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Old 27-04-2011, 17:59   #286
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Well as my father used to say to me when i was a child. there "used to be ships of wood and men of steel. Now its the other way around.."
---also i remember in the 60's a guy sailed to Hawaii by just watching airplanes going there to get his route each day...
---also i remember a guy in his 70's that went accross the Pacific on a raft (i forgot to where) and when he got a hyeia he tied his feet to the mask and hoisted himself up and the lump went back in place and he tied a strap to it tight and sailed on...
--- and don't forget that the Polynesians sailed by looking at the sky's colors and feeling the slightest currents with the tiller between there legs.
Enough already about all this tech stuff...Lets get back to smelling the air (whats left of the good air) and living the life...and doing it.
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Old 27-04-2011, 18:27   #287
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
- what about the failures of epirbs, as uscg is searching many days of week in sd bay for those going off without any one on board????? i would think of this as more of a hazard than spot failure..LOL
What failures of EPIRBs???? Frankly never heard of any in 20+ years in the guard...in fact...we found one a few miles offshore that was driving us nuts for a week..the old style with a dry cell dangling below it hanging by just the wires (cover fell off I guess) and the antenna broken off... just bobbing around ending it's little distress heart out..

Now for false alarms..yes the old style had it's problems (false alarms within the system but not failures)...the new type is 95-99% effective. The numerous false alarms within the DSC radio distress system again is more user error than equipment problems.

By the way...one of my favorite rescues involved a gentleman with reynauds disease ...we got him just in time (boat burned and sank 50 miles SE of Cape May, NJ in late Spring, water temp in the 50s).
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Old 27-04-2011, 18:47   #288
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

I asked a friend at the USCG if he could help us with some facts. The below is all SARSAT incidents in 2009 coded with "S/V" as the vessel in trouble. I sorted it so the five where lives were lost are listed first. 63 incidents in total. This actually answers the OP question about how many (rafts are mentioned when they were deployed). It also mentions when there were fires. Have fun . . . .

1 POB taken off capsized vessel, 2 POB lost, Off Madagascar
16 of 18 people saved from wreck, 2 POB lost, aground on Flinders Island (race boat)
1 overboard; dead on recovery, Portugal
1 person overboard, not found, Mediterranean
1 winched from rocks, 1 lost, aground on Hen and Chickens, NZ
2 POB rescued from life raft, Costa Rica
2 POBs rescued from liferaft, Off Natal, Brazil
3 POB, motor not working vessel (S/V with intact rig) towed into port, SE of Galvaston, TX
1 POB. Sea tow to port (S/V with intact rig), SE of Hilton Head
2 taken off disabled yacht (motor not working, rig intact), 25 miles from shore Victoria, Australia
3 persons towed into port (motor not working, rig intact), East of Gladstone
3 on board , Tow service brought boat in, engine not working (rig intact), Santa Cruz, CA
1 man "disoriented", RCC towed boat to harbor, Off Ferndale, CA
2 crew removed, boat towed back to harbor, 90 miles SE of Cape Lookout
Skipper claimed no help needed, Fremantle
Captain able to continue, no rescue needed, North Port Hedland, WA
2 POD taken off, vessel Towed back to shore, SE of Cape Fear, SC
3 on board, sail tangled around keel, rescue boat helped untangle, Titiriri Island, NZ
3 people taken off boat with rudder problem, Northwest of Nassau, Bahamas
Boat flooding boat towed into harbor, France
2 people taken off dismasted boat, 10 miles offshore, Portugal
1 taken off yacht in heavy weather, vessel later salvaged, Garden Island, WA between Freo and Cape Naturaliste
5 taken off after F8 gale; dehydrated and ill; boat towed to NZ, 190 miles NE of Cape Brett, NZ
1 POB taken off, East of Cape Hatteras
1 POB taken off, near Cape Horn (Vendee globe)
1 POB taken off, East of Cabo San Lucas
3 POBs rescued after grounding, Gaudeloupe
11 POB rescued, NE of Taipai
1 POB rescued, Rescued by another yacht, Off Brazilian coast
4 taken off dismasted vessel, South China Sea; 160 nm w of Philippines
2 taken off disabled vessel in heavy weather, East of Brisbane, Australia
1 rescued from capsized boat, Halifax, Canada
Captain taken off: "submarine" attacked the boat, Northeast of Bermuda
2 crew rescued; after propeller lost (s/v with rig intact), Mid Atlantic/US rescue
2 crew evacuated in bad weather, Carino, Spain
1 person rescued from island, vessel Aground, Polynesia
2 rescued from sinking boat, Portugal
2 rescued after boat sank, Portugal
1 Rescued, Boat damaged in storm, Drake Passage
2 people taken off sinking boat, South of Haiti
4 POBs on vessel on fire, Off Albany Australia
1 POB rescued from dinghy, vessel sank, Backstairs Passage, Austraila
Crew repaired leak, no rescue, France
3 POB take off intact but dismasted vessel, vessel later salvaged, Noosa Head, Queensland, Australia
2 POB rescued from sinking 20-foot catamaran, Mackay Australia
2 POB taken off burning vessel, Balearic Islands. Spain
4 crew on dismasted yacht winched off (hull intact, vessel salvaged), Bass Strait, Australia
1 rescued from boat in surf, Queensland, Australia
1 person rescued off grounded yacht, France
3 rescued, Bateman Bay, Aust
8 people taken off dismasted yacht, 200 miles NNE of North Cape
Boat flooding, pump dropped; 1 POB, SW of Hawaii
2 rescued from vessel on fire in harbor, Cartagena, Spain
2 POB, Vessel sank in harbor, Cadiz, Spain
2 taken off grounded boat, Shark Bay, Australia
3 taken off capsized boat, 40 miles ESE of Charleston, SC
1 rescued from island, Aground, Dampier, Australia
1 rescued from fire, Gladstone, Queensland
2 persons winched to safety, Aground, Off Eden, NSW, Aust.
3 taken off island, Aground, Herald Island, Queensland
1 taken off sinking boat, in bay, Shoalwater Bay, Queensland
1 person recovered from the water, MOB helo located, Cape Morutu, Kochu, Japan
2 in life raft after catamaran grounded on reef, Madagascar
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Old 27-04-2011, 18:54   #289
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Zeehag I just hope that the crew understand the captains attitude before needing to. Reminds me of another thread and what went through my mind regarding the delivery skipper declining the job at the last minute. My thought was he found out the condition of the boat and lack of equipment fitted for a Pacific crossing. Obviously he valued his life a little more than the boat owner did who I understand was not going to do the crossing on board.
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Old 27-04-2011, 20:58   #290
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I asked a friend at the USCG if he could help us with some facts. The below is all SARSAT incidents in 2009 coded with "S/V" as the vessel in trouble. I sorted it so the five where lives were lost are listed first. 63 incidents in total. This actually answers the OP question about how many (rafts are mentioned when they were deployed). It also mentions when there were fires. Have fun . . . .
Of the 63 incidents:

