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Old 24-06-2016, 09:33   #16
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
These would be on my short list for a ditch bag:

EPIRB

ACR GlobalFix Pro 406 2844 EPIRB Category II Rescue Beacon with Manual Release Bracket and Built-in GPS = $436
__________

PLB
One to consider: ACR PLB-375 ResQLink+ Personal Locating Beacon with 406 MHz Floating PLB, Built-In GPS, Strobe and 121 MHz Homing Beacon = $249

Attach to your PFD.

Positive? Like a small EPIRB for an individual to wear.
Negative? Won't help your own boat find you in MOB situation. You could be half a mile away from help (your own boat) and your own boat will not see you.
__________

Personal AIS Beacon

McMurdo Smartfind S20 SRS AIS MOB = $292

Attach to the PFD of the deck crew/helmsman/Singlehander

Unique Function? Will help your own boat find you in MOB situation.

Limitation? 4 miles and IF your boat (or another) has an AIS receiver turned on and an alert crew.

Negative? For MOB: Will every crew member have one on their PFD?
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VHF with DSC and GPS
(Handheld, waterproof, floating,)
One to consider: Standard Horizon HX870 Handheld VHF with GPS = $215

Limitation?
Limited to Line of Sight transmission, which can be very short distances if you are in a PFD at water level in big seas.
___________

In addition I would have other items (e.g. signal mirror). But for electronics, the above for communication.


That's pretty much the same as my answer.

I have:

1. PLB.

2. DSC Handheld VHF. VERY IMPORTANT: battery tray and supply of fresh AAA batteries, vacuum packed.

3. AIS/DSC MOB beacon.

4. A bunch of pyrotechnic rocket flares, vacuum sealed.

5. An electronic red hand flare.

6. A signal mirror.


1 & 3 I keep on my person -- in my life jacket. The DSC handheld is on the "grab list" -- it lives in a charging cradle so it's always fully charged, which is important.


I don't have an EPIRB so far because these days I'm never more than a couple days from shore, and rarely out of VHF/DSC range. So it is not all that likely that I will need long distance emergency comms in the liferaft. The call should go out from the main VHF radio before abandoning. This is different if you're more than a couple days sailing from shore.

Plan "A" for distress signalling is a VHF/DSC call before abandoning. Where I sail, it is almost impossible to be out of range of any ship, and usually you are in range of one or another coast guard station too.

Plan "B" is the PLB. PLB doesn't let you talk to SAR services, but the handheld VHF will do that when rescue assets get close, actually from a long distance if it's a helicopter. The MOB AIS beacon can also help with the "last mile", and the PLB emits a 121.5mhz homing signal.

Plan "C" is everything else, starting with the pyrotechnics. In this part of the world, a rocket flare provokes a huge response.

Further offshore than we presently sail, HF/DSC would be added to the mix, probably as Plan "A" per GMDSS protocol.

DeLorme or Yellow Brick are great devices, and have the terrific advantage that you can conduct two-way comms with them, but they are not part of any official distress signalling protocol, and neither the device nor the signalling system are designed to safety of life criteria. Do not be tempted to think of them as a substitute for an EPIRB or PLB. Great supplement, though.
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Old 24-06-2016, 10:15   #17
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

Whatever device, would want it absolutely waterproof; not just water resistant. Waterproof, shockproof, and solar rechargeable. Basic milspecs.
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Old 24-06-2016, 10:30   #18
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

The Eprib and then the InReach.

The INReach works great. I just now landed in NYC from London on a commercial flight and I used the InReach to message my wife from over Greenland!

