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Old 14-02-2014, 03:47   #46
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
....
No one is saying that DSC and/or AIS is a substitute for EPIRB. They are completely different. ......
Except for posts #2 & #12 of this thread
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Old 14-02-2014, 03:51   #47
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Given that as a MOB device one would assume you have a equipped receiver either AIS or DSC. then as mob warning devices these ate far superior to plbs.

Dave
Err... as the OP is single handed so I still fail to see how the AIS or DSC is helpful unless he / she operating in highly populated boating areas!
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Old 14-02-2014, 04:16   #48
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Err... as the OP is single handed so I still fail to see how the AIS or DSC is helpful unless he / she operating in highly populated boating areas!
I have not used, or seen a distress from an AIS beacon, but my understanding is that it triggers a distinctive MOB icon on an AIS screen.
This needs to be seen by a boat in range, but given the compulsory requirement for AIS in commercial ships and the reasonably widespread uptake by recreational boaters, this seems your best bet as a singlehander in most MOB situations.

A PlB is much better if you can make it to a life-raft, but in most water temperatures I suspect the response time of the PLB may be too slow for a MOB situation. Better than nothing, but not as good as AIS.

I do have some concerns about a H/H DSC VHF. As Dockhead mentioned in an earlier post the large form factor and limited battery life are disadvantages in a MOB situation. If you have not got it with you it is no use.
In addition the waterproofness is questionable. With a new unit these are often rated as 1m for 30mins. This is with new seals in static test conditions. I do have concerns about the real world performance. As others have pointed out DSC usage varies with countries and where it is widespread the alarms are so frequent they are sometimes ignored.

I think a PLB is superior if you can make it to a life-raft. As a singlehander in a MOB situation you are probably dead. An AIS beacon would be my first choice for MOB as a singlehander (to give you a very slim hope, prevention is much better), or as with crew with any boat that had AIS.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:48   #49
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

Some opinions have been expressed that a PLB for a single handed sailor is only useful in locating and recovering a body.
So, happy to report that this is not always the case.
Following extract is from the UK Marine Accident Investigation Board's "Safety Digest" published last month, concerning an incident with a RIB on passage with a single occupant.

A 5m RIB departed a sheltered estuary for a sea crossing bound for Ireland, with only its owner on board. The boat was in good condition and was well equipped for prolonged offshore cruising.
The owner/helmsman was wearing an immersion suit, a Gecko marine safety helmet
and an automatic lifejacket, which had a portable VHF radio in one pouch and a PLB
in another.
When the RIB was about 5 miles offshore, rough seas were encountered, so the helmsman reduced speed from around 24 knots to between 14 and 17 knots. All was well until the RIB landed so violently and with such force after riding over one of the moderate waves that the helmsman’s seat was wrenched from the deck. As a result, he was thrown overboard.
On entering the water his lifejacket did not automatically inflate, so he had to inflate it
manually.
Because the helmsman had attached a kill cord around his leg, the kill cord was pulled from the engine ignition as he was thrown overboard, causing the RIB’s engine to stop.
Nonetheless, the RIB continued to make way in the water until it stopped about 100m from the helmsman. To make things worse, the VHF radio in the lifejacket pouch had been damaged beyond repair. However, all was not lost because the helmsman’s PLB activated as designed.
The PLB alerted the local MRCC, which contacted the wife of the RIB owner, who
confirmed that he was at sea in the area of the distress beacon. In a bizarre twist of fate, however, the coastguard then received a report that the RIB had since arrived at its destination.
In fact, this was a different boat with the same name. After some delay, the situation was resolved and a full scale SAR operation was initiated. Ferries, fishing vessels and local leisure craft converged on the PLB’s position.
RNLI lifeboats and a rescue helicopter were also tasked. A passenger ferry spotted the empty RIB and the helicopter located the helmsman 300m from his boat. After 1 1/2 hours in the water, the RIB owner was winched on board the helicopter. He was uninjured and asked to be lowered back onto his boat. Once back on board the RIB, the owner repositioned the broken seat and with an RNLI vessel in attendance made his way back to the boat’s marina.


The full Safety Digest can be found here
Marine Accident Investigation: Safety Digest 1/2014

These reports are published throughout the year, and are summary's of various marine incident. The Digest is in 3 sections, Merchant Sips, Fishing Vessels, and Pleasure Craft.

The latest digest concentrated on the use (or lack of) the kill cord.
The reports include some tragic cases where kill cords were not used. In two cases, children lost their lives as a parent decided not to follow best practice.

Well worth a read.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:48   #50
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

Some opinions have been expressed that a PLB for a single handed sailor is only useful in locating and recovering a body.
So, happy to report that this is not always the case.
Following extract is from the UK Marine Accident Investigation Board's "Safety Digest" published last month, concerning an incident with a RIB on passage with a single occupant.

