Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-09-2014, 10:52   #541
Moderator
 
weavis's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: SEVILLE - MALLORCA
Posts: 10,137
Send a message via Skype™ to weavis
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
Well, after all that discussion, I disagree with Dave and fully agree with Evans.

We have crossed the globe with no life raft, no EPIRB and no sat phone and with a VHF, 5 extinguishers, sextant and a (non-black box) Spot.

Now, for legal reasons beyond our control, we have an EPIRB.

Dave insults and uses emotional arguments while Evans uses logic, statistical references and backs up his own beliefs with actions.

Anyway, we will continue on our own merry way.....
But isnt that the point Jimbo....... you are free to make that decision. I might not agree with it. I might not go offshore with you but I will most certainly respect your right to do so. You have a dinghy though dont you?
__________________

__________________
- Never test how deep the water is with both feet -
10% of conflicts are due to different opinions. 90% by the tone of voice.
Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
weavis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 11:13   #542
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Oyster 66
Posts: 973
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
There are four separate issue to discuss: #1 size/stowage, #2 cost vs other alternatives, #3 effectiveness, #4 'moral hazard'.

You are hypothesizing away #1 & #2. So, that obviously tilts the balance of the equation.

But I would definitely want to know something about #3 before I took it on board. I would not want to waste time in an emergency considering or deploying something that simply did not work, even if it was free. I have in fact turned down a number of pieces of 'safety gear' that mfg's have offered me for free, because I had reason to believe they were crap gear.

My own personal experience, and the empirical cases I have studied, is that the 'moral hazard' issue is much stronger with the 'press here for rescue' devices and less with rafts.

Net net, given only 1 minutes thought, if I was convinced about #3 I would probably give it a try.
Thanks for your thoughts on this and your previous comments. They are well thought out and I respect your decision.

I just can't agree to apply your conclusion to my boat and to most other boats. I am sure I won't neglect the safety of my boat because I know I can rely on the life raft and I won't ever give up trying to save the ship or even leave early because I have one. For me it's just another line of defence, in fact the last line of defence and it can only increase, not decrease safety. At the cost, it's a good investment.

I'm not sure which flag you fly as you seem to be familiar with MCA rules, but for red ones you have to carry a life raft offshore, so the debate is academic. (Class 12 boats).

I know not a fair comparison, but all this does remind me of the Titanic story. Can't sink so no need for lifeboats...
__________________

__________________
poiu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 11:44   #543
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,744
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poiu View Post
I just can't agree to apply your conclusion to my boat and to most other boats. I am sure I won't neglect the safety of my boat because I know I can rely on the life raft and I won't ever give up trying to save the ship or even leave early because I have one..
I respect that. As I said before, I only wrote what I did to explain our position (we were asked why), not to "sell" it to anyone else.

I think the life raft discussion specifically should be weighted more toward the effectiveness debate and less toward the "moral hazzard" issue.

I will say that previously I believed as you do, that neither gear nor insurance would effect my personal decision making at all. But I have now been thru several difficult experiences that caused me to realize that they in fact do. I have found that at least for me the calculus is different and the end decisions can thus be different (and most definitely was in at least one personal situation - and in fact it was a "worse" decision caused by the easy ability to call for help).

I obviously can't speak for other skippers mental strength, but as I was doing a recent study, I went thru incident reports one by one with a uscg duty officer, looking at video, pictures and survivor and rescuer interviewers and saw many close echoes of my own lessons and experiences.

Officially, the USCG is like Dave, in that their job is to effect the rescue and not consider whether the button should have been pressed in the first place. But personally the duty officers I have worked with very definitely have opinions on skipper and vessel preparedness, levels of panic vs rational decision making, and incident survivability without rescue and self-reliance and self- rescue capability.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 11:50   #544
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,042
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

"Iceland did a major study of life rafts, it substantially altered liferaft design."
Any pointers to that, Dave?

Last one I knew of was the privately(?) funded one in the US from PS and equipped and some others, which showed how much ballast bags were needed. Got to be 10?-15? years back now?

"Why would anyone equate an extinguisher(s) with a liferaft!!!. "
In the immortal words of Chairman Mao: "Black cat, white cat, all same. Catch mice."
You would no doubt consider a black cat and a white cat to be different in some material way. If nothing else, you might be superstitious about a black cat crossing your path. But as Chairman Mao pointed out, if all you are concerned with is catching mice, they are indeed the same. (Well, there was one study about the effectivity of different colored cats in dim but not fully darkened mouse haunts, but that's neither here nor there.)

