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Old 28-09-2006, 10:57   #1
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Ditch bag contents?

Hi all,
We are getting ready to do a cruise from Texas to Isla Mujeres, Mexico to Florida to the Bahamas and back. For our ditch bag we have a GPS Epirb, Katadyn hand pump watermaker, handheld GPS, handheld VHF, and Globalstar phone.
Does anyone have recommendations for additional contents?

Thanks
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Old 28-09-2006, 11:06   #2
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Packages of emergency rations, water(along with the watermaker), container or bags for catching and holding, fishing equipment, batteries , flares, copy of passport, flares, cash in small denominations
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Old 28-09-2006, 11:15   #3
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insurance policy, other boat documents.
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Old 28-09-2006, 13:35   #4
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Been putting together some thoughts on this for some time:


"The ORC recommends that a "grab bag" accompanies each liferaft. The following contents are recommended and should be appropriately packed and waterproofed (packing should be openable by wet fingers without tools):

spare sea anchor (drogue) and line for the liferaft
two safety tin openers
waterproof hand-held VHF transceiver
waterproof hand-held GPS
EPIRB for 406MHz ("GPIRB" type, or INMARSAT "E" -which is also of the "GPIRB" type- recommended)
a first aid kit
one plastic drinking vessel graduated in 10, 20 and 50 cubic cm
two or more "cyalume" sticks
two watertight floating flashlights or torches
one daylight signalling mirror and one signalling whistle
at least two red parachute flares and three red hand flares
non-thirst provoking rations and barley sugar or equivalent
watertight receptacles containing fresh water (at least half a litre per person)
nylon string, polythene bags, seasickness tablets
an SART (Search and Rescue Transponder beacon) is worth considering. This device creates a distinctive "distress" signal on commercial ships 9GHz radar screens."
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The ditch kit should contain items that allow survival from the moment the raft is jettisoned to potentially a period of several months. The short-term concerns, calculated in minutes and hours, deal with injuries sustained during abandon-ship procedures, hypothermia, and the ability to keep the raft afloat. Signaling devices can be useful immediately or long-term; they represent the capacity to signal oneís presence to potential rescuers. Medium-term survival, calculated over a few days, depends on the ability to collect water. Finally, long-term survival, measured in days to months, is based on the potential to gather food.

A. Short-Term Survival (Minutes to Hours)

1) Thermal protective aids such as space blankets or survival bags that consist of compact aluminized sheets of heat-reflective material shaped into a suit or a mummy-bag.
2) Chemical heat packs, either four six-hour units or two 20-hour units per crew, to warm crew
3) Self-inflating foam pad or air mattress, especially if the raft has no insulated double floor, for cushioning and added insulation
4) Wool and rubber work gloves and watch cap
5) Minimal first-aid kit including instruction manual, sterile bandages, sutures, seasickness medication (tablets, suppositories, or injectables), pain killers, aspirin for heart attacks, surgeonís tape, antibiotics, enema sack for rehydration, sun screen, burn cream, petroleum jelly (also for lubricating metal), and inflatable splints.
6) Repair kit with small tubes of silicon seal that cures under water or similar ďgood goop.Ē For inflatables, include a spare air pump, clamps (assorted sizes of cymbal type), heavy needles and sail twine, spare canopy and raft material, and glue patches. For rigid dinghies, include underwater epoxy and glass and fabric for making and repairing the canopy 200 feet of 3/16-inch line and 100 feet of 1/4-inch line, duct tape, spare line for lashings, securing items, and improvising.
7) Tools: sheath knife, multitool or Swiss Army knife, several flat blades, file, sharpening stone, tube of oil.
8) Two 1/8- by 8- by 12-inch marine-plywood cutting boards to protect the raft floor from puncture; one can be marked and used as a sextant
9) Two sponges
10) Plastic sacks and ties
11) Lights: small diving flashlights, chemical light sticks
12) Reflective tape attached to the outside of raft

B. Short to Medium-Term Survival (Hours to Days)

1) Secondary EPIRB
2) Waterproof handheld VHF
3) Six SOLAS-approved parachute flares or 12 non-SOLAS parachutes, three handheld red flares, and two orange smoke flares. Metal flare guns may be prone to rust, so carry oil
4) Signaling mirror
5) Navigation kit: survival manual, pencils, pads of paper, waterproofed pilot chart for the ocean traveled, compass, waterproof watch, plastic protractor
6) Parafoil signaling kite thatís compact and light and may be flown in moderate winds, providing some propulsion and extending visibility, even at night (e.g., the Sky-Alert Rescue Kite by Davis Instruments, 510-732-9229)
7) Backup improved Icelandic-style sea anchor (many models are available) thatís a tapered cone with mesh or straps around bridle to prevent fouling, with a strong swivel and rode

C. Medium-Term Survival (Days to Weeks)

1) Reverse-osmosis watermaker equivalent to Survivor 06 (Survivor 35 is preferred for a crew of six or more)
2) Water in pouches or cans; 16 ounces per person for immediate use
3) Transparent biking bottle with secure cap to help rationing
4) Other bags and plastic sheets for water collection
5) Siphon/enema tubing to transfer water between containers or help survivors absorb water rectally
6) Dried fruit and chocolate

D. Long-Term Survival (Weeks to Months)

1) Survival shipís biscuits
2) Multiple vitamins
3) Fishing kit: small trident and handle, large gaff or Hawaiian sling, 200 feet of 50-pound test (natural cod line shrinks as it dries, good for small lashings), 20 feet of heavy-wire leader, hooks from trout-size to 4-inch, various jigs and lures, sinkers
4) Small plankton net or stockings with stiff metal ring to keep waist open to troll at night (you may be able to live off plankton, but beware of jellyfish)

E. Miscellaneous

1) Photocopies of all essential crew documents, including passports and boat documentation to aid you when reaching land. (Itís advisable to file additional copies ashore along with a list of safety equipment and a float plan.)
2) Shore survival items in case you land in an uninhabited area: waterproof matches, flint, wire saw.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
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Old 28-09-2006, 19:10   #5
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Wow,
Ask and you shall recieve. There is a lot of good stuff here, much of which I had not thought of. Thanks for all the input. Keep it coming if anyone thinks of something not yet covered.

Thanks again,
Dave
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Old 28-09-2006, 21:36   #6
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Add thermal blankets that are available with radar deflecting. They are in small pakages os 2x3". add at least two of these. And pack the mega power bars. . Please ckeck with all all crew, on long trips (over 4days) and have them pack any necessary meds in plastic bags for the ditch bag, IE blood pressure meds, diabetis meds, epileptic meds and etc in plainly marked baggies. If you never need them , the better for it , but when you do it will be a life saver.
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Old 29-09-2006, 02:09   #7
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I listed thermal blankets, but would not include them now, far better to have the thermal bag.
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Old 29-09-2006, 06:22   #8
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Talbot, Great list.

Panama Dave,
Hey when you get some use on the phone please post your opinion about its servicability. Some friends in the Veracruz tace said they tried using a Globalstar and it kept dropping calls. It seems that a sat phone would be really practical ditch bag component.


Thanks
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Old 29-09-2006, 06:30   #9
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PV,
I used a Globalstar phone on a previous delivery from Galveston to Isla Mujeres and it worked great. If I remember right it dropped one call in 7 days.

Dave
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Old 29-09-2006, 07:29   #10
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Dave,
Cool, thanks.
pv
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