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Old 06-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #21
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Of course there should be different contents for different areas...just like it would be impossible to survive in the desert with the same stuff as you have for arctic regions and vice versa.

But of course there is overlap...identical stuff you need in both areas.

Tailor to suit the needs of your boating and region.

Thinks like food, water, blankets etc..etc...often aren't really in a ditch bag. The abandon ship "emergency bill" ( a list of all people and what they are responsible for doing and bringing in the emergency)...lists exactly that...what everyone on board is responsible for bringing when abandoning ship when the skipper gives the order.

If you want all that in a ditch bag great...but realistically...who keeps a bag that big on anything less than about 65 feet? Even then? And if you do great...but it's not how the pros have done it for the last 50 years or so.
Yes, quite obvious.
Still, for venturing offshore, I would much rather have the contents of Keith's bag than yours, as I think most of us humble "non-pro" skippers here would.
KJ
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #22
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There are a baziillion things that can be rationalized to put in a ditch bag, but as psneeld implies, how big and how heavy do you want the bag to be?

Where you boat will determine the bag's contents. The post-abandon-ship requirements in the ICW where the shoreline is only a few hundred yards away in most places and help is readily available if not right next to you is a different deal than the shorelines up here where help is often far away (assuming you can contact them), and the forest, heavy undergrowth, and steep slopes can make overland travel extremely difficult if not downright impossible.

So I think it's important to think seriously about the challenges abandoning ship where you boat will present and not get all caught up in cool gear that the blue-water passagemaker will need.

So we have in our bag the essentials for communicating in areas where communication can be difficult--- hence the aircraft VHF---, what we need to find and navigate to the most landing-friendly bit of shoreline in the immediate area, food and water for a few days at most (water bottles, power bars), something to help us rig shelter from the ever-present rain, some basic first aid stuff for bug and spider bites, minor cuts, and so on, and stuff to meet the dog's needs.

All this fits in a spacious but not huge bag that is easy to stow on the boat, easy to carry, and is set up to be instantly clipped to the dinghy so it won't drift away or sink should the dinghy swamp or flip.

There are lots and lots of really clever items of survival gear, much of which can be rationalized for your own ditch bag in the comfort of your armchair. But we have a rule that has served us very well not only for emergency gear like this but even for the stuff we take on a European vacaction or whatever. And that is that if we consider an item and say, "We might need that," we don't take it.

So the contents of a ditch bag are going to be different for a boater on the ICW than those of a boater in Maine/Maritime waters, or southern California, or the PNW, or SFO bay, or the Irish Sea. Some items will be common to all, but most will be unique to the challenges the boater will face in his/her own waters.

Of course an item packed in a crowded ditch bag isn't much good if you don't remember it's there. So we keep a waterproof list of the bag's contents fastened to the inside of the bag next to the zipper.

One carryover we have from the emergency equipment we carry in the float plane is a well-written and illustrated survival manual for the area we boat and fly in. So it has instructions for building various kinds of rain shelters, basic first aid info, what you can eat along our shorelines and what will kill you if you do, and so on. Moreso in a plane than in a boat, the shock of suddenly being thrust into a survival/waiting-to-be-rescued situation can lead to indecision and confusion, so having a manual along that says, "First do this, then do this, then do this," can be a real lifesaver because it can help focus one's thoughts and get the survival process underway until help arrives.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:33 PM   #23
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Yes, quite obvious.
Still, for venturing offshore, I would much rather have the contents of Keith's bag than yours, as I think most of us humble "non-pro" skippers here would.
KJ
Have at it...23 years USCG recue helo pilot, 10 years Sea Tow captain, 10 years delivery captain, 10 years teaching boating safety, captains licensing and safety at sea with the top names....do whatever makes you feel comfortable...

There's a huge difference in getting rescued and survival...you have to understand the difference and know what works and doesn't.

I'm sure there are some well qualified people out there that can relate...but most of the "safety at sea" guys I taught with at trawler fests and Annapolis, etc..etc were just a bunch of amatuers that had crossed an ocean and wrote a book. They had an "experience" or two...not thousands like true pros....again do whatever makes you feel comfortable...but there is a method to ones madness while trying to be rescued versus a survival situation.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:11 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=psneeld;89943]Have at it...23 years USCG recue helo pilot, 10 years Sea Tow captain, 10 years delivery captain, 10 years teaching boating safety, captains licensing and safety at sea with the top names....do whatever makes you feel comfortable...