in 18 cases, the boat was salvaged (13) and/or there was no rescue of people from the boat (5).

In 11 cases, the boat is reported to have gone aground and/or the people were rescued from an island or rock.

In 10 cases, the boat is reported to be flooding, sinking, or has sunk, however in 2 or 3 of those cases no rescue of people from the boat was required because the people were given a pump, were able to fix the leak themselves, or were towed into port before the boat sank. Only one of these cases reported resorting to a liferaft or dinghy. One or two of these cases appear to have involved boats in harbor or near to shore.

In 6 cases involved sail boats with rigs intact where people were rescued or the boat was towed in -- all involved problems with auxillary power not working, but these were all supposedly sail boats -- couldn't they have sailed in? (Note that 4 of these 6 cases are in US waters!!!!)

In 5 cases people were removed from boats that had dismasted, but in at least 2 of those cases the boats were salvaged.

In 5 cases, heavy weather was reported as a factor, but in at least 2 of those cases the boats were salvaged.

4 cases involved boats on fire.

3 cases involved person overboard.

3 cases involved boats capsizing.

8 cases are unique or do not have enough information to characterize.

Of the 5 cases in which there was loss of life, 2 involved persons overboard, 2 involved groundings, and 1 involved capsize.

In 5 cases, there was no rescue of anyone from the boat, although in 2 of those cases, aid was given (pump, untangling sail)

4 cases involved a liferaft (or dinghy), one from a grounding and one from a sinking, and two undetermined.

---

So from this I take that (b) some cruisers are really motor-boaters and not sailors, despite their masts and sails; (b) running aground and losing our boats on the rocks or in the surf is the most likely hazard that cruisers will encounter, followed by flooding or sinking, then heavy weather, then dismasting, then fire, and finally capsize; (c) falling overboard is the most deadly hazard we face; and (d) that flooding does not mean the end and it is sometimes possible to solve that problem and save the boat and yourself.
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Old 28-04-2011, 03:13   #291
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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its just another gang of dorks, just ones 'legal ?' and the other not...
Your freedoms relative to the strength of your arm.... or theirs... nothings changed in over 10,000yrs mate...
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Old 28-04-2011, 04:37   #292
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Great points...I am often critisized for my views on setting off an EPIRB prematurely or calling mayday without grave danger.
Could argue that those who push the help me button(s) everytime they thought things might end badly. or are late for Dinner - risk diverting resources from those who are actually in danger. Unless you had 1 helicopter per vessel - and even then the money to pay for has to come from somewhere (else). Unless of course you have a Chinese credit card

Quote:
Dying or killing my crew over someone's engine problems was never high on my priority or "to do" list.
But risking the same to rescue someone from there inconveniance is ok?

