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Old 24-03-2014, 06:11   #91
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Re: the basics for survival?

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
I always figured on a three prong approach- hand desalinator, solar stills, and rain collection with the hope that one should work if any two fail.

I guess my remark wasn't so much about the efficacy of solar stills as it was about being prepared and having options so as to not be dependent on others where possible.

Based on Tellies earlier comments regarding handhelds in general I would be interested to hear what he thinks of having something like a Pur Survivor 06 stashed in your bag unopened and unused for emergency use.

Getting back to your original post. I think it is an OK idea along with other water procurement ideas. The problem with ditch bag watermakers is that most people put them in there and forget them. Just like with larger boat based watermakers, if you don't use them you lose them. Watermakers from the smallest to the largest are higher maintenance pieces of equipment than a lot of other systems and ditch bag watermakers are more likely to be forgotten. Mostly these PUR06 units sit for years unopened and unserviced. Thus my reference to them always being available on E-Bay, there are always about a dozen of them listed there. I wouldn't recommend that anybody buy any watermaker off of E-Bay as the vast majority of them are junk. Even if you bought a new one from the manuafacturer you are still only able to make about a quart of water per hour. While a quart sounds better than nothing a solid hour of hand pumping to achieve that quart is a lot longer than most people think. I would think conserving your energy should be high on the list of survival techniques and after what I would assume would be a harrowing and certainly energy draining adventure of abandoning ship, sitting and pumping this unit for a few hours a day, perhaps in the hot sun, doesn't make a lot of sense. The better watermaker for this application would be a Katadyn 35. Much more leverage and a far better output of fresh water for the energy spent. But it is a lot larger and more expensive and needs the same regular maintenance. One other thing that is often not thought of in a ditch bag is a simple container to store the water you make or collect. Also rain collection is not as easy as it seems on a small life raft and rain is pretty infrequent when you need it for a day to day survival requirement. One more thing I used to do on my boat in case of an abandon ship scenario. I always have those extra six gallon yellow fuel containers lashed to my boat. I also have six of the blue water containers with only five gallons of water in them. Two are lashed down well while the other four, two on each aft hull have their own SS tubing nest that they drop in and have to be lifted out from. They are not lashed down but are still prevented from moving around on a tossed boat. I have a small red anchor float and about 30 feet of 1/4" line tied to each containers handle. If the boat sinks, in theory, and I haven't already removed them, they should easily float to the surface amongst the debris field, barring any entanglement with the ship as she goes down. Not fool proof and a bit Rube Goldberg but hopefully 20 gallons of retrievable water. The chances of being in a life raft for the time Challahan was is remote. But being in one for a few days is not an impossibility. Going one day without water can be uncomfortable, again given the likelihood of a lot of energy spent abandoning ship, but two days gets to be real tough and any more than that can be at the least a mental status changing occurrence at the worst a life threatening occurrence especially to an older crusier who is noty twenty years old anymore.
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Old 24-03-2014, 06:28   #92
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Re: the basics for survival?

Andrew says he would abandon ship with an EPIRB as his top priority and additionally would like to have some level of self-sufficiency, just in case.
(Or words to that effect)

Dave says that as a minimum you need to carry a working EPIRB and some other emergency electronics. He also mentions that if you want to do anything else, beyond this minimum, he sees no problem per se but regards it as somewhat superfluous.
(Or words to that effect)

No point reducing the global bandwidth any further, boys!
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Old 24-03-2014, 11:07   #93
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Re: the basics for survival?

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
Andrew says he would abandon ship with an EPIRB as his top priority and additionally would like to have some level of self-sufficiency, just in case.
(Or words to that effect)

Dave says that as a minimum you need to carry a working EPIRB and some other emergency electronics. He also mentions that if you want to do anything else, beyond this minimum, he sees no problem per se but regards it as somewhat superfluous.
(Or words to that effect)

No point reducing the global bandwidth any further, boys!
An apt summary

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Old 24-03-2014, 11:17   #94
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Re: the basics for survival?