You know what guy, it gets pretty tiresome listening to you blow your horn every time you want to say something. Most of the folks here couldn't give a crap as to how many years you did whatever. You announced your grandness from day one and now it's just not that impressive.
I asked a couple of straight forward questions that most folks seem to be able to respond to without lecturing or sarcasm. I will kindly ask you to do the same. KJ
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:18 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=KJ;89949]
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Have at it...23 years USCG recue helo pilot, 10 years Sea Tow captain, 10 years delivery captain, 10 years teaching boating safety, captains licensing and safety at sea with the top names....do whatever makes you feel comfortable...

You know what guy, it gets pretty tiresome listening to you blow your horn every time you want to say something. Most of the folks here couldn't give a crap as to how many years you did whatever. You announced your grandness from day one and now it's just not that impressive.
I asked a couple of straight forward questions that most folks seem to be able to respond to without lecturing or sarcasm. I will kindly ask you to do the same. KJ
I said do whatever you like...but I'm just letting you know that this particular topic IS my profession/expertise...ya don't like it move on...
if you think that's sarcasm...I can't help that.
I'm not threatened by other's credentials...why are you?
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:49 PM   #26
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You just don't get it, do you?
A couple of weeks ago you slammed Jennifer (Pineapple Girl) for no other reason than you (and nobody else) misunderstood what she was trying to say. She's one of the nicest people on this forum and you treated her like dirt. Yeah, you really proved at lot more than your point with that one. Someone should have apologized to her for you, because you obviously didn't or don't have the courtesy to do it.
It seems that of all your vast unlimited skills, self-aggrandizing appears to be your best. Nobody is threatened by your "credentials", were just sick of hearing them.
Your manner of corresponding is very sarcastic, but I'm sure you think it's the only way you can school us lesser folks.
If you have something positive to add to a thread, then just say it like everyone else does, you can knock off all the peripheral crap.
If you can't, then please, just don't respond (at least not to my posts).
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:02 AM   #27
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Keith, why a Magnifying Glass?
ACR sells a really nice ditch bag (empty) and they often run specials where they give you one if you buy an EPIRB. They are running a special now as a mater of fact.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:02 AM   #28
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Do you carry a ditch bag on your boat? If so, where do you keep it, and what's in it? KJ
No.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:29 AM   #29
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Just because the boat has sunk doesn't mean you have to quit sailing.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:26 AM   #30
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We carry a ditch bag. It is a standard yellow ACR bag and stuffed with the same type of items mentioned previously. There is one consideration, regardless of where you boat, that had escaped our attention and did not seem to figure on ditch bag lists.
When we got our life raft serviced 3 years ago (it failed!!) the shop doing the service (LRSE) pointed out that getting into a LR is usually a very wet experience. You quite often need to swim to the raft even if it is attached to the mother ship - the concept of "stepping down" into the LR is something of a fiction. Consequently, we were advised to pack complete changes of warm clothing in the ditch bag. Especially since one of the biggest risks in that situation is hypothermia. We now carry extra clothing in a sealed thick poly bag inside the ditch bag. It also adds to the buoyancy of the ditch bag. Hopefully we shall never need either the LR or the DB but when you are a few hundred miles off shore it is nice to know they are available. One last caution about the DB. It can get kind of heavy if you are not careful. Too heavy means the admiral may not be able to handle it when the sh1T hits the fan and the captain is trying to launch the LR.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:38 AM   #31
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We carry a ditch bag. It is a standard yellow ACR bag and stuffed with the same type of items mentioned previously. There is one consideration, regardless of where you boat, that had escaped our attention and did not seem to figure on ditch bag lists.
When we got our life raft serviced 3 years ago (it failed!!) the shop doing the service (LRSE) pointed out that getting into a LR is usually a very wet experience. You quite often need to swim to the raft even if it is attached to the mother ship - the concept of "stepping down" into the LR is something of a fiction. Consequently, we were advised to pack complete changes of warm clothing in the ditch bag. Especially since one of the biggest risks in that situation is hypothermia. We now carry extra clothing in a sealed thick poly bag inside the ditch bag. It also adds to the buoyancy of the ditch bag. Hopefully we shall never need either the LR or the DB but when you are a few hundred miles off shore it is nice to know they are available. One last caution about the DB. It can get kind of heavy if you are not careful. Too heavy means the admiral may not be able to handle it when the sh1T hits the fan and the captain is trying to launch the LR.
Chris
Which was my point all along....99 percent of the time for boaters unless in upper Alaska, Canada or way offshore (>200 miles) you are more concerned with rescue and staying alive/alert/and able to signal till help arrives (usually less than a full day but reasonably up to 3). You can easily "survive" the week with nothing more than enough on your back to keep you from dying of hypothermia. A little water is great but not even necessary unless in a tropical environment.

