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Old 23-03-2011, 10:52   #31
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pirate Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

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Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
And "think of the children"

If we could leave the hysterics out of it for a minute ...

If you would say "I would go there without an EPIRB" or "I would make that crossing without a liferaft" then you have made my case for me.
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Old 23-03-2011, 11:24   #32
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

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I was trying to think of a clever way of editing what you wrote and put it in quotes ... but I'll just cede the debating point to you



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Old 23-03-2011, 11:35   #33
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

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Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
And "think of the children"

If we could leave the hysterics out of it for a minute ...

If you would say "I would not go there without an EPIRB" or "I would not make that crossing without a liferaft" then you have made my case for me.



-Sven
You make some interesting points that many responders chose to ignore.

  • I sail a catamaran, so sinking is not likely. In case of capsize, you are MUCH better off with the boat--this is proven.
  • In case of a fire I can deal with I have an inflatable, a small sea anchor, and sail shorthanded (we'll fit on the floor). Hopefully fire and terrible weather are not coincident.
  • EPIRB can go both ways; yes I think people believe they reduce risk and thus sail places they should not. EPIRBs can't replace sense.
I've been involved in a number of climbing rescues. A common thread is that the victims are inexperienced. Additionally, many are wearing helmets in places where most climber are not, in the mistaken belief that a helmet will help if they fall (helmets are only for falling rock). Safety for a climber is a matter of technique, continuous focus, and rational understanding of limitations. So yes, the false sense of security point is well taken.

Are we better of without an EPIRB? Not if we practice good sense. I will be mindfull of my limitations.

Are we better off, particularly in smaller boats, spending the money on something other than a raft (better maintenance)? For me, yes. For a monohull? I'm not the one to answer.
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Old 23-03-2011, 11:45   #34
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

This is from ACR in their literature when speaking of EPIRBs
"It’s reliable signaling technology that has saved more than 26,800 lives since 1982."

Seems a reasonable return for your investment.



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Old 23-03-2011, 12:07   #35
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

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This is from ACR in their literature when speaking of EPIRBs
"It’s reliable signaling technology that has saved more than 26,800 lives since 1982."

Seems a reasonable return for your investment.
That's 2.5 persons per day, not too bad.



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Old 23-03-2011, 12:32   #36
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

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That's 2.5 persons per day, not too bad.



-Sven
I wonder how many of those were less than grave danger....

I'm not saying they are a bad idea, not at all. But I do wonder about the accuracy of the statistics. Put another way, a man who can't swim tries hard to save the boat. What portion of these would have managed if they had know from the beginning they had only their wits?

With and EPIRB and insurance, priorities align more with our current sensibilities.
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Old 23-03-2011, 12:43   #37
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

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I wonder how many of those were less than grave danger....

I'm not saying they are a bad idea, not at all.
I had the same question and agree with you (both the question and the statement).

I think I'll write ACR and ask how they computed the numbers, if they will tell me.



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Old 23-03-2011, 12:47   #38
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

How about something close to home-like the Baja HaHa sinking in 2009. VIKING RescYou™ liferaft saves five sailors in Baja Ha-Ha rally - VIKING-LIFE or Google your choice of articles. We started out on the race and turned back with engine problems. Had sailed the 2006 HaHa where Eugenie and that boat had no such problems. Grave danger? Not with the LifeRaft and EPIRB. Otherwise, guess???
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Old 23-03-2011, 13:24   #39
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

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How about something close to home-like the Baja HaHa sinking in 2009. VIKING RescYou™ liferaft saves five sailors in Baja Ha-Ha rally - VIKING-LIFE or Google your choice of articles. We started out on the race and turned back with engine problems. Had sailed the 2006 HaHa where Eugenie and that boat had no such problems. Grave danger? Not with the LifeRaft and EPIRB. Otherwise, guess???
That's the kind of info I was looking for.

Thanks,



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Old 23-03-2011, 13:34   #40
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

When the S/V Concordia went down both EPIRBs and liferafts were deployed.

CBC | Land and Sea

64 lives were saved, the whole crew.
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Old 23-03-2011, 15:36   #41
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

I've sheared rudders off twice; one was transom hung and the other was in a crash box. In neither case was a distress call sent; we sailed home. In the case of the J-boat, would the weight and money be well spent on a crash box? My the builder of my current boat invested in 5 crash bulkheads; 2 of these are sealed (bow and rudder case) and another 2 extend to the deck height. They are very comforting, more than a raft.

Just sayin', there is more than one way to look at anything. Perhaps we are more comfortable with lightly built boats becuase of these things.
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Old 23-03-2011, 16:59   #42
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

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If you would say "I would not go there without an EPIRB" or "I would not make that crossing without a liferaft" then you have made my case for me.