A 5m RIB departed a sheltered estuary for a sea crossing bound for Ireland, with only its owner on board. The boat was in good condition and was well equipped for prolonged offshore cruising.
The owner/helmsman was wearing an immersion suit, a Gecko marine safety helmet
and an automatic lifejacket, which had a portable VHF radio in one pouch and a PLB
in another.
When the RIB was about 5 miles offshore, rough seas were encountered, so the helmsman reduced speed from around 24 knots to between 14 and 17 knots. All was well until the RIB landed so violently and with such force after riding over one of the moderate waves that the helmsman’s seat was wrenched from the deck. As a result, he was thrown overboard.
On entering the water his lifejacket did not automatically inflate, so he had to inflate it
manually.
Because the helmsman had attached a kill cord around his leg, the kill cord was pulled from the engine ignition as he was thrown overboard, causing the RIB’s engine to stop.
Nonetheless, the RIB continued to make way in the water until it stopped about 100m from the helmsman. To make things worse, the VHF radio in the lifejacket pouch had been damaged beyond repair. However, all was not lost because the helmsman’s PLB activated as designed.
The PLB alerted the local MRCC, which contacted the wife of the RIB owner, who
confirmed that he was at sea in the area of the distress beacon. In a bizarre twist of fate, however, the coastguard then received a report that the RIB had since arrived at its destination.
In fact, this was a different boat with the same name. After some delay, the situation was resolved and a full scale SAR operation was initiated. Ferries, fishing vessels and local leisure craft converged on the PLB’s position.
RNLI lifeboats and a rescue helicopter were also tasked. A passenger ferry spotted the empty RIB and the helicopter located the helmsman 300m from his boat. After 1 1/2 hours in the water, the RIB owner was winched on board the helicopter. He was uninjured and asked to be lowered back onto his boat. Once back on board the RIB, the owner repositioned the broken seat and with an RNLI vessel in attendance made his way back to the boat’s marina.


The full Safety Digest can be found here
Marine Accident Investigation: Safety Digest 1/2014

These reports are published throughout the year, and are summary's of various marine incident. The Digest is in 3 sections, Merchant Sips, Fishing Vessels, and Pleasure Craft.

The latest digest concentrated on the use (or lack of) the kill cord.
The reports include some tragic cases where kill cords were not used. In two cases, children lost their lives as a parent decided not to follow best practice.

Well worth a read.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:47   #51
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Re: PLB Recommendations/Experiences

Ah Nigel please


"The owner/helmsman was wearing an immersion suit, a Gecko marine safety helmet
and an automatic lifejacket, which had a portable VHF radio in one pouch and a PLB
in another."

He had a full immersion suit , ......

"When the RIB was about 5 miles offshore, rough seas were encountered, so the helmsman reduced speed from around 24 knots to between 14 and 17 knots. All was well until the RIB landed so violently and with such force after riding over one of the moderate waves that the helmsman’s seat was wrenched from the deck. As a result, he was thrown overboard."

He's just offshore, in an area teeming with ships, boats, aircraft, RNLIs from two countries etc.

"To make things worse, the VHF radio in the lifejacket pouch had been damaged beyond repair."

Opps there goes the "use a DSC VHF theory"

" full scale SAR operation was initiated. Ferries, fishing vessels and local leisure craft converged on the PLB’s position.
RNLI lifeboats and a rescue helicopter were also tasked. A passenger ferry spotted the empty RIB and the helicopter located the helmsman 300m from his boat. After 1 1/2 hours in the water, the RIB owner was winched on board the helicopter. He was uninjured and asked to be lowered back onto his boat. Once back on board the RIB, the owner repositioned the broken seat and with an RNLI vessel in attendance made his way back to the boat’s marina."

Eggackary , look where it happened, equally he still had to survive 1&1/2 hours in very cold water, try that with a set of Mustos!!


Now imagine the average yachtie 450 miles SW of Ireland who falls in with his PLB. !!!!!!


SO Ill modify my comments, PLBS are body recovery signalling devices, unless you have a full immersion suit on, a helmet, and fall in close to shore in one of the most densely SAR'd piece of water in the world.


Whats stunning is they put him back on the RIB, !!!!!!


Dave
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Old 06-05-2014, 13:14   #52
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Re: PLB Recommendations/Experiences

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Whats stunning is they put him back on the RIB, !!!!!!


Dave
I liked that too "I ain't giving up my boat"
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Old 06-05-2014, 17:50   #53
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Re: PLB Recommendations/Experiences

On the other hand, with no PLB it would have been a different outcome.
It's good to see a report with a positive outcome, certainly boosts confidence in the use of PLB's.
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Old 06-05-2014, 21:23   #54
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Re: PLB Recommendations/Experiences

Thank goodness he is alright. Could have been a worst case outcome for sure.

It doesn't say in the report but I think PLBs require manual activation. Is that true in this case? Sounds like the victim had some PFD problem so he was alert and able to think.
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Old 07-05-2014, 04:35   #55
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Re: PLB Recommendations/Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Thank goodness he is alright. Could have been a worst case outcome for sure.

It doesn't say in the report but I think PLBs require manual activation. Is that true in this case? Sounds like the victim had some PFD problem so he was alert and able to think.
FWIW: All PLBs that I have seen are manual.
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