Well said Jimbo.

Now, for those questioning the serviceability of their EPIRBS, I tripped over a handy service on the ARC ARTEX (makers of beacons) website. It's called 406Link.com & the description is as follows:

With the push of a button, receive an email and/or SMS text message confirming the receipt of your beacon self test. Using our ACR Artex 406Link.com Satellite Confirmation Testing optional subscription service, its as easy as creating an account, setting up the contacts you wish to receive your test message and then going outside and performing a normal self test or GPS self test.

Benefits:

Satellite Confirmation that your beacon message is reaching the Cospas-Sarsat Satellites.

Receive confirmation in the matter of seconds!

Two plans to choose from:

Basic - Only send standard self tests (no GPS) and allow from 1 contact to receive the confirmation messages

Plus - Send both standard self tests and GPS self test and allow up to 5 contacts to receive the confirmation messages.

Also includes a trip planning feature.

Beacon management services:

Battery replacement and registration reminders

Self test history folder allows you to monitor how many tests you have performed

Manage multiple beacons in 1 account

- See more at: 406Link Satellite Testing Service | ACR ARTEX

I was at the ARC website checking specs on our EPIRB and they also had a good article about how the Cospas-Sarsat system works. It pretty much confirms what Komaloha said earlier, just in a bit less detail and easier to follow format.
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Old 24-03-2014, 11:45   #95
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Re: the basics for survival?

only works in north and south america

"These areas are covered by the Cospas-Sarsat GOES-11 and GOES-12 satellites.

Service for 406Link is currently not available outside of North and South America"


The next generation of "SEND" see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satelli...ication_device
offer a much better basis for reliable two way SAR comms. Today the closet to that is the Delorme Inreach and personally I would rate that close if not better then an EPIRB .

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Old 24-03-2014, 11:57   #96
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Re: the basics for survival?

Quote:
I was at the ARC website checking specs on our EPIRB and they also had a good article about how the Cospas-Sarsat system works. It pretty much confirms what Komaloha said earlier, just in a bit less detail and easier to follow format.
Note that Komaloha, is slightly wrong in parts of his ( her) description, 406 Mhz EPIRBs position are still ONLY detected by the COSPAS SARSAT Leo polar orbiting satellites, essentially the same as the older 121 system.

GPIRBS, ie GPS equipped EPIRBS ( which are not GMDSS mandatory) are detected by both the LEO system and the synchronous orbiting GEOSTAR system. However SAR detection still waits for a two pass LEO doppler confirmation before releasing the GEOSTAR data to the MRCCs. Hence real detection time has not increased as a result of GPIRBs. ( obviously position accuracy has greatly improved) , This fact alone makes PLBs almost useless as MOB alerting devices.

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Old 24-03-2014, 12:50   #97
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Re: the basics for survival?

I suppose someone should point out that "new" EPIRBs have the capability to actually send a LIVE TEST MESSAGE all the way through the system and back to your own internet email account, so one can actually TEST THE SYSTEM and make sure that the EPIRB is actually working.

In 2009, the vast majority of EPIRBs had a test button that basically just tested the test light. There was no way to know if the damned thing actually was getting a message out to the satellites, much less if it was sending a position.

The old-fashioned test button was and is just a placebo. If you've just got one EPIRB, it really should be capable of a live test, with confirmation, all the way through.

Did I miss something? Or forget it? Or did the OP never qualify where he wanted a survival kit for? That kinda matters, when you're planning.
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Old 24-03-2014, 13:23   #98
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Re: the basics for survival?

I thought this might be of interest to the group. It is from Soundings Trade Only.