Some of us have fixed budgets and limited resources. If you had a limited budget to spend on "safety" equipment, and you knew that a fire extinguisher increased your chance of survival by 5% while a life raft increased it by .05% simply because they were so often unneeded, which one would you buy? Ah, black cat, white cat, all same "Safety equipment".

I believe they both are classed simply as "Life Saving Equipment" by UN air shipping categories. Our TSA would ban them both from the cabin as being "pressurized" hazards. No catch mice.

Evans-
"Officially, the USCG is like Dave, in that their job is to effect the rescue and not consider whether the button should have been pressed in the first place. " You are thinking perhaps of the old (pre-Reagan) USCG. He's the one who put an end to that. Now the USCG has to ask what the situation is, and if it is NOT an emergency in the full sense of the word, they'll tell you to hang up and call a commercial service instead. Obviously with one-way EPIRBs that's not possible, but give it another ten years and let the two-way devices take over, and the wheel will turn again.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 12:16   #545
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,744
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Officially, the USCG is like Dave, in that their job is to effect the rescue and not consider whether the button should have been pressed in the first place. " You are thinking perhaps of the old (pre-Reagan) USCG. He's the one who put an end to that. Now the USCG has to ask what the situation is, and if it is NOT an emergency in the full sense of the word, they'll tell you to hang up and call a commercial service instead. Obviously with one-way EPIRBs that's not possible, but give it another ten years and let the two-way devices take over, and the wheel will turn again.
Interesting point. Thanks.

I was thinking purely of "offshore incidents" where (generally) there are not commercial alternatives/replacements for the uscg. My understanding is that If you have two way coms they ask if you are declaring mayday, and if you say yes, they come and don't (much) question it. Do you agree, or has that changed?

Yes, it's a different situation when you are within towboatUS range. You seem to need to say that you are taking on water or on fire and lives are at risk, for the uscg to respond. I am shocked every time I hang out at block island at the (high) frequency of towboat calls. I am also puzzled by the uscg vhf interrogations when they get involved. They seem to have an endless stream of questions, when I would have thought they should let the skipper ( who is often the one on the radio) get quickly back to managing the situation.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 12:22   #546
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,042
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

From my limited experience with the USCG, the radio (and phone) watchstanders tend to ask different questions depending on who they are speaking to. So if I called in and said "This is the steamship Pride of Passaic, five hundred feet long and five hundred souls on board" they might ask me if I was declaring a mayday. But if I said my name was Joe and I was on a 26' sport fisherman that was out of ice...with a real short-tempered spouse onboard (G)...they might not ask me what I was declaring.

AFAIK they still use some discretion to figure out what a situation calls for, and when they have the resources available, they will go out of the way to allow a response. They tend to be way more intelligent than the average "tech support script reader", if you know what I mean.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 13:08   #547
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poiu View Post
I think you are wrong to presume these devices can't be made cheap enough or low powered enough to be of use.
I didn't, and don't, presume that. I just looked up a few of the commercial systems and saw that they were not really applicable to a small recreational boat. If they do get designed and marketed for this application, I would be more interested.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 13:51   #548
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I think the life raft discussion specifically should be weighted more toward the effectiveness debate and less toward the "moral hazzard" issue.
I agree with that, but it was you who put forth and pushed the "moral hazard" line of argument.

Along this line of effectiveness, I watched an episode of some type of survival TV show where this guy puts himself into survival situations and gets himself out through his knowledge of how to survive in these situations (we don't get to watch TV much, so I don't know the name of the show).

Anyway, this episode focused on survival at sea in a life raft. He gets a liferaft from a cruising boat that was 6 months past its first inspection date. They go out in the ocean to start taping the show, he tosses the raft in the water, pulls the cord and the raft refuses to inflate.

So they go back and buy a new raft. They take it out again, put it in the water, activate it and it fully inflates. Then very quickly deflates.

They go back and buy another and try again. This one inflates and stays inflated, but lies on its side (all of these were full canopy rafts that are suppose to always inflate right-side up). He gets into the flat calm water and struggles to get the raft righted, then struggles to get into the raft. That part surprised me.