It also has a one button GPS stamped SOS and you can set it up to allow people to follow you on a map app.
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Old 24-06-2016, 10:42   #19
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

All good stuff in the replies. Adding my 2 cents iOS check out the Iridium Go. Bring the Go with u and use your phone or iPad to call anyone, it also sends out an SOS and tells you Lat Long. We have solar chargers to plug all the devices into. The VHS we've been told does a better job towards aircraft if u hold it horizontally. And our fifth bag is actually a long red float tube that holds a lot. Can't recall its name but we love it as it's easy to grab and waterproof.
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Old 24-06-2016, 10:55   #20
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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All good stuff in the replies. Adding my 2 cents iOS check out the Iridium Go. Bring the Go with u and use your phone or iPad to call anyone, it also sends out an SOS and tells you Lat Long. We have solar chargers to plug all the devices into. The VHS we've been told does a better job towards aircraft if u hold it horizontally. And our fifth bag is actually a long red float tube that holds a lot. Can't recall its name but we love it as it's easy to grab and waterproof.
I'm not sure that a phone or IPad, connected to an Iridium Go, are the best devices to rely on in a desperate situation where you have abandoned ship in a storm. Do you really think you can be sure the IPad won't be soaked and/or smashed during the abandoning, or the events which led up to it? Do you imagine using it in the liferaft with waves breaking over you? This is even less an appropriate distress signalling device, than the DeLorme. The DeLorme is at least somewhat water-resistant and shock-proof, even if it's not waterproof. None of these things are substitutes for a real, designed for purpose, distress signalling device, which is tied in directly to the GMDSS system.
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Old 24-06-2016, 11:38   #21
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

Standard Horizon recommends disposable alkaline batteries, disposable Li-Ion battery are not recommended for high current draw products like VHF radios, when transmitting the voltage of the batteries drop rapidly due to the impedance off the disposable li-ion batteries.

R. Jason Kennedy
Executive Vice President
Standard Horizon / YAESU Aviation
714.827.7600 (office)
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Old 24-06-2016, 13:47   #22
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

How expensive a sat phone can be compared with the value of your life and your passenger's life?
We talk for couple of hundred dollars, correct?
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Old 24-06-2016, 14:12   #23
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by Manos1955 View Post
How expensive a sat phone can be compared with the value of your life and your passenger's life?
We talk for couple of hundred dollars, correct?
Couple grand for the phone and 100 bucks a month for service. If it doesn't go all 'Rebel Heart' on you, it's pretty cheap insurance.

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Old 24-06-2016, 14:16   #24
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

I know you were having fun with all the different electronic gadget possibilities, but don't overlook having plenty of drinking water, and a way to catch and/or make more of it. Four or five days without fresh water can render you incapable of using any rescue equipment or responding to any response you may get. (Drinking less than two quarts a days risks kidney failure.) And don't forget simple fishing gear. Fish have body fluids about one-third as salty as sea water so it is possible to do without fresh water if you can get enough fish to eat. Ditto for birds and turtles. Captain Fred
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Old 24-06-2016, 14:22   #25
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Couple grand for the phone and 100 bucks a month for service. If it doesn't go all 'Rebel Heart' on you, it's pretty cheap insurance.

goat
Quite some time ago, mid 1990s, an inflatable system was advertised to make any sailboat unsinkable. Would automatically inflate bags that would fill most of the main cabin. If it's still around, might be a better bet than a lot of these other electronic options being talked about. You can get a parachute that deploys allowing your small plane to float to earth. Yup they are probably expensive, but as you say, what is your life worth?
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Old 24-06-2016, 14:39   #26
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by Captain Fred View Post
I know you were having fun with all the different electronic gadget possibilities, but don't overlook having plenty of drinking water, and a way to catch and/or make more of it. Four or five days without fresh water can render you incapable of using any rescue equipment or responding to any response you may get. (Drinking less than two quarts a days risks kidney failure.) And don't forget simple fishing gear. Fish have body fluids about one-third as salty as sea water so it is possible to do without fresh water if you can get enough fish to eat. Ditto for birds and turtles. Captain Fred
Hmmmmmm... a few months ago when the crew on the Kon-Tiki re-enactment raft activated their Epirb in what is probably one of the emptiest bits of water on the planet a few months ago they were picked up within hours Kon-Tiki2 crew rescued off coast of Chile . Likewise when Mike on 'Brilliance' - sister ship of the Pingmobile - activated his Epirb down near Tristan de Cunha a few years ago they were picked up well within 24 hours... something like four or five ships were in a position to assist.

