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Old 09-28-2021, 08:47 AM   #1
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PLBs and MoB/AIS Transponders?

On the back of current threads on MoB and Liferafts, I started thinking about PLBs (personal locator beacons) and personal-sized (MoB) AIS units and found the following -

https://www.ybw.com/expert-advice/be...-boating-73348

In short, PLBs (essentially, small EPIRB 406) send a satellite alert to a terrestrial base-station that launches a SAR rescue sequence. MoB-AIS would show-up on the boat's MFD. PLB is perfect for abandoned ship/lost-at-sea; AIS perfect for a cruising couple where crew-overboard may not be immediately detected.

Given the relatively modest cost ($365 for PLB; $300 for AIS), seems like a no-brainer for a cruising couple. While I don't relish the thought of dying at sea, the thought of my beloved searching for me in vein is crushing.

Thoughts?

Peter
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Old 09-28-2021, 09:10 AM   #2
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I think that sums it well. They are each suitable for particular scenarios. They are each potentially useless if you don’t have the right one during the course of a particular scenario.

In the scheme of boat costs they really don’t cost that much and worth considering having both. Lastly, of course, taking steps to not need to avail oneself of either is more important. Especially, falling overboard on a trawler type boat should be nearly eliminated as a risk.
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Old 09-28-2021, 12:52 PM   #3
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We (ASD) have two cold emersion suits. Each suit has its own, registered with NOAA PLBs (ACR). We test them every year before we leave. Every 5 years, we send it in to have the batteries replaced, tested and recertified.

https://www.acrartex.com/products/resqlink-plb
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Old 09-28-2021, 02:42 PM   #4
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We have a PLB on each of our inflatable PFDs that we were when we are underway. We aalso have a strobe on each one.
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Old 09-28-2021, 03:10 PM   #5
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let's say a person falls overboard and triggers his PLB.
Meanwhile the MOB AIS system triggers, alerting the helmsman who retrieves the victim.

If this scenario played out while way out at sea.... and no sat phone was available and outside of VHF range of anywhere....how would someone go about calling off the search that was triggered by the PLB?
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Old 09-28-2021, 03:38 PM   #6
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You can' as far as I know.

Sooner or later someone will likely show up to that spot.

It's now upon you to try and call it off ASAP.
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:13 PM   #7
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Most important is the one overboard is safe.

The rest will work out.
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Old 09-29-2021, 04:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyhawk View Post
let's say a person falls overboard and triggers his PLB.
Meanwhile the MOB AIS system triggers, alerting the helmsman who retrieves the victim.

If this scenario played out while way out at sea.... and no sat phone was available and outside of VHF range of anywhere....how would someone go about calling off the search that was triggered by the PLB?
Unlike AIS units, PLBs typically do not have hydrostatic releases. They must be manually activated. The ACR units are designed to be activated with one hand, though do include a switch cover to prevent accidentally activation.

But once activated, a SAR sequence will be initiated.

Peter
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:12 AM   #9
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Unlike AIS units, PLBs typically do not have hydrostatic releases. They must be manually activated.
Exactly. Good post and article. I learned a-lot recently when prepping for purchasing a ACR 425 PLB and Sitex Mda5 AIS transceiver. Seems like pretty good tech. I like the MOB bracelet alot. (But i am single handing so not reason for me to have in addition to the PLB.

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Old 09-29-2021, 06:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyhawk View Post


If this scenario played out while way out at sea.... and no sat phone was available and outside of VHF range of anywhere....how would someone go about calling off the search that was triggered by the PLB?


I would call the USCG directly on HF-SSB.
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Old 09-30-2021, 11:16 PM   #11
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We took a terrific webinar from the Kadey Krogen Owner Group last year about couples cruising and I’ll never forget the instructor saying “if you fall overboard the boat most likely to rescue you is the one you just fell off of…make sure they know you fell overboard and where you are. We bought some Ocean Signal MOB1 AIS devices.

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Old 10-01-2021, 12:24 AM   #12
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I'd go MoB(AIS) for you and an EPRIB for the boat.
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Old 10-01-2021, 05:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream345 View Post
We took a terrific webinar from the Kadey Krogen Owner Group last year about couples cruising and I’ll never forget the instructor saying “if you fall overboard the boat most likely to rescue you is the one you just fell off of…make sure they know you fell overboard and where you are. We bought some Ocean Signal MOB1 AIS devices.

Attachment 121664
Same here (plus an EPIRB for the boat).
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Old 10-01-2021, 05:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Airstream345 View Post
We took a terrific webinar from the Kadey Krogen Owner Group last year about couples cruising and I’ll never forget the instructor saying “if you fall overboard the boat most likely to rescue you is the one you just fell off of…make sure they know you fell overboard and where you are. We bought some Ocean Signal MOB1 AIS devices.

