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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-20-2012 04:49 PM
MedSailor
Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I agree with you.

The 80% you'd toss out is worth a lot of money too and that money may be better spent on something that stops the boat sinking in the first place... Like better weather services for offshore passages etc.

How many times have you been told: "you can't afford not to have this! Your life may depend on it"?
I get told that all the damn time by everyone for everything, even the doctor the other day wanted to book me up for a lot of tests that do nothing, show nothing but are EXPENSIVE. And look askance at you when you tell them to shove it!
Seems like you are saying here that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. I would agree with that. And yet you're applying the philosophy to catastrophe on your boat but not for preventing catastrophe in your body???


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Beware those that tell you what you MUST have.
Yes, you should be ware of those that tell you you must have something IF they are a salesman. Your doctor is uniquely positioned to be impartial as your advocate. Second opinions are often a good idea for peace of mind but I'd advise you to trust your doctor a little more.


How is this related to the thread you may ask? Well the most often glossed-over part of the ditch bag is the medical part even though a high percentage of life raft occupants are injured. I think it's just too intimidating for most people.

Using Mark's philosophy on prevention (which I AGREE with), all the (expensive) kit in the world may not be as good as being healthy to begin with. To that end, I'd say that if you enter the raft and have a heart attack from the cold water shock you may wish you'd had those tests your doctor wanted for you. If you die of kidney failure while trying to ration your water, you might wish you'd had those tests as well....

Preventive maintenance for boats, and preventive medicine for people. Both are critical for this type of survival.

MedSailor
11-20-2012 04:28 PM
MarkofSeaLife
Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

What's better, a life raft or the dinghy with the 10 or 15 hp engine on it?


My dink is strapped to the foredeck when I'm doing a crossing, but sure as chips I would have it in the water with the outboard on it, tethered to the life raft.

A dinghy with a good outboard can get you to passing ships, islands, out of currents or into currents. Most importantly if a rescue plane does drop a pizza you can get to it.
11-20-2012 04:20 PM
MarkofSeaLife
Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Quote:
Originally Posted by LauderBoy View Post
I'd toss out 80% of what's in his kit, shave off about 40lbs from it in the process and fit in a couple more PLB/ELB, then spend the extra budget on a good quality life raft and making sure it's in solid shape every year.
I agree with you.

The 80% you'd toss out is worth a lot of money too and that money may be better spent on something that stops the boat sinking in the first place... Like better weather services for offshore passages etc.

How many times have you been told: "you can't afford not to have this! Your life may depend on it"?
I get told that all the damn time by everyone for everything, even the doctor the other day wanted to book me up for a lot of tests that do nothing, show nothing but are EXPENSIVE. And look askance at you when you tell them to shove it!

If I bought everything people tell em is a "Must Have Your Life Depends on it" I would never have been able to afford to start cruising! I would still be at home! Dying an early death of boredom.

Yes, it would be nice to have pillows and a magazine rack in the life raft but if it stops you leaving in the first place?

Mark. Beware those that tell you what you MUST have.
11-20-2012 04:08 PM
Omatako
Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

I'm pretty much with Lauderboy on this but heavily dependant on where you're sailing.

In the Indian Ocean you're surrounded by a lot of countries have have no semblance of SAR, don't answer radio calls, don't speak your language if they do, have now way of getting to you and more importantly don't give a toss whether you live or die.

But in most other locations rescue happens pretty quickly (48 hours is not life threatening). And if the equipment that you do keep in your bag to communicate (handheld GPS and VHF, satphone) had decent batteries and the odd spare when the voyage started, they'll almost certainly still be good when the voyage is over. Ensuring that is really not hard. And if you do get one dodgy battery, a) a spare will fix that and b) it will only take down one form of communication. Believing that two bits of kit will simultaneously go down is bordering on serious paranoia.

After comms, the most important thing to me is water and I'll sacrifice most other heavy kit to carry a few litres of extra water. Then it's paperwork (passports, ships registration) and cash.

All other stuff is location dependant - don't weigh your ditch bag down with a survival suit when you're sailing from Bora Bora to Samoa. So my ditch bag gets assembled using specific voyage logic at the start of each voyage
11-20-2012 03:51 PM
wolfenzee
Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

OOPS batteries in the GPS and EPIRB are bad, no one knows where I am and I don't know where I am....unless of course I also include a sextant....just a basic plastic one (actually called a "life boat sextant", will be accurate enough. Hand held VHF?....vhf is basically line of sight.....how about a handheld SSB. Another thing would be a solar battery charger. A life raft is pretty close to the water how about a parabolic kite w/ flags.
11-20-2012 03:39 PM
LauderBoy
Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It

Am I the only one that thinks having to wait 2-3 days before getting rescued from the middle of an ocean is actually pretty damn good?

You don't really need a whole lot to survive that. Just some water, sunscreen, bit of food to keep energy levels up so you're not dead weight during the rescue, repair kit for the raft.

Do you really need a book or radio to keep from getting bored? And snacks to keep morale up... for the 3 whole days it takes to get rescued??? I mean, if you're going to give up all hope and drown yourself the 2nd day out I don't know if not having a snickers bar or last month's issue of Glamour is really your core problem.

I'd toss out 80% of what's in his kit, shave off about 40lbs from it in the process and fit in a couple more PLB/ELB, then spend the extra budget on a good quality life raft and making sure it's in solid shape every year.
11-19-2012 08:07 PM
wolfenzee
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
11-19-2012 06:50 PM
MarkofSeaLife
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.
11-19-2012 05:41 PM
JulieMor
Best-Case SAR Scenario

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

Best-Case SAR Scenario

11-19-2012 02:57 PM
MedSailor
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.


MedSailor
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