on Doppler.

The INMARSAT ones have been discontinued recently (not enough sold) and replaced by the 406 MHz versions. That leaves Cat I and Cat 2 devices on sale.
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