Can't say I am entirely convinced that (not) returning to work on a Monday is sufficient reason to call for rescue. Well, not unless they are doing something really important - like finding a cure for global warming
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Old 28-04-2011, 05:10   #293
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Thanks to those that analysed the results. It does cast shame on the majority of boaters, though it would be interesting to hear how many Cruisersforum Members have Mayday'd or EPRIB'd. I always remember the Christmas storm of the Aussi NewZealand race where a naval vessel helped so many. None of the cat's (6 I think) that called for rescue actually sank, they were just a bit tired, or getting quite ill from dehydration. Some of the mono's were being repeatedly rolled. Quite scary and life threatening.
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Old 28-04-2011, 05:21   #294
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Could argue that those who push the help me button(s) everytime they thought things might end badly. or are late for Dinner - risk diverting resources from those who are actually in danger. Unless you had 1 helicopter per vessel - and even then the money to pay for has to come from somewhere (else). Unless of course you have a Chinese credit card



But risking the same to rescue someone from there inconveniance is ok?

Can't say I am entirely convinced that (not) returning to work on a Monday is sufficient reason to call for rescue. Well, not unless they are doing something really important - like finding a cure for global warming
You are way off if you are refering to the USCG..and you really CAN'T argue the point because the system is in place and working just fine the way it HAS been for many years in the US. The people who do this for a living can and do make those decisions....and were doing it long before all the great advice from internet forums No I KNOW the world isn't the US...but the US performs rescues all over the world.

Fully funded means just that ...the same amount is spent whether on actual rescues or burning it up training or miscellaneous missions. Crews get paid to sit or fly/float.

No matter....My point was to launch early and find someone BEFORE it became dangerous...and it's infinitely easier to go straight to an EPIRB and determine the problem and start a fix than to get a call from a relative and search all night for a simple breakdown that didn't feel the urgency to push the EPIRB button...

Searching for those overdue who have no better means to communicate other than their EPIRB DOES use up the resources faster and doesn't allow as much time to spend thinking about the solution to global warming.

Sure... exhaust all other means...but when night fall or approaching bad weather is at hand and the situation doesn't look like it's gonna change...then it was always my professional position to go ahead and use the EPIRB.
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Old 28-04-2011, 05:27   #295
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

What I'm seeing in that report is that there was only 63 rescues out of 1000's of ocean crossing sailors (and 10's of thousands coastwise) around the World. I think thats a pretty positive number. Even if all 63 of those could have been prevented in some way (and they probably could have). Looks like quite a few of them were indeed calling unnecessarily, but at least a few appear to have been in real danger.

I don't see any indication that calling for help resulted in disaster.

I think this whole concept of the "911 mindset" is being blown way out of proportion. Yes it happens, yes some people think that way, but it is in no way representative of the majority of cruising sailors, and it's not some disastrous epidemic plaguing the western world.

63 rescues by various rescue teams around the world. I don't see that as a massive expendeture of resources either. These rescues are not going to drive up the cost of anyones insurance, they are not going to force new laws into place, and the money spent on them is an insignificant drop in the taxpayers bucket compared to the money we pay for other things, like wars, and highways....

I think all this energy would be better spent figuring out how to educate sailors better (long before they make up their minds!). You know, if safety training and 'advanced' sailing classes didn't cost as much as my boat, I would have taken them right along with ASA101...
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Old 28-04-2011, 05:42   #296
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Right from the rescue agencies brochure

The COSPAS-SARSAT Satellite System:
Saving lives is our mission
COSPAS-SARSAT is the international, humanitarian
Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System
that has been providing emergency distress alerting
and locating information to search and rescue
authorities for more than twenty years. Since its
inception in 1982, COSPAS-SARSAT has been credited
with saving thousands of lives in the United States
and around the world. The satellite system tracks
and locates activated emergency beacons carried
by ships, aircraft and individuals in distress. It is a
way of signaling for help when all other means of
communication have failed. In many instances this
system has proven to be the last resort for people
in trouble at sea or in the wilderness.

I see no mention that grave danger or waiting until near starvation mentioned to be a requirement prior to turning on an EPIRB.
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Old 28-04-2011, 06:16   #297
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pirate Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
What I'm seeing in that report is that there was only 63 rescues out of 1000's of ocean crossing sailors (and 10's of thousands coastwise) around the World. I think thats a pretty positive number. Even if all 63 of those could have been prevented in some way (and they probably could have). Looks like quite a few of them were indeed calling unnecessarily, but at least a few appear to have been in real danger.

