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Old 15-04-2013, 16:38   #1
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Our Abandon Ship Bag

I have completed our first aid kit which I wrote about earlier. Now I have begun to stuff our abandon ship bag, or "ditch bag." We are preparing to sail offshore as a family and I believe with children on board getting it right before we head out is important.

I wrote about what we are including in our ditch bag and why in my blog post here. (If the link doesn't work just click on my signature below).

It would be great if, like with the first aid kit on CF, other cruisers would also share what they have put in their ditch bags. I am keen to see if I have missed anything or may be attaching undue importance to items best left out.

Thanks.

Dhillen
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Old 15-04-2013, 17:42   #2
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

The EPIRB!!, portable VHS with spare batteries, room for Iridium sat phone, H2O, passports, flares, fishing line, knife, backpacking paper, pencil, sports bars, and beer...just kidding about the beer.
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Old 15-04-2013, 18:06   #3
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

  • EPIRB
  • SeaPack Crew Emergency Desalination Pouch
  • Thermal blankets for all
  • Laser signal
  • Cutting board (for fish)
  • Sealed batteries
  • Tupperware – for bailing, storage and fecal/urine disposal.
  • Copies of passports
  • Small first aid kit
  • Small fishing kit
  • Folding knife – I will probably file the point off the blade tip
  • Emergency drinking water packets
  • Sunscreen
  • Hats for all
  • Sunglasses
  • Signal mirror – I will use an old CD
  • Whistle
  • Waterproof LED flashlight
  • Compass
  • “Rescue” kite
  • Toilet paper
  • Nylon cord
  • Sponges
  • Emergency ration food packs
  • Lots of Cliff Bars
  • Ibuprofen
  • Vaseline
  • Book – for reading aloud


To your list I would add
  • A couple of water bladders for collecting and storing rain water.
  • Bungy cord for the sea anchor line, and to tie dinghy and eprib on with.
  • A strong tether to clip grab-bag to liferaft with.
  • Cellphone and iridium phone in waterproof bags
  • Handheld VHF
  • Strobe light
  • A small waterproof copy of chart of area, and handheld GPS
  • small non electric waterproof camera
I normally use a backpack rather than a grab-bag so I can have both hands free if needed.

In addition I like to have my own personal backpack with a drybag liner containing warm thermals, woolly hat, headtorch, water bottle, smartphone and kindle in drybags, and snack kept near my pillow when I sleep, This and my Lifejacket/harness with PLB attached are the first things I grab if something happens while I am in the land of the nod. On watch I raid it and replenish it as needed at sea. I encourage others to have their own handy personal grab bags aboard.
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Old 15-04-2013, 18:10   #4
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

In addition to your list I have:
chemical hot pads and some gloves,
baby wipes,
a flare kit,
handheld VHF and GPS, and
motion sickness medicine.
I also carry some 5 gallon jerry cans for water that are normally tied to the life lines that I plan to take with me tied to the raft.

If you will be cruising cold waters then want to have some foam insulation that you can put on the raft floor.
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Old 15-04-2013, 18:22   #5
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

Snowpetrel,

Yes, of course - the handheld VHF! I actually have one to put in the kit but forgot about it. Same for the handheld GPS.

LJH,

Motion sickness pills, good idea. I understand that everyone barfs in a life raft due to smell and unnatural motion. Will add those now.

Thanks to you both.

Dhillen
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Old 15-04-2013, 19:15   #6
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJH View Post
In addition to your list I have:
chemical hot pads and some gloves,
baby wipes,
a flare kit...
...If you will be cruising cold waters then want to have some foam insulation that you can put on the raft floor.
Good points, The foam I have used in the past was an old camping mat cut to also act as floatation and padding for the grab-pack. Those chemical hot packs are great. I used the reusable ones often in Antarctica.

Another thing to think about is shore based abandonment gear. I had a locker stuffed with my tent, camping stove, ice axes, snow shovel, crampons, boots, climbing gear, and backpack that could quickly be loaded to give me a fighting chance of getting someplace safe ashore.

Good boots are probably the most essential, without them you won't get far with soft western feet. Coral, oysters, rocks and barnacles will slice your precious feet to pieces in the first few steps. I guess up north bear spray or some-such might be handy as well.

Getting your dinghy as well as the liferaft is very important. With it you have a fighting chance to get to a sheltered beach rather than drifting onto a cliffy coastline.

Maybe a cheat sheet on the side of the grab bag would be a good idea, to remind a panic stricken mind what to do.
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Old 15-04-2013, 19:31   #7
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

You'll need a different ditch bag for ditching into a life raft than a tender. If you're moving into a recently packed life raft, you're not going to need a lot of the stuff that some folks are recommending.

Assuming that we'll be wearing a full set of foulies and PLBs:

1. Sat phone.
2. Water (loaded into Dromedary bladders, with sipping hoses. One 10-liter Dromedary per passenger.)
3. Knife (to cut yourself away from the sinking mothership)
4. Handheld VHF
5. A fortnight's worth of power bars for each passenger
6. Passports and credit cards
7. Headlamps (LED models that will strobe)

All the rest just means that we won't be able to take as much water. I can live without a first ait kit, but I can't live long without water. Remember, much of the survival stuff, such as signal flares, will be packed in with the life raft.

If you're ditching into a dinghy, make damned sure it's got a drogue.
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Old 15-04-2013, 20:20   #8
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

Multitool pocketknife
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Old 23-05-2013, 07:32   #9
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

I also take my recently expired flares and 25mm shells and put them in the bag (appropriately labeled). While I am legal with newer ones, I take the old ones and put them in labeled, watertight, bags so that I have more if the time ever came. In general, they will work fine for years after they have expired. When they get more than a couple of years expired, I then use them or remove them from the bag. Besides, 25mm parachute flares are expensive!

Rick & Bonnie Fricchione
Hylas 49-057
S/V Black Diamond
Portsmouth, RI.
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Old 23-05-2013, 08:00   #10
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pirate Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

Positive thoughts... and as much water as I can carry...
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Old 23-05-2013, 08:08   #11
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

Include in your kit some fishing hooks, lines, sinkers...it just doesn't seem right getting shipwrecked and not eating fresh fish! Mauritz
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Old 23-05-2013, 08:15   #12
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Quote:
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Include in your kit some fishing hooks, lines, sinkers...it just doesn't seem right getting shipwrecked and not eating fresh fish! Mauritz
EeeeeeeYuckkkk... triple vomit... I'll use the dinghy thanks...
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Old 23-05-2013, 08:24   #13
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

NO tigers!!!!
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Old 30-05-2013, 10:45   #14
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

In addition to the usual stuff, I've got:

Welder's gauntlets (for handling flares)
Cylume sticks
Passports and credit cards
Kendal Mint Cake, As eaten on Mt Everest 60 years ago.
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Old 30-05-2013, 11:24   #15
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Re: Our Abandon Ship Bag

Add to your bag...snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, flashlight), iodine solution (scrapes and cuts), band aid, and a small fishing "kit". Mauritz
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