McMurdo Group said it will host a webinar series on satellite-based search and rescue, featuring industry experts who will detail the latest SAR process and technology advancements.
McMurdo said the series, which will be available to a worldwide audience, will detail the steps and technologies available during a search-and-rescue scenario in an informative and educational setting.
The first webinar in the series will be “The 5 Critical Stages of the Search and Rescue Ecosystem” at 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday.
The webinar will feature McMurdo Group president and general manager Jeremy Harrison and Lt. Bryan Cantfil, SAR analyst at the Coast Guard Office of Search and Rescue.
The free presentation will review what happens when an emergency beacon is triggered and offer a glimpse into SAR product innovations and technological advancements on the horizon.
Additional information about this and other webinars and free registration are available at https://www.brighttalk.com/channel/10563.
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Old 24-03-2014, 13:35   #99
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Re: the basics for survival?

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I expect a DSC hand-held and an EPIRB at a minimum.
I love you guys, I really do. However you get from me saying this to whatever it is you think I've said is a mystical intrigue.

I've been hit by lightning before, fried everything including the compass and damn near sunk the boat. Based on my experience, I would by definition be insane to think the same thing would happen twice with different results, now wouldn't I?

When I set sail this summer for England, I will be sailing on a friends boat who will be making the passage for the third time. Those who might regard lightning strikes to be a statistical anomaly might be interested to know my friend has also been struck by lightning with like results.

When we depart, we will be bringing with us a thoughtfully curated bail-out-bag which will hopefully provide us options for any eventually.

If during our passage we discover our water tanks fouled by algae, will will have an option for that. If we discover we are being borne down upon by an unattentive pornophile at the helm of a threatening vessel, we will have a option for dealing with that.

And if, heaven forbid we need them, we will have a spare EPIRB and a DSC hand held tucked away in our bail-out-bag. They will be double bagged inside conductive grounding bags, inside a metal box, and inside a dry bag with all our other goodies.

Before we go I will be sure to post pictures and a list of our bag, then you all can laugh and jest at how anachronistic my outlook is. Hopefully, if I need to call on these resources with which I chose to equip myself with, I will return to tell you how wrong you are.

In the meantime some might be interested to know that a quick call to ACR in Florida confirms that damage due to lighting strikes is not covered under the warranty for ACR EPIRBs. In addition to lighting, they have seen returned EPRIBs for fire, damage from chemical spills, and other causes.

Good luck! Methinks based on some of the attitudes presented here you will need it.
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Old 24-03-2014, 13:46   #100
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Re: the basics for survival?

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This fact alone makes PLBs almost useless as MOB alerting devices.
If I have it correctly the battery life for PLB's is 24 as opposed to 48 hours. When the battery dies, so does the signal used by search aircraft to find you, after that its searching is conducted based on map coordinates from a last known location.

From inference we can determine that the success rate in locating a beacon that is not transmitting is not 100%.

I have to say if colemj's reception of my inquiry hadn't been so emotional he might have noticed what I was really getting at instead of dismissing me as being obtuse.
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Old 24-03-2014, 15:12   #101
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Re: the basics for survival?

Again, who said they do not prepare a ditch bag? The debate has been on needing to survive for months and planning for that. One side of that discussion has stated many times that you need to have planned your survival for up to a week. Your passage to Europe will be through waters that where it will not be necessary to plan for months of time between abandoning ship and being rescued.

Will your offshore preparations for this trip include surviving for more than a month without the boat?

I know of only a single product whose warranty covers lightning strikes. Nobody denies that anything hit by lightning will be destroyed.

We have been hit by lightning. Lightning statistics are well known, published and used by the insurance industry. No one said it was a statistical anomaly, only that it was statistically rare. Coupled with taking out an epirb at the same time your boat sinks - that is very, very rare. Rare enough that I doubt it has ever happened in history.

As both Dave and I stated, SAR preparation today involves more than just a liferaft. Multiple devices of the correct type are part of that.

I still fail to see your point about drilling down to "how many rescues happen when epirbs do not transmit". Like I said, how many people in liftrafts get rescued when they are not found. It just does not make sense to me.

So I admit to thinking you are obtuse because you have not stated your thesis clear enough for me to understand it. That is not dismissive in any way.