So, just from watching that show, I came away with the belief that there are serious quality and effectiveness issues with liferafts.

On the other hand, we have determined that in only moderately crappy seas abandoning to a 12' RIB and surviving for more than a couple of hours would probably have only a marginal chance of success. Those who think they can rely on their dinghies for survival platforms have probably never thought much about launching, getting into and keeping upright in bad conditions.

So what to do?

I agree with Dave that the SAR system is designed to only leave one hanging for a maximum of 3-4 days (and in real-life, this has been very much shorter), so a way to survive this short period is key.

I don't agree with you that having an EPIRB will keep people from fixing the problems they are having. It may for some, but this gets into the type of debate similar to those about integrating the autopilot to the chartplotter.

Using statistics of boat abandonment isn't really valid on this point - one could argue that those that pulled the pin on a perfectly fixable boat may not have had the fortitude or skills or materials to fix it even if they didn't have an EPIRB. Yes, they would still be attached to their boats, but they might be dead inside them, or lost to the next storm/problem to hit. The Alpha 42 event comes to mind here.

Then there are the situations that EPIRBS and liferafts are needed to save lives regardless of how much work goes into fixing the problem. There have been recent examples of stove in ribs and heart attacks, where using the epirb to bring medical help and evacuation saved those lives. I hate to mention Rebel Heart in this, but they seemingly used theirs for the same purpose.

Likewise, there have been recent boat fires and rapid sinkings where the liferaft was key. Cheeky Monkey may have benefited from both epirb and liferaft if they were available.

So I'm personally interested in being able to contact help when all else fails, and stay alive long enough for SAR to do its thing. We have a catamaran, but I'm afraid mentioning that will open up a whole 'nother line of argument.

Here is our personal comfort level. We have an EPIRB and no lift raft for cruising the Caribbean. Our longest passages are 4-6 days and usually <300nm from accessible land, so weather forecasting is good and we have ample opportunities to bug out of a passage and fix problems if they occur. Since this is the Caribe, any necessary SAR will probably occur within hours, and definitely within a day, so we rely on either our boat sinking very slowly or deploying our 12' RIB (ready on davits) and hanging on as best as possible. I personally don't think a liferaft is necessary in the Caribe, and probably not in the Med and other similar cruising grounds (although I have not cruised those, so this may be mistaken).

When we do decide to cross oceans, I think we will have a liferaft and definitely another EPIRB (or PLB). If anything, we could inflate the liferaft inside our catamaran to provide even more floatation and make it livable in the event of a catastrophic failure short of fire. I don't see how you know that I would not do everything possible to fix the boat and resume rather than fire off an EPIRB and jump into a liferaft.

We have fire extinguishers that cost more than an EPIRB. I have an iPod that cost more. I think not having an EPIRB or similar for even coastal cruising is misguided, let alone for an ocean-passage boat. I am very much more on the fence regarding liferafts.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 16:08   #549
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,033
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post



Along this line of effectiveness, I watched an episode of some type of survival TV show where this guy puts himself into survival situations and gets himself out through his knowledge of how to survive in these situations (we don't get to watch TV much, so I don't know the name of the show).



Anyway, this episode focused on survival at sea in a life raft. He gets a liferaft from a cruising boat that was 6 months past its first inspection date. They go out in the ocean to start taping the show, he tosses the raft in the water, pulls the cord and the raft refuses to inflate.



So they go back and buy a new raft. They take it out again, put it in the water, activate it and it fully inflates. Then very quickly deflates.



They go back and buy another and try again. This one inflates and stays inflated, but lies on its side (all of these were full canopy rafts that are suppose to always inflate right-side up). He gets into the flat calm water and struggles to get the raft righted, then struggles to get into the raft. That part surprised me.



So, just from watching that show, I came away with the belief that there are serious quality and effectiveness issues with liferafts.
Mark, it is exactly this kind of data that has led me to question the efficacy of liferafts. I have no such qualms about EPIRBs. Clearly they work well at a modest cost. But I seriously question the usefulness of a tool with such an apparently high failure rate. If seat belts failed at this rate there would be an outcry. It makes me question whether the push for liferafts is more about safety theatre than actual reality (much like security at airports).

