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Old 01-12-2015, 04:01   #46
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
You can't say it 'worked much better than the epirb did', when as far as we know they didn't use an epirb. Though I do accept your reasoning for a plb over an epirb
Cheeky Rafiki had an EPIRB on board, and it failed to work for some reason. Probably it was trapped below when the boat suddenly capsized.

Which is probably exactly what happened with the El Faro -- whose EPIRB likewise never got any signal out. PLB's might have saved some of the El Faro crewmen. There was a hurricane blowing, but they were close to land in reach of helicopter rescue -- if only they could have been located.


Cheeky Rafiki and El Faro are, by the way, strong arguments for hydrostatic release EPIRBs, if you're going to have an EPIRB and no PLBs. That's yet more expense, however, and where do you put the d*mned thing so that it can float free?
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:30   #47
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Cheeky Rafiki had an EPIRB on board, and it failed to work for some reason. Probably it was trapped below when the boat suddenly capsized.

Which is probably exactly what happened with the El Faro -- whose EPIRB likewise never got any signal out. PLB's might have saved some of the El Faro crewmen. There was a hurricane blowing, but they were close to land in reach of helicopter rescue -- if only they could have been located.


Cheeky Rafiki and El Faro are, by the way, strong arguments for hydrostatic release EPIRBs, if you're going to have an EPIRB and no PLBs. That's yet more expense, however, and where do you put the d*mned thing so that it can float free?
You don't know that Dochead. It's quite possible it capsized so quickly they didn't get to activate it. That then is not the epirb that 'failed' any more than you can say that if it was sitting back at home on the kitchen bench.

And I do think you sometimes think rescue helicopters can fly in any weather. A hurricane?

What we do know of the Cheeky Rafiki is they left it too late to activate an epirb and that's about it. Even PLB's won't work unless they are activated but you can hardly say they 'failed' if a person doesn't take them out of their jacket pocket and turns them on.

The El Faro I don't know about.
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:38   #48
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

Ok, the El Faro was the ship we were discussing on CF a couple months ago. A single ping was heard from the ships epirb. Which means it had to have been activated at least but either went down with the ship or was badly maintained. Given the state of the rest of the ship then anything is possible. And it was a hurricane.
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:49   #49
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
You don't know that Dochead. It's quite possible it capsized so quickly they didn't get to activate it. That then is not the epirb that 'failed' any more than you can say that if it was sitting back at home on the kitchen bench.

And I do think you sometimes think rescue helicopters can fly in any weather. A hurricane?

What we do know of the Cheeky Rafiki is they left it too late to activate an epirb and that's about it. Even PLB's won't work unless they are activated but you can hardly say they 'failed' if a person doesn't take them out of their jacket pocket and turns them on.

The El Faro I don't know about.
I don't think we know about either Cheeky Rafiki or El Faro, since no one survived from either disaster.

All we know is that both vessels had EPIRBs on board, and neither EPIRB got any signal out. You are surely right that it was some kind of human failure which resulted in the EPIRBs not being activated, but that's actually kind of my point -- the human might not remember or might not be physically capable of getting the EPIRB out before abandoning in a sudden disaster, and it is exactly this human factor which makes a PLB so desirable -- because you can be WEARING it, and therefore don't have to remember to grab it when you go.


I'm not saying anything against EPIRBs at all -- just suggesting that it's great to have PLB's in all your life vests, whether you have an EPIRB, or not. Could save your bacon.
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Old 01-12-2015, 13:26   #50
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

Any opinions on which PLB is best? Some pretty good deals on the ACR ResQlink+ 375, which actually floats, plus a $50 rebate right now.
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Old 01-12-2015, 13:45   #51
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

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Originally Posted by Scout 30 View Post
Any opinions on which PLB is best? Some pretty good deals on the ACR ResQlink+ 375, which actually floats, plus a $50 rebate right now.
Hi Scout,

All PLBs meet or exceed the required specs and testing, so they will all get the job done.