I read through my responses and see nothing emotional about them. I certainly do not feel emotional while writing them (although I guess humorous could be an emotion). Please note that unlike you and others, I have not resorted to ad hominems or assigning emotive or defining labels to people or their responses. Both these are devices used to bolster weak arguments. You resorted to them rather than addressing any of the points I brought up. Not a single one.

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Old 24-03-2014, 15:32   #102
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Re: the basics for survival?

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If I have it correctly the battery life for PLB's is 24 as opposed to 48 hours. When the battery dies, so does the signal used by search aircraft to find you, after that its searching is conducted based on map coordinates from a last known location.

From inference we can determine that the success rate in locating a beacon that is not transmitting is not 100%.

I have to say if colemj's reception of my inquiry hadn't been so emotional he might have noticed what I was really getting at instead of dismissing me as being obtuse.
The fundamental reason PLbs are useless for MOBs, is that the COSPAS SARSAT system was never designed to respond in minutes. The effective ability to survive in cold water is about 30 minutes. The system is incapable of responding in that time scale, it was never designed to do so.

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Old 24-03-2014, 15:35   #103
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Re: the basics for survival?

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I don't know if I've ever really let myself down, but I can probably think of hundreds if not thousands of occasions in my life where I have been let down by other people or broken equipment.

EPIRBs can and do fail. It's a fact.

The problem is there is no way of knowing at what rate. If someone depends on an EPIRB for rescue but fails to make other sensible preparations we might not ever know about it, it's called lost at sea.

Moreover, while the USCG and NOAA require registration on activation, they don't require notification when that device is abandoned, so there is no way of knowing what the fail rate really is.

One thing the USCG does require is that boats that are required to carry an EPIRB are also required to test it on a monthly basis to confirm it is operational and to maintain a log of those tests.

Why would these tests be required if the device itself was not perceived as being inherently fallible?

So given the knowledge that this device can fail why would anyone specifically NOT prepare for this possible eventuality?

MaineSail gives has provided an example of an EPIRB toasted by lighting. Your boat could have taken a strike while sitting at the dock and you don't even know about it because you don't test it monthly. Next time you are out on the water good luck pushing a button.

Are you aware there is a recall due to a faulty chip in a GME EPIRB that was for sale from 2005 - 2010? What do you think the unnamed protagonist in Fight Club would say about other brands?

Do you know that if you have a battery replaced you have to re-register it if you get it back and the hex code doesn't match?

In light of these concerns is it too much to pack a bag to grab on your way out that might make life on a death raft a little more comfortable for a period longer than four days? Just in case? Is that too much bother? Really?

I don't know how more unambiguously I could have stated my position.

I encourage everyone else to do whatever and however they please. In the meantime I will always provide assistance to any vessel in distress I encounter to the best of my abilities.

Just don't expect me to be happy about it if you are a numb nuts who can't fend for himself.
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Old 24-03-2014, 15:48   #104
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Re: the basics for survival?

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And if, heaven forbid we need them, we will have a spare EPIRB and a DSC hand held tucked away in our bail-out-bag. They will be double bagged inside conductive grounding bags, inside a metal box, and inside a dry bag with all our other goodies.
as my father used to say , despite your auld "guff' you still are bringing the right gear to contact the appropriate rescue agencies, should , however unlikely, that event occur.

All the rest is somewhat superfluous.

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Old 24-03-2014, 15:56   #105
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Re: the basics for survival?

Delmarry, you might study the GMDSS and note that a key requirement for compliant vessels is

(a) Two independent means of reaching the shore

This is because as opposed to SOLAS, today the key is to alert the shore rescue co-ordinator, not other vessels around you. Inf act under GMDSS operating rules a ship will actually relay your distress to the shore station, and await instructions before reacting, a shore station may in fact direct an alternative rescue asset to your location.

The key is the appropriate tools of the job in hand, a farmer does not plough a field with a horse , when he has a 10 sod reversible plough and a 300hp John Deere at his disposal.

Should all fail of course, thats a possibility, then the sea will have you, but thankfully thats a small minority.

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