Originally Posted by medicrene
My wife and I sail doublehanded and we have a specific plan in place. First, we wear a small bag on our wait that has basic stuff including a waterproof VHF radio
, personal EPIRB and a flare gun (as well as other items all sewn with lanyards to the bag). We are less concerned about the situation where a MOB is witnessed, but are more concerned about a situation where you come on deck
and find your partner is missing.
In this case, it is the boat that fires the first signal flare. This lets the MOB know that the boat is now aware that you are missing. After that, the MOB fires a flare to signal his/her location. If the MOB were to fire flares while the person below is sleeping, it would not do much good. Our plan is a bit more detailed and includes immedatily activating the EPIRB as soon as the person hit the water (it can always be cancelled later). High tech is always good, but very expensive and requires a solo sailor to be looking at equipment rather than the ocean and the MOB.
Has anyone else got a plan like this?
Sounds well thought out to me, except only that I would be somewhat skeptical about the reliability
of pen-type (is that what you're using?) flares, or any other flares, for that matter, fired by a person floating in the water. In any kind of roughish weather
I would think that it would be pretty much impossible.
Do you each have a VHF in each waist bag? How do you keep them charged? Do they have DSC
As I wrote above, I think DSC
VHF on your person for MOB is terrific, but it should be a purpose-made one which is very compact (I would like for it to be about the size of my ResQLink PLB), and which has long-life lithium AA batteries so you don't have to worry about keeping it charged.
I have a PLB in my lifejacket on a lanyard, which will be pretty useful in the English Channel
where the rescue
services are so efficient that they might be able to get a copter to you before your crew can pick you up in the boat. But the PLB does nothing for the crew of your boat, unless you have a 121mhz directional receiver (which I incidentally do).
Incidentally, on the helicopter rescue of MOB cases, I saw the most incredible thing last year -- heard a DSC and a Mayday call for a MOB just outside of Cowes Harbor. I was sailing through the North Channel, near Hurst Castle at the time, some miles away. Literally less than a minute had gone by when the rescue helicopter roared overhead at low altitude and huge speed. It was absolutely unbelievable. The crew must have been sitting in the aircraft -- maybe just coincidentally.
As it turns out, it was a false alarm
-- some training going on where they forgot to turn off the radio