Attachment 121664
Just "thinking out loud" as a follow-up idea to that.....I wonder if any systems exist in a MOB device that ties to the autopilot for single handers? If that person went over while on autopilot it seems like it could be a good idea for the autopilot to hold position or return in some fashion that might give a person a fighting chance to climb back aboard...
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Old 10-01-2021, 06:07 AM   #15
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Like many here in a prior life was a blue water sailor so sat through or read many discussions about this subject. What I’ve gleaned from those is my opinion. Hopefully informed but maybe not. Some of it from those who have gotten wet and some from non professionals who pulled them out.
Regardless of how safety conscious you are there will be times you won’t wear a PFD, it will fail to inflate, your beacons won’t function or you’ll be unable to deploy them being hurt. All these issues are addressed by a man overboard module. These issues are present coastal and blue water. Anyone who has done POB exercises knows how difficult it is to find anything to retrieve even in a 3’ chop. Even when there’s a mob dot on your MFD from a tap or AIS signal you may wander around in close vicinity and not see the target. You may risk running over them as well. Both switlik and plastismo make decent modules. We had the plastismo but replaced it with the MOM as I liked the design better. Even if I was on a very, limited budget would give a strong thought to buying one. A conscious person can swim to it and be supported. It marks and will drift similar to an unconscious person.
As stated most successful rescues of POB where a live person is retrieved are by the mothership. The sooner the better the odds. Think a MOM-8 improves those odds.
If you single and fall in the water overwhelming likelihood is you’re going to die. 95+% of the time any cruising boat is on AP. Chances of self rescue to the boat are negligible. It’s long gone. Exceptions are a passing boat or you’re close enough to land to be able to get out of the water. With that in mind wearing flotation is key and a PLB maybe of some benefit. The only time I was totally by myself and went MOB was off my dinghy going to the laundromat. In tropical waters. A routine trip of a few miles inside North Sound BVI. Wife was back home working so totally alone just sailing around and hanging out. The experience taught me even in warm, flat waters I’d be dead if a passing sailboat didn’t process what was going on and see me. Over the months you get casual about PFDs. Have to admit wasn’t wearing one for this routine trip. Nor were they worn for trips to the grocery or other short routine trips you do when living aboard. Have come to think it’s the coastal or anchored situations where MOB risk is as meaningful as when on passage. Neither AIS nor PLBs are going to help much then and it’s then long term boaters get casual. I’ve taken to leaving a junky orange vest or a float cushion in the floor of the dinghy( in case it flips) and have a self deployable swim ladder on the boat.
For most cruisers think the AIS makes sense. The mothership is your best chance at rescue. The mothership can call SAR. Cellphone, satphone, VHF, or ships epirb will serve. We preprogrammed the local or nearest SAR into our satphone wherever we are and into the cellphones if likely to be in tower distance. Offshore want both PBL and AIS on every vest. If single the PBL at least gives you something.
Just one opinion. BTW guys pee inside the head sitting ALWAYS if I’m captain. Don’t care if the flush wakes someone up. And every time someone is outside (even if just the confines of the aft cockpit) they’ve told someone they are leaving the interior. Even if this means waking someone up to watch you while you’re outside. If no one knows you went MOB help isn’t on the way promptly. Those two things plus a dry boat would more greatly mitigate risk than anything discussed above imho.
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Old 10-01-2021, 06:22 AM   #16
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Re: singlehanded MoB and return to vessel. Many years ago, I was on a Catalina 22 sailboat with some friends on an inland lake. We were ghosting along with nary a duck-fart for breeze. Might have been doing 1.5 kts. My buddy had the idea to jump off the bow and pop up at the stern. We were a boatlength past him when he emerged. Was a surprise how fast a boat moved, even when barely moving.

Peter
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Old 10-01-2021, 01:07 PM   #17
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I've been looking at AIS transceivers. This package with two personal PFD senders looks like a bargain.

Quote:
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And every time someone is outside (even if just the confines of the aft cockpit) they’ve told someone they are leaving the interior.
I had to repeatedly tell my wife not to slip out on to the back deck or up to the FB. Finally threatened to put a bell on her neck or a leash tied to the dinette. She's gotten much better, but still needs work. I think giving her a little POB practice might impress the importance.
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Old 10-01-2021, 02:13 PM   #18
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Isn’t there a device that you wear that can wirelessly turn off the diesel or gas engine if it is submerged??
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Old 10-08-2021, 03:24 PM   #19
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I've been looking at AIS transceivers. This package with two personal PFD senders looks like a bargain.



I had to repeatedly tell my wife not to slip out on to the back deck or up to the FB. .
-------------------------------------------
you need to use a more delicate wording that mine to save yourself of been confined to the doghouse.

In my boat always advise guests/crew I do not have a MOB system,only a IOB system (Idiot Over Board)
Seems to get their attention.
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Old 10-08-2021, 03:28 PM   #20
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On the back of current threads on MoB and Liferafts, I started thinking about PLBs

Given the relatively modest cost ($365 for PLB; $300 for AIS), seems like a no-brainer for a cruising couple. While I don't relish the thought of dying at sea, the thought of my beloved searching for me in vein is crushing.

Thoughts?

Peter
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I have both, as you mentioned, cost is minimal overall picture of saving a life.
They complement each other.
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