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Old 02-04-2014, 08:27   #1
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All at once? Or one at a time?

If you have two EPIRBs on board and you need to use them, would it be better to light them both up at once? Or save one and activate it after the battery has died on the first?
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:46   #2
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

One at a time
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Old 02-04-2014, 13:15   #3
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

Ok, I'm confused. Since the 406 models work anywhere in the world within less than an hour. If you only set one off, how will you know if it worked and help is on the way. Seems to me if you only set one off, you could delay rescue for 48 hours.
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Old 02-04-2014, 13:16   #4
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

I agree, one at a time. I would not want to confuse the fine folk at SAR with two signals from the same location.

I think you are being a tad optimistic in your belief of a one hour rescue. First, SAR has to contact those people on your list to confirm you are actually at sea and somewhere reasonably near where the EPIRB went off. Once satisfied that the signal is real and not an accidental activation at the dock, they will have to determine what resources they have and activate whatever they feel appropriate. Then there is travel time to the search area plus the search itself, unless you've upgraded to a GPIRB. Personally, I would be very happy if I were rescued within 6 to 8 hours after activation and that is if I were within about 100 miles of the coast.

As to whether or not the rascal is working, there are provisions for periodically testing them. Mine needs a new battery, I'll have it tested at the same time the battery is replaced and learn the procedure for me to test it prior to going offshore.

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Old 02-04-2014, 13:42   #5
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
I agree, one at a time. I would not want to confuse the fine folk at SAR with two signals from the same location.

I think you are being a tad optimistic in your belief of a one hour rescue. First, SAR has to contact those people on your list to confirm you are actually at sea and somewhere reasonably near where the EPIRB went off. Once satisfied that the signal is real and not an accidental activation at the dock, they will have to determine what resources they have and activate whatever they feel appropriate. Then there is travel time to the search area plus the search itself, unless you've upgraded to a GPIRB. Personally, I would be very happy if I were rescued within 6 to 8 hours after activation and that is if I were within about 100 miles of the coast.

As to whether or not the rascal is working, there are provisions for periodically testing them. Mine needs a new battery, I'll have it tested at the same time the battery is replaced and learn the procedure for me to test it prior to going offshore.

Rich
Didn't mean to imply an hour rescue, but that the satellite would connect within that time to alert the Rescue services.

Since the PLBs transmit on the same frequency, I imagine if an entire crew had one, it would light up the location to the rescue services like a spot light should they all be activated at once.
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Old 02-04-2014, 13:48   #6
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

I would use both at once for the first hour then turn the oldest off till the newer one's batts are dead.
Then i would turn the old one on for a few hours each day till rescue.

The reason I would put both on for the first hour is to increase a chance of a signal getting out and the authorities realising its not a hoax.

I need a new EPIRB this year so I will, of course, keep the old.

But if I had a new boat and a few $$$ i would have a few EPIRBS.
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Old 02-04-2014, 14:11   #7
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

I'd go with MarkJ. When you set off an EPIRB, it takes the SAR system a while to decide you are actually in distress. They will do some research before going to look at you. If only 1 EPIRB goes off, they will first call your contacts, try to figure out if your location matches the personal info (which you were sure to update before leaving on your voyage, so they know the EPIRB signal coincides with where you are supposed to be), etc. Unless they actually think it's a true signal, they do little that results in a rescue quickly. So 2 signals (esp one from your boat's EPIRB and one from a personal EPIRB or two or three or more, separately registered to other people for example), is strong evidence you are in need of the SAR system responding. Hopefully one of the EPIRBs goes off automatically, and you can set off the second for a certain period, perhaps 6-12 hours.

However, you are likely to have your signals heard very quickly anyways, and not need to run the EPIRBs long.

Interesting post.
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Old 02-04-2014, 15:19   #8
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I would use both at once for the first hour then turn the oldest off till the newer one's batts are dead.
Then i would turn the old one on for a few hours each day till rescue.

The reason I would put both on for the first hour is to increase a chance of a signal getting out and the authorities realising its not a hoax.

I need a new EPIRB this year so I will, of course, keep the old.

But if I had a new boat and a few $$$ i would have a few EPIRBS.
Hadn't thought of it that way, it makes sense.

We are going to augment the Epirb with PLB for each of us. Not sure which one yet, but we are looking. For $300, not a bad price, the only drawback I can see so far is the 24 hour battery life.
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Old 02-04-2014, 15:23   #9
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

PLBs = smart. In a couple of years, they will combine the PLB with the personal AIS unit, so it might be worth waiting (unless you plan to sink before then).
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Old 02-04-2014, 16:43   #10
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

Of course it might pay to go to the real experts and ask this question, i.e. call or e-mail the coast guard. I too would be interested in their response.

Rich
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Old 02-04-2014, 17:01   #11
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Re: All at once? Or one at a time?

If you turn on two of them, the signals can garble each other.. now I don't know if that is true, but it is possible. I would much prefer to give more time for rescue, so activate one and after a few day of no rescue do the second one. But if you are injured and may not live a few days, go all-in!
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