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Old 13-04-2019, 15:58   #1
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Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

I recently got a Garmin inReach and have not really used it yet other than to test it out.

When on a passage how would you contact the US Coast Guard or other responders if you needed help but it wasn't a Mayday type emergency? In a situation where I don't want to press the SOS button how can I make contact.

Suppose you wanted medical advice or information on something while at sea...How would you contact the Coast Guard (or others) without seeking rescue?

Does anybody know of a list of email addresses or numbers for text messages?
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Old 13-04-2019, 18:02   #2
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

I would start with the rescue coordination center for your area. This page is a list of USA centers and "emergency" numbers where I suspect they would welcome calls in similar circumstances to a pan-pan radio call. However, I can't promise they can receive text messages.

https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organiz...R/RCC-Numbers/

You can try calling the non emergency number for your center and ask for suggestions.

For medical advice, there are private telemedicine services available for a fee.
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Old 13-04-2019, 18:13   #3
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

Garmin inReach can only email or text besides the SOS function. It's not a SAT phone.
Good questions OP. I have one and the info will be helpful.
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Old 13-04-2019, 20:06   #4
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

Further research indicates the USCG does not monitor email or SMS for distress calls and discourages their use. It seems like inReach messages have to be relayed by the SOS button (Garmin's emergency call center)or by a friend.
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Old 14-04-2019, 08:35   #5
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

Before your cruise, along with your float plan, provide your friends and family the phone numbers for all the agencies/medical that you might need to contact. During the cruise outside of cell range you can email or text your InReach contact(s) to relay questions and answers.
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Old 14-04-2019, 08:42   #6
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

We too have a Garmin InReach. Works very nicely. Best when coupled to a smart phone using their APP EarthMate. We’ve used it for three years along the West coast of North America.

We looked up phone numbers, mobile phone numbers, email, etc. of USCG, medical, friends, your smart phone and computer contacts, harbors, etc. in advance of losing cellular service. Also we’ve made/added to our lists from cruising guide books, websites, and we asked our physicians—in advance—for text and email numbers we can use for emergencies (they gave them to us). When we visit a port I collect phone numbers for local law enforcement, Mexican Navy, Canadian rescue, etc.

Ask friends/family in advance if you can contact them and ask them for relay help if needed.

Get as much contact info in advance. Collect all you can as you travel. Use what you need.

You can always use info collected from one area and have those people relay your message and end up with the final responder you need.

Learn how to use the InReach. It can be tricky sending receiving text, email to/from other InReach versus non-InReach. I wish Garmin would have more tutorials and better manuals.

Be sure to download to your InReach the free maps for emergency navigation. Sync it with your computer to keep the online tracking up to date as well as the devices software. Decide if you want a password on it for others to contact you or have it “open” so anyone tracking you can contact you.

You can subscribe to Garmin’s email notifications of functional problems wth their InReach system. It’s nice to know when they are experiencing glitches and problems. Free.

If in need and you don’t know how to reach someone—push the big button and folks on the other end will sort it out before they contact “rescue” services.

Hope you never have to “push the button.”

PS We bought the charging/mount cradle for the InReach. Nice to have it securely mounted and always charged—in case.
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Old 14-04-2019, 08:47   #7
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

It is my understanding that when the SOS is triggered on the Inreach Explorer, the people on the other end will attempt to ascertain what the problem is. Then, they will forward the information to the appropriate place for the assistance needed. It is not like triggering an EPIRB where only an alert and location are sent.
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Old 14-04-2019, 10:56   #8
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
I recently got a Garmin inReach and have not really used it yet other than to test it out.

When on a passage how would you contact the US Coast Guard or other responders if you needed help but it wasn't a Mayday type emergency? In a situation where I don't want to press the SOS button how can I make contact.

Suppose you wanted medical advice or information on something while at sea...How would you contact the Coast Guard (or others) without seeking rescue?

Does anybody know of a list of email addresses or numbers for text messages?
I used my DeLorme InReach SE (Garmin bought the company the following year) on a roundtrip to Hawaii and it worked fine for most of the voyage...a few days could not get it to PAIR. Definitely get the RAM mount to keep it charged. Anyway, my only complaint is that for a device giving 24/7 service the only time you can speak to Technical/Customer Service is M-F, 0700-1900CST except holidays.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 14-04-2019, 11:04   #9
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

You can send custom messages to the Garmin SOS center through the menus. If you make clear you don't need immediate rescue, they can pass along messages. https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webh...E80973A7B.html
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Old 14-04-2019, 13:28   #10
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

Just a quick word of advice, double check your gps coordinates and compare to a known good address, or map location. I recently purchased one of these Garmin Inreach devices, discovered the lat and long were off. When I asked a guide in Wyoming why the map they supplied to me was "off", he just shrugged it off saying "it's a free map, must be the forest service who made the mistake". Long story short, I used the SOS, it did reach authorities, but they would have never found me with the coordinates my unit was giving out. We survived our incident, BUT it could have been much worse......Garmin replaced my unit free of charge.
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Old 15-04-2019, 14:27   #11
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

So the interesting thing I have learned from this thread is that the SOS button doesn't automatically initiate a rescue. It initiates a conversation about the problem.

I also have a SPOT messenger and have never had to press the 911 button on it, but I don't know if it would initiate a rescue since you can't text from it, it would just send your location. If you are at sea that could create a dilemma for the GEOS International Emergency Response Center.

For me, I also have EPIRB which would always be activated if I have a life threatening emergency.
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Old 15-04-2019, 16:09   #12
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

If you hit the SOS button but aren't specific about your issue, it will initiate a rescue. Strongly recommend using the SOS menu to send a custom message rather than hitting the button if you don't want rescue.
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Old 15-04-2019, 17:14   #13
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Re: Emergency contact numbers for Garmin inReach

Our of curiosity I selected the SOS icon on my older Delorme InReach Explorer...it displayed a timer message (of only about 10 seconds!) warning to only use this function in an actual emergency. Fortunately I clicked "cancel" in time. I dont know what happends after that, but would be good to research.
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