When I was buying last year, I looked for: [in order of my priority]
  • waterproof [perhaps all models are waterproof?]
  • fresh water buoyant [some require an external neoprene jacket to float- which also helps protect the unit...]
  • battery longevity [most were 5 years, one was 7; remember that was last year...]
  • form factor [I was going for compact]

I ended up buying a unit that met all of my criteria- one with a 7 year battery life span because even with the specials and rebates at the time for those with 5 year batteries, the cost/year was less...

Also, make sure you are getting a fairly 'fresh' unit as they can age a year or two off the battery life sitting on a retailer's shelf...

I think in terms of $/year as I will not replace the battery when it expires; I'll buy a new one... Like I'm doing now for my expiring EPIRB... [see my previous post in this thread...]

I hope this helps, and that you never need to use it...

Cheers!

-Bill
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Old 01-12-2015, 14:42   #52
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

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Hi Scout,

All PLBs meet or exceed the required specs and testing, so they will all get the job done.

When I was buying last year, I looked for: [in order of my priority]
  • waterproof [perhaps all models are waterproof?]
  • fresh water buoyant [some require an external neoprene jacket to float- which also helps protect the unit...]
  • battery longevity [most were 5 years, one was 7; remember that was last year...]
  • form factor [I was going for compact]

I ended up buying a unit that met all of my criteria- one with a 7 year battery life span because even with the specials and rebates at the time for those with 5 year batteries, the cost/year was less...

Also, make sure you are getting a fairly 'fresh' unit as they can age a year or two off the battery life sitting on a retailer's shelf...

I think in terms of $/year as I will not replace the battery when it expires; I'll buy a new one... Like I'm doing now for my expiring EPIRB... [see my previous post in this thread...]

I hope this helps, and that you never need to use it...

Cheers!

-Bill
Good points. I hadn't thought about the battery life. This one's 5 years which could be better but I guess is adequate. Otherwise it checks all my boxes. It's 406 & 121, floats without a collar, runs for 30 hours & has a strobe. Hard to beat for $170.

Acr Resqlink+ 406 Mhz Gps Plb Floats W/O Pouch
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Old 01-12-2015, 14:49   #53
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Re: Manual vs Hydrostatic EPIRB?

I need to buy an EPIRB and haven't decided between a manual or hydrostatic model. Hydrostatic would seem to be advantageous in a completely out of control surprise situation, but I'm concerned about how much faith to put in the hydrostatic mechanism. And how far below water does it have to be before it self-activates? The benefits of the manually activated EPIRBs are smaller size, cheaper price, and positive activation by the user. Even in the kind of emergency that would necessitate using an EPIRB, I can't imagine that I would forget to do so.

So, can anyone offer a convincing argument for one model being superior to the other?
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Old 01-12-2015, 14:50   #54
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
Do you have an Aussie registered PLB?
Yes, one registered in Australia and one in the USA.
The Aussie one I registered there before I flew out with it

Sent from a stupid phone that replaces words with weird stuff.
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Old 01-12-2015, 14:54   #55
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

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Originally Posted by Scout 30 View Post
Good points. I hadn't thought about the battery life. This one's 5 years which could be better but I guess is adequate. Otherwise it checks all my boxes. It's 406 & 121, floats without a collar, runs for 30 hours & has a strobe. Hard to beat for $170.

Acr Resqlink+ 406 Mhz Gps Plb Floats W/O Pouch
I've got this one. Of course I've never used it, but it seems good.

I'm not sure all PLB's have gps, but they are pretty well useless without GPS, so make sure it has it.

This one is $300 Australian which is a damn good price. If that's $170 US, that's a must have.
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Old 01-12-2015, 14:55   #56
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

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Originally Posted by Scout 30 View Post
Good points. I hadn't thought about the battery life. This one's 5 years which could be better but I guess is adequate. Otherwise it checks all my boxes. It's 406 & 121, floats without a collar, runs for 30 hours & has a strobe. Hard to beat for $170.

