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Old 25-03-2014, 15:36   #121
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Re: the basics for survival?

mark-
All I'd heard about the bottle brushes, was that no one has been able to get the manufacturer to actually replace one. After it didn't prevent a strike.
OTOH when humans are hit by lightning, they are in fact often sent back to the Maker for replacement or repairs. (VBG)

Delancey, how do those foam plugs and zipties plug a life raft? I've seen the old metal patching plates, but these are new to me. How's that going to, say, plug a two inch gash in a life raft? Or a leaking seam?

Dave, good to know that test is only available to us Colonials on our native soil. Finally, a reason to retain my citizenship! (G)

But honestly, this whole "flimsy expensive rotting in the bag" conventional life raft business just has to go. Memo, suggest to Sir Richard Branson that if he can get into outer space, he can certainly build a better life raft. Before Elon Musk does. Right?
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Old 25-03-2014, 16:26   #122
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Re: the basics for survival?

I ask in all seriousness. Because if people don't know how SAR services work, how can they prepare.

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Old 25-03-2014, 16:31   #123
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Re: the basics for survival?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
mark-
All I'd heard about the bottle brushes, was that no one has been able to get the manufacturer to actually replace one. After it didn't prevent a strike.
OTOH when humans are hit by lightning, they are in fact often sent back to the Maker for replacement or repairs. (VBG)

Delancey, how do those foam plugs and zipties plug a life raft? I've seen the old metal patching plates, but these are new to me. How's that going to, say, plug a two inch gash in a life raft? Or a leaking seam?

Dave, good to know that test is only available to us Colonials on our native soil. Finally, a reason to retain my citizenship! (G)

But honestly, this whole "flimsy expensive rotting in the bag" conventional life raft business just has to go. Memo, suggest to Sir Richard Branson that if he can get into outer space, he can certainly build a better life raft. Before Elon Musk does. Right?

There's no doubt a liferaft is a poor place to be and it's got bad survival statistics in bad weather. I thank the gods ( and Neptune ) modern SAR facilities generally spares is too much time in them.

Yes currently the responder payloads are only in two satellites over the American landmass. It's worth noting the test system isn't actually routed through the sarsat system so it verifies the signal is transmitting but not the actual real link.

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Old 25-03-2014, 16:38   #124
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Re: the basics for survival?

Hey, I'm just trying to be creative here and offer up some solutions to some problems some apparently don't think are worth considering. To each his own.

It's my understanding Steven Callahan put a hole in his raft with his spear gun while fighting with a fish and that he was able to effect some type of repair using a fork and some fishing line in a spanish windlass arrangement.

It's been a while since I read the book last, but I believe he wished desperately at the time for a cork or some other means of stopping up the hole, as he tried to gather excess material sufficiently to bind the hole closed, he found he had gaps where the material folded over.

It occurs to me that a key weak point for life rafts is the attachment point for inflation canister, which is subject to considerable thermal stress in addition to the pressure of inflation itself. I am not certain but think it possible Callahan himself had problems with this attachment point.

I have a couple of the foam plugs on my boat which have already proven useful to have around, having been borrowed by the neighbors on the dock in a panic.

The idea with maybe having one in your bag is that you can squish it up and put it inside the raft with the pointy end out of the taper sticking out through the hole. Because it's conformable, when it comes time to gather up material and cinch it tight, it pushes back against the zip ties or whatever your lashing is, hopefully minimizing the potential for leakage.

Given their absolute handiness and utility, I think these foam plugs are a no-brainer to have on board. Since they are so handy and so cheap why not throw one in your bag. Maybe zip ties aren't the best lashing for some purposes, but again they cost pennies and can come in handy so why not throw them in there to?
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Old 25-03-2014, 17:11   #125
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Re: the basics for survival?

Here's what I think I know, do correct me where I am wrong.

As you are so inclined, you light up whatever flavor of radio distress beacon you have PLB, ERIRP, whatever. The signal is pick up by a satellite, which may include GPS info, and a call is made to a contact list.

Depending on the response to the call, and after a couple more passes of the satellite, a search is initiated which can include notifying ships in the area as well as dispatching aircraft.

Once an aircraft is in the air, it uses RDF gear to find a separate signal transmitted from your ELT to home in on your location.

Once I they find you I assume, if they can't pluck you out of the water, they drop a bigger better liferaft and a more powerful and longer lasting ELT and a radio to hold you over until someone else can pick you up.

If they can't find you before you ELT stops transmitting they are back to a search based on last know location which may include your GPS info if so equipped, either way high fives all around!

Look, I think this is all great but understand I live in a world where it is debatable as to whether my government can be trusted to respect my privacy or trusted to balance it's checkbook. Asking a slightly jaded Generation X New Yorker to trust his life to an institution is asking a lot.

I think SAR crews are great. I have absolute gratitude to those willing to compromise their own safety for the sake of others and I certainly have no interest in being trapped in a life raft.

I just don't understand why my naive interest is self reliance is taken to be such an affront to the establishment. Why is it so threatening?
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Old 21-08-2014, 14:47   #126
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Re: the basics for survival?

I'd been following this thread with interest but just finished reading Adrift by Steven Callahan--the book which impressed the OP & raised his curiosity about what folks were carrying in their ditch bags now. For any of you who haven't read the book, it's worth taking the time. It's a good read, and if you needed any encouragement to kit out your safety gear better will help in that regard too.
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