I've yet to cross any oceans, so have never had to make the choice yet. I have been far from civilized safety net, with virtually no chance of rescue should things go wrong. I have always felt that was part of the deal with wilderness travel. But maybe I'll feel differently when it comes my turn to head across the big blue.





Why go fast, when you can go slow
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 16:25   #550
Senior Cruiser
 
IslandHopper's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bundaberg Queensland/Lake Bolac Victoria, Australia
Boat: 45ft Ketch
Posts: 1,199
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Mark, it is exactly this kind of data that has led me to question the efficacy of liferafts. I have no such qualms about EPIRBs. Clearly they work well at a modest cost. But I seriously question the usefulness of a tool with such an apparently high failure rate. If seat belts failed at this rate there would be an outcry.
I'm yet to see any documentation of these so called high failure rates of Life Rafts, and as you say, if seat belts failed at this supposed rate there would be an outcry and recalls......which further convinces me in the absolute BS regarding these imagined stats that no one can produce......
__________________
IslandHopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 16:28   #551
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

I haven't felt like liferafts have been pushed on me. Who is pushing them? Certainly, several organized events require them, as does some regulations regarding commercial use of vessel, but that really isn't pushing.

I don't know of any examples of people having their raft fail when needed in the wild, but I have heard of rafts that didn't inflate upon inspection, as well as that TV show experience I mentioned. So I don't know how widespread the issue is. Maybe there are many, many rafts in use and only one or two fail every few years? Don't know.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 16:35   #552
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Punta Arenas ahorra
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,954
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I don't know of any examples of people having their raft fail when needed in the wild, but I have heard of rafts that didn't inflate upon inspection, as well as that TV show experience I mentioned. So I don't know how widespread the issue is. Maybe there are many, many rafts in use and only one or two fail every few years? Don't know.

Mark
20 years ago my 8 yo old one was condemmed at service as it wouldn't hold air for the required period. Last time I serviced my 20 year old one it was as good as new.

If you go through this thread all the info regarding failures, risk of fire on board,usage, etc etc seems to be anecdotal ... just saying...
El Pinguino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 16:40   #553
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,210
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I haven't felt like liferafts have been pushed on me. Who is pushing them? Certainly, several organized events require them, as does some regulations regarding commercial use of vessel, but that really isn't pushing.
Mark
The French had a go at making them compulsory (EU) way back but an outcry from the UK boaters (and others I suspect) with representation by the RYA got it kicked in the long grass..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 16:55   #554
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,744
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
The French had a go at making them compulsory (EU) way back but an outcry from the UK boaters (and others I suspect) with representation by the RYA got it kicked in the long grass..
I believe NZ still has a requirement for NZ flag yachts "going foreign" to be "NZ cat 1" including rafts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
seems to be anecdotal.
Yea, decent data in this sport is rare as hens teeth.

On rafts the data exists (at the certified repackers) but to-date no-one will release it. I was told that releasing the data was a 'lose/lose' . . . if the failure number was reported as low then people would repack less often and if the failure number was too high people would complain about buying the rafts. I personally think that is bs and they should be transparent, but they are private businesses.

There is better data about incidents, but related to this thread's topic, you have to make a judgement call about the crew's ability to self-rescue; which is exactly what I did case by case with USCG duty officer help. Those judgment calls are certainly arguable . . . but when (just for example) there are cases where in the post incident interviews a crew member mentions that possibly missing a flight or a work day was a reason for getting off the boat you can make a pretty good judgement call.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2014, 18:31   #555
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,042
Re: How Many EPIRBS and Liferafts Ever Save Lives ?

ergh, reality tv shows as a source of reliable data? It sounds like "Survivorman" or one of those shows and if nothing sensational happens, no one watches the show. Which usually repeats everything three times (before and after a commercial, and then again in case you were snacking) to pad it out further.

So the question is, who has pockets deep enough to buy a random hundred life rafts, or borrow them, and conduct the survey on them? A university? A foundation? Someone must be able to do this.
__________________

__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Dream Lives On Kay Koudele Meets & Greets 7 25-01-2010 11:28
New chapter in our lives bayoubouy General Sailing Forum 3 18-04-2008 06:26
EPIRBs stacy Marine Electronics 3 24-02-2008 10:26
liferafts nalani Health, Safety & Related Gear 1 28-08-2007 02:42
EPIRBS SASSY Health, Safety & Related Gear 0 31-03-2006 09:31



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:51.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.