My kit? I have a PLB stowed in the raft along with the standard issue ( NZ) Cat 1 kit. Strangely that Cat 1 kit is the same as the Argentine 'Coastal' one.

When I bought a new ACR Rescuemate-G Epirb last year it came with a grab bag containing an excellent first aid kit that even contains a 'radio w/headphones'!

Sadly the radio is in a cardboard box within a sealed bag...sorely tempted to open it.....

My extra stuff? .. hand held VHF ... Stugeron.... more water... I would chuck in a bit of 'comfort food' if there was time.
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Old 24-06-2016, 15:35   #27
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by StandardHorizon View Post
Standard Horizon recommends disposable alkaline batteries, disposable Li-Ion battery are not recommended for high current draw products like VHF radios, when transmitting the voltage of the batteries drop rapidly due to the impedance off the disposable li-ion batteries.

R. Jason Kennedy
Executive Vice President
Standard Horizon / YAESU Aviation
714.827.7600 (office)
Yes, I can verify that Lithium (not Li-Ion) AAA batteries don't work in the Standard Horizon HX851 battery tray. I discovered this after buying an expensive lot of them and vacuum packing them. So I unpacked them and am slowly using them up in my torches.

I didn't like my HX851 and replaced it this year with the new HX870, which I really DO like -- kudos to Standard Horizon for the remarkable improvements -- a great leap forward. I haven't tried the battery tray yet (which is now included free with the radio -- also very good).
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Old 24-06-2016, 15:43   #28
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

In addition to my Delorme in my ditch bag , I have a hand held radio that transmits on the aircraft distress frequency of 121.5 mHz. $300 from Sporty's Pilot Shop. Most commercial aircraft monitor this frequency while en-route. The thought is that you carry the type of equipment that is most likely to get you rescued and that may change depending on the waters you sail.

If your are sinking in the middle of the sea, better all have the 'right stuff' and make sure it works before you need it. Just common sense.
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Old 24-06-2016, 15:50   #29
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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. . . I have a PLB stowed in the raft along with the standard issue ( NZ) Cat 1 kit. . .
Bloody good idea. One of my secret terrors is having to abandon ship and leaving behind or dropping overboard the comms gear.

Some people don't bother with flares actually inside their rafts, preferring to keep them in the grab bag. Man, I keep fresh rocket flares in both of my rafts. PLB's have gotten so cheap, I should have put one of those in there, too. Missed the boat, as I just had both rafts serviced, at considerable expense, and I won't open them again for three years (I hope! ).
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Old 24-06-2016, 16:27   #30
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

spot connect satellite messenger is waterproof / runs on 2 AA batteries / has built in SOS button / easily fits in pocket or clips on / epirb with gps works o.k they have been well tested / powerful, small waterproof torch would help the crew find you in the dark / of course you would be wearing your solas approved pfd with reflectors, whistles etc while peeing from the stern no hands hanging on when the wave washed you off / it's hard to be prepared for all situations. Thanks for the reminder better check the grab kit. All combined it's about the size of a 20litre drum but in a waterproof soft bag / includes water maker, food, first aid kit etc. We have been testing a green laser used by helicopters / is waterproof and small to locate the out of fuel dinghy in bad weather or to find the MOB in any weather / looks like they are going to become part of the normal kit / am currently wearing a waterproof watch phone / recent addition as of 2 days ago after reading a thread on this forum about a Bluetooth MOB app / purchased waterproof watch on ebay for $35 / it is an android computer with phone / has it's own SIM card and phone number / is touch screen and easy to dial / provided you are in range of a cell tower it's possible while treading water to press the dial button and call 99 this is 86 missed him by that much / battery last a bit over 24hours / no gps built into watch but pairs with my smartphone that has gps and navionics chart system installed / phone in waterproof bag in pocket would add to safety / when dialling the phone watch a screen appears with local or the brand of phone ID comes up to choose between the watch or the phone in the pocket / needs more work but thank you blokes on the forum for an interesting idea and hope I never need to use it in an actual situation
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