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Old 09-21-2012, 09:52 AM   #21
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I got a GPS enabled EPIRB last Xmas, because we were going to go offshore, but the weather dudded that idea and we never got out there, however, still glad we got the EPIRB. As Bruce said. GME here is Oz have several models, but the one with GPS is now only $Aus399, so pretty good peace of mind. I have it mounted hear the helm at the pilot door, so it can be reached easily from inside or out.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:16 AM   #22
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Our EPIRB is mounted in the pilot house. If it needs to be activated, by one of us, it is by the radios and the helm. We do not think a hydrostatic release is a good idea for the average recreational boater. Waiting till an EPIRB is wet enough to release means that the boat is pretty much underwater and you should have called for help or abandoned ship by then.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:35 AM   #23
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Our EPIRB is mounted in the pilot house. If it needs to be activated, by one of us, it is by the radios and the helm. We do not think a hydrostatic release is a good idea for the average recreational boater. Waiting till an EPIRB is wet enough to release means that the boat is pretty much underwater and you should have called for help or abandoned ship by then.

That was our thinking as well.

Same thing with the life raft.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:52 AM   #24
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But here the water temperature is such that survival times are fairly short unless you have a survival suit or can stay out of the water in a dinghy or raft. Even if one had a PLB, if they went into the water in the typical boater's clothing for this area by the time anything able to receive and track a locator signal got to you, you'd most likely be dead. Particularly if the emergency occurred up the coast.
Agreed. I've mentioned the event before, but we pulled an elderly man who had fallen off his son's boat from the water off Lopez Island a couple of years ago in the middle of the summer. Water temperature was about 55 degrees, he had been in the water for 5 minutes and was already almost unable to hold onto the fender he fell in with. EPIRB or PLB, he would have been dead if we hadn't seen him within 10 minutes of falling in, so a locator would only have helped retrieve the body. Still helpful, I suppose, and I would and did carry an EPIRB off shore, along with a survival raft, which gives you someplace to survive while SAR zero in on the EPIRB. In shore, and on the way up to Alaska, I wouldn't count on anyone finding us before we were cold cuts if we hit the drink.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:08 PM   #25
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Waiting till an EPIRB is wet enough to release means that the boat is pretty much underwater and you should have called for help or abandoned ship by then.
Consider that commercial vessels are required to have an automatic EPIRB. Often times in conditions under which an EPIRB might be needed (fire, flooding, abandon ship) there will be a lot of decisions to be made in a short time frame. Boats have been known to sink so fast that folks get out with little more than what they are wearing. (did you see the huge dock that just appeared off the coast from Japan? A real boat sinking hazard at night) A float free EPIRB might be their only chance of survival. All automatic units can be manually activated so there is no real down side. Given enough time, you can grab it and take it with you, but if you run out of time it's got a chance of working, unlike the one still in a cabinet or drawer. We also carry an abandon ship kit, a liferaft, handheld VHF, and survival suits for everyone aboard. Why not? All the savings you have in the bank are worthless if you or a loved one dies because you skimped on safety equipment. Certainly your area of operation will influence the equipment you need, but it's hard to have too many options in an emergency, even just a 1/2 mile off shore. In addition, you need to make sure you know how to use the equipment, and have practiced with it before you need it.

On Coastguard inspected vessels, we are required to run regular drills because it's proven to save lives, and that's good enough for my boat too.........Arctic Traveller
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:18 PM   #26
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I have a new EPIRB class 1 auto release on the outside of the boat. The ditch bag has a handheld vhf plus flares, water and such. i have my inflatable on the motorized davits on back and i added snap shackles so i can get that puppy loose in a hurry. I started out on a Trimarian years ago so the thought of actually sinking was not on my mind. However I now have several tons of iron and no water tight bulkheads. In the right (or wrong) situation i could see by boat going to the bottom in less than a minute. I want to be ready even if i am asleep.
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