Acr Resqlink+ 406 Mhz Gps Plb Floats W/O Pouch
Sounds like a good deal for $34/year...

We have 2 of that model from 3 years ago and they are nice units.

Let me mention- in case you don't already know- the flotation characteristic of current model PLBs is only for recovery when dropped in water- not for unattended actuation in water. [i.e., an EPIRB can be tossed into the water, will self activate [class 3 EPIRBs being the exception- manual activation only- sold in Aus and NZ only at present...] and all will transmit signals while floating unattended.

A PLB must be placed/held in the proper orientation for the signals to be transmitted. [i.e., PLBs aren't currently designed to work properly while floating in water...]

Enjoy your new safety item, and may you never need it.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 01-12-2015, 14:58   #57
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Re: Manual vs Hydrostatic EPIRB?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
I need to buy an EPIRB and haven't decided between a manual or hydrostatic model. Hydrostatic would seem to be advantageous in a completely out of control surprise situation, but I'm concerned about how much faith to put in the hydrostatic mechanism. And how far below water does it have to be before it self-activates? The benefits of the manually activated EPIRBs are smaller size, cheaper price, and positive activation by the user. Even in the kind of emergency that would necessitate using an EPIRB, I can't imagine that I would forget to do so.

So, can anyone offer a convincing argument for one model being superior to the other?

Dr. Sea, I don't believe you can purchase a manual one in the US. You have the option of 'water activated' and 'automatic release', which is what the Hydrostatic is for. This will release the epirb from it's container at between 2 and 4 meters. These units you can always 'manually' release as well.

But again, if you want a 'manual' operated one to save money, you will need to purchase from Australia or Canada I believe. Then I'm not sure how easy it is to change the identifyer.
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Old 01-12-2015, 15:06   #58
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Re: Manual vs Hydrostatic EPIRB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
I need to buy an EPIRB and haven't decided between a manual or hydrostatic model. Hydrostatic would seem to be advantageous in a completely out of control surprise situation, but I'm concerned about how much faith to put in the hydrostatic mechanism. And how far below water does it have to be before it self-activates? The benefits of the manually activated EPIRBs are smaller size, cheaper price, and positive activation by the user. Even in the kind of emergency that would necessitate using an EPIRB, I can't imagine that I would forget to do so.

So, can anyone offer a convincing argument for one model being superior to the other?
Dr. Sea,

I attempted to provide some clarity earlier in this discussion that might help you decide what you want. See this post.

Once you read that, you can better determine if you want a Hydrostatic release mechanism [which needs to be replaced every 2 years for ~US$100] or a 'float free' type of mount. [What I decided to use...]

Since in the US we can only register EPIRBs that automatically actuate in water, either mounting mechanism will achieve the desired results.

I hope this helps.

Cheers!

-Bill
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Old 01-12-2015, 15:09   #59
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Re: Personal Locator Beacon as boat's EPIRB?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I've got this one. Of course I've never used it, but it seems good.

I'm not sure all PLB's have gps, but they are pretty well useless without GPS, so make sure it has it.

This one is $300 Australian which is a damn good price. If that's $170 US, that's a must have.
That's $170 US after the $50 rebate not including any shipping & taxes of course. I agree about GPS. I would not consider one without it.
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Old 01-12-2015, 15:14   #60
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Re: Manual vs Hydrostatic EPIRB?

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Dr. Sea,

I attempted to provide some clarity earlier in this discussion that might help you decide what you want. See this post.

Once you read that, you can better determine if you want a Hydrostatic release mechanism [which needs to be replaced every 2 years for ~US$100] or a 'float free' type of mount. [What I decided to use...]

Since in the US we can only register EPIRBs that automatically actuate in water, either mounting mechanism will achieve the desired results.

I hope this helps.

Cheers!

-Bill
And it was very useful post too

So, 'float free' don't use a hydrostatic release I hadn't realised that.
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