-Sven
I contend that this is poor logic. I wouldn't ride in a car without a seatbelt. I doubt you'd say the seatbelt makes me more apt to take risk though- Rather, I simply like to avert unnecessary risk.

Also, I am a US Coast Guard pilot. I can assure you life rafts and EPIRBs save lives. Among other things, a life raft will help ward off hypothermia. Before you claim that people will use their life raft as an excuse to sail in even colder waters, survival time for waters 50-60F (10-15.5C) is 1-6 hours. How many of us sail in waters in that temp bracket? Almost all of us? 60-70F gives you 2-40 hours. 40 hours may seem like a long time, but try treading water for that long! Why might it take so long to be found? With no EPIRB we are looking for a soccer ball size head in the ocean. I hear people say their lifejacket's bright colors will help them get located. Nonsense. Only your head is above the water and it is amazingly difficult to see from 200 feet up in a helicopter. Our track spacing (1/2 the distance between adjacent search pattern legs) for a person in the water is .1 nautical miles. That means we don't even look for you more than .1 NM away from the helicopter because outside that, you are too small to see. To get sufficient coverage of a search area, we need to fly extra legs to saturate our search. That means the search pattern will take longer to complete as opposed to us searching for a raft with a track space of .4 or .5 NM. With the greater track spacing, our legs go from .2 NM apart to 1 NM apart, reducing the total number of search legs by 80%. If you are in a raft, you'll be found faster and you'll be much less tired than the poor bloke treading water.

An EPIRB removes the search process almost entirely. It sends us a GPS location, we fly to it, and pretty much find you right away. People spend a couple hundred dollars on flares that expire and run out but fail to purchase a $400 EPIRB/PLB. I find that baffling. That's not to say you shouldn't have flares, but ideally we'll respond to the EPIRB GPS location and find someone there lighting off a flare when they hear our helicopter. We'll find you quickly like that! (Please don't shoot the flares at us- we'll see them even if they are lobbed in the other direction).

Life rafts work. EPIRBs work. Having both greatly increases your chances of survival. The numbers are tracked by the CG, but I'm at home on my boat right now and don't have any better access to them than Google can provide.

Oh, Sven- do you wear seatbelts?
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Old 23-03-2011, 17:14   #43
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

I contend people would ride in cars without seatbelts; to say otherwise ignores common practice until ~1976. Seat belt regulations were 15 years after that. So yes, for many years we accepted that cars were safe enough. Now we agree that a seat belt makes it better. They are not required in a bus. You are permitted to carry an infant in your arms on an airplane. I'm not too hung up on regulations.

Would you decide that driving a certain speed or getting in a car with alcohol on board was more acceptable with a seatbelt? That is an interesting question, and it is the question we are asking.

Without checking the statistics, I think it is clear that drunk driving is down, in spite of the fact that it is probably safer to crash your car now than it was 30 years ago. The laws have changed and that has made the difference.

My point, is that comparing seamanship and safety now vs. 30 years ago is impossible. Too many things have changed. Boats could be very nearly unsinkable, if that is what we wanted, but it is not our only priority; we want comfort, speed, and economy. Weather forecasting is great, but that very accuracy often tempts sailors near the edge of a storm. We still challenge the weather because we like to.

Neither Sven nor I wore seatbelts in 1970. We felt OK about it. (I'm sorry, I had to add that. Of course we wear them. Why the inflammatory question?)
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Old 23-03-2011, 17:19   #44
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

But do you wear them now? I do. I also carry a spare tire to prevent being stuck on the side of the road. I had a car that had no spare tire. I did carry a repair kit with me though. Even with the repair kit or the spare in my current vehicle I'm still not likely to drive over a pile of nails just because I have a backup plan. My point, as I said, is that taking safety precautions is a means of averting unnecessary risk- not a means to embolden oneself.

And to answer your question, no. I wouldn't decide to drive faster or ride with a drunk driver because I had a seatbelt. That being said, if I were in a speeding or swerving car, I'd feel a lot better with a seatbelt!
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Old 23-03-2011, 17:27   #45
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Re: How many EPIRBS and liferafts are ever used to save lives ?

Ya know folks,

This is starting to sound like a thread on religion, politics, or firearms. Very few of us make our decisions on EPIRBS, life rafts, wives, etc. based on hard data. We make those decisions based upon our perceptions of the situation, how we were brought up, past experience, hear-say, and so on. While it is interesting to hear different points of view, and if I may say very politely expressed, I doubt anyone's mind is going to be changed. Having said this.......CHARGE!!

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