I don't see any indication that calling for help resulted in disaster.

I think this whole concept of the "911 mindset" is being blown way out of proportion. Yes it happens, yes some people think that way, but it is in no way representative of the majority of cruising sailors, and it's not some disastrous epidemic plaguing the western world.

63 rescues by various rescue teams around the world. I don't see that as a massive expendeture of resources either. These rescues are not going to drive up the cost of anyones insurance, they are not going to force new laws into place, and the money spent on them is an insignificant drop in the taxpayers bucket compared to the money we pay for other things, like wars, and highways....

I think all this energy would be better spent figuring out how to educate sailors better (long before they make up their minds!). You know, if safety training and 'advanced' sailing classes didn't cost as much as my boat, I would have taken them right along with ASA101...

I think that is a very small % of rescues/retreivals that actually happened...
I'd bet with confidence that the RNLI carried out more than that of the UK coast alone that year...
Basing opinions on this is of no value whatsoever
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Old 28-04-2011, 06:29   #298
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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I think that is a very small % of rescues/retreivals that actually happened...
I'd bet with confidence that the RNLI carried out more than that of the UK coast alone that year...
Basing opinions on this is of no value whatsoever
It IS the actual numbers that were triggered by EPIRBs...at leat for sailboats as he mentioned...

here's the totals...but you are correct in assuming there are many more distresses reported and acted upon...just along the New Jersey, USA coast the US Coast Guard group logged on average 3500 cases per year during the mid 1990s when I was Operations Officer.....

NOAA SARSAT

In 2010, NOAA satellites were critical in the rescues of 295 people from life-threatening situations throughout the United States and its surrounding waters

Recent Yearly Totals:


2009: 195 people 2004: 260 people
2008: 282 people 2003: 224 people
2007 353 people 2002: 171 people
2006: 272 people 2001: 166 people
2005: 222 people

worldwide numbers



There is always a huge problem with recording statistical data and the way it is fed to the public (by both governments and civilian organizations0. But from my perspective...the above numbers aren't TOO far off but I do know for a fact that often the words "lives saved" doesn't necessarily mean the people would have died without SAR intervention.
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Old 28-04-2011, 07:07   #299
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

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I think that is a very small % of rescues/retreivals that actually happened...
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
It IS the actual numbers that were triggered by EPIRBs...at leat for sailboats as he mentioned...
Both absolutely correct. We were talking about epirbs, so I asked for data on s/v sarsat rescues - which has epirbs (and PLBs & ELTs) as the primary/initial distress signal.

There is no consolidated worldwide source for other marine accident data (to my knowledge), but if you want to look at all 2009 USCG reported 'accidents' . . . there were in total 4730, with 736 deaths and 3358 injuries. Of those 4% of the vessels involved were "auxiliary sailboats" and 10% were on the 'ocean/gulf' (eg relatively open water). So, in US waters, using communication other than epirb/plb/elt (mostly VHF), this is more s/v incidents than the worldwide s/v sarsat incident numbers.

But the base of non-epirb vessels is also much larger. There are several million aux sailboats registered in the us. I don't know off the top of my head how many worldwide s/v's there are with registered epirbs, but I am guessing one order of magnitude less. Using those guesses, the incident rate is very roughly similar between the two groups.

One conclusion form all this data, which I have mentioned several times before, is that our sport/activity is in fact quite safe. There are two decent studies that suggest both the injury and death rates are about on par with golf. This is QUITE different than commercial fishing, which has one of the top death rates of all industrial activities. That contrast is one of the reasons for the 'safety' tension in our sport compared to say golf. We in our relatively safe activity share the water and the SAR resources with a very dangerous activity and their rules and requirements get spilled over onto us.

Another conclusion from all this data is that it does point us to the factors which cause the most incidents and which we should be extra careful about. Both the USCG site and the BOATUS sites have some nice detail on the various causes of the incidents. But, its hard to extract from the data information directly relevant to cruising boats - so I think the satsat database is particularly relevant for those of use who do a lot of offshore work. I have previously tried to get somewhat more direct data from my sources but unfortunately, neither organization has much skill at statistical analysis . . . however I would rather they be good at SAR than statistics.
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Old 28-04-2011, 19:25   #300
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Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

for those thinking i have a death wish-- GET REAL lol if i had that, i would drive a motorcycle at high speed into a bridge LOL.. ASSININE ACCUSATION. JUST BECAUSE I DONOT HAVE THE MONEY TO SUPPORT RIDICULOUS DEMANDS doesnt make me with a death wish. if folks wh really wanna sail with me NEED a liferaft or an epirb, they may bring that item with them.
AS FOR FAILURES-- oops sorry-- caps -- but --donot forget i cannot type.LOL
failure includes false alarm.LOL.
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