I was involved in the rescue and debrief of an Air Guard pilot that punched out and survived a week in a 1 man raft off the coast of NC. All he had was a pint of water and a pack of those little candies I forget that they put in military rafts. He said the highlight of every day was waking up and licking the dew off the canopy of his raft. Survival is mostly about "will to live" and resourcefulness...less about "things".

A full bag is great...as long as it is reasonable to manage and it comes with you.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:59 AM   #32
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When I do off-shore deliveries I review and note what is on the boat. I have some obvious minimum requirements for the boat.

I take with me my inflatable pfd which has a whistle and strobe inside. A plb which I update online with boat info and brief float plan. A divers knife. An iPod. Laptop which I recently upgraded to a Toughbook with internal GPS. Charts will be loaded. Targus charger that will charge everything I take DC or AC.
I have a Mustang Survival Suit which I take if there is not one for on board that will fit me. It's bulky and heavy and not fun to travel with but a potential lifesaver. If there are multiple handheld vhf's already on board I don't take one. Perry had a satphone on the Guatemala trip and it worked great to stay in touch with Julie. I will take a small handheld gps and my SPOT (for family and friends I'll activate when I go on watch). That's pretty much it besides appropriate clothing.
Once on board I repack my gear which I keep together in 'my space'. If I brought the survival suit it stays in it's own little bag and accessible. Pdf is unpacked and accessible. Plb, iPod, knife, gps and few snacks go in a 'fanny pack' (which you'll never see me wear unless the sh*t hits the fan). The 'fanny pack' and a water bottle (wide mouth) goes with me on watch and pretty much is in my reach all the time. I'm bad about the pdf if the weather is nice but it goes with me on night watches and gets worn if I go out on deck. Laptops have a way of getting trashed on sailboats or upper helm stations in bad weather or by the sloppy coffee drinkers (me). I'm giving the TB a try. It's a disposable in an emergency.
If the weather gets really nasty, the pfd and fanny pack go on. I put the survival suit in an accessible place. I've never worn it at sea but I always put it on before I leave for a trip. Not fun for an old man.
Moving about a boat in heavy seas requires both of my hands. If it gets too bad I will crawl. Some boats are designed for heavy weather and have great hand holds and rails on the interior and exterior. Many do not. Take a header into a bulkhead or wall and I'm done before I start.
So where is the life raft? Up on top.(I've had them below too). Usually where I don't want to go and probably can't t without two hands and my ass to slide on.

That's how I roll (pun intended) at sea.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:18 PM   #33
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[QUOTE=HopCar;89961]Keith, why a Magnifying Glass?

Start fires by sun. I know, probably never use that, but it's small.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:22 PM   #34
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Very comprehensive list. What kind of container do keep it all in? Where do you stow it? Also, how much cash do keep stashed, and what the heck is a USCG fishing kit (besides the obvious)? KJ
It's one of those orange ditch bags with flotation foam in the sides. Can't remember what brand. It's in the pilothouse right behind my seat and under the footrest on the Krogen 42 watch berth. I think I have $40 in there. The fishing kit is a little sealed pouch with line, hooks... can't remember the rest, but a basic fishing kit in a pouch about 6" x 6".
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:42 AM   #35
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Keith, The magnifying makes sense. I have a little survival kit I carry if I go out in the woods. I put one of those thin fresnel lens in it for the same purpose.
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