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Old 27-06-2016, 04:47   #61
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
yep point taken.

Hey Dockhead, remember a little while back (on another thread) I commented that I could not seem to raise anyone on a DSC call?

I tried again on a recent trip. Again it seemed to be ringing, but never got an answer on it. one of the calls I thought was picked up, but no one responded verbally. Though it was a chineese ship. I got them in the vhf easy enough. But just didn't get a response to DSC.
Yes, I've had the same experiences. It is shocking that routine DSC calling is almost non-existent. This is such a useful function. I don't think I've ever gotten an answer to a routine DSC call except when calling a friend who was expecting the call, or the Coast Guard, and I've had Coast Guard stations express surprise that anyone would call them that way (they were not displeased, however ). I always initiate radio checks with a DSC call -- to stay in practice.


But if I were in a life raft and saw a ship on the horizon, it would not be a ROUTINE DSC call -- I would send a DSC DISTRESS CALL. That's a horse of a completely different color. This will set off alarms on the ship's bridge and can't be ignored. I would also pop flares. I know that some people think flares are obsolete, but SAR services and professional ships' crews are trained to respond to them.
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Old 27-06-2016, 06:25   #62
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
If that was meant to be "12nm" then bollocks

I've not as yet been down the east coast, but in the north, around King and even off the coast of Victoria, mobile phone reception, without an aerial is about 4nm. Well, that's with an iPhone mind you
4-5 nm max was my experience on the US east coast from New England to Florida. We had two Verizon (CDMA) and one ATT (GSM) phones on board and all performed about the same.
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Old 27-06-2016, 08:41   #63
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

I am, however, in the belt and braces club (EPIRB and vhf).

If you are stricken, or already in a liferaft, a ship passing by will not know your EPIRB is sending. This signal goes up then ashore then it goes back to the fleet. And the ship may be just another yacht and does not have a long range ship to shore comms and never get any info of your EPIRB asking help.

This is why you want the vhf. You just call the bastard and ask to pick you up.

Even better an dsc/ais mob combo. Or an ais mob and a vhf dsc handheld. etc. Anything that calls up attention on the ship to ship level.

This is only one scaenario of course: we are all far offshore and rescue time counts (say the water is very cold).

Cheers,
b.
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Old 28-06-2016, 09:38   #64
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
It is actually way simpler than any instruction can tell.


1. Make sure the unit is ON,
2. Flip the flap,
3. Press the red button.

The same like an EPIRB or anything else, say the oven, the parachute or a gun. (I only mention a gun to make this example transparent to US cruisers).

b.
A little bit more to it than that.. not much.... but still worth a simple crib sheet as there is a fair chance you won't be the one doing it.... from the book...
'Basic Operation
1. Lift the red spring loaded DISTRESS cover on the right side of the transceiver, and press then press and hold the DISTRESS key for 3 seconds. The radio display will count down (3-2-1) and then transmit the distress call.
The backlight of the display and keypad flashes while the radios display is counting down.
2. When the distress signal is sent, the transceiver watches for a transmission on CH70 until an acknowledgment signal is received.
3. If no acknowledgment is received, the distress call is repeated in 4 minute intervals until a DSC acknowledgment is received.
4. When a DSC distress acknowledgment is received, a distress alarm sounds and Channel 16 is automatically selected. The display shows the MMSI of the ship respond- ing to your distress.
5. Press the PTT button and state your name, vessel name, number of persons on board and the distress situation, then say “over” and wait for a reply from the acknowledging ship.

6. To turn off the distress alarm before the radio retransmits the distress call, press the 16/S key or the [QUIT] soft key.'
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Old 28-06-2016, 11:11   #65
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I plan to add a Delorme InReach to my ditch bag.
That would be one of my choices. For the handheld VHF I would look for one that can take regular batteries as well as rechargeable and keep a supply of batteries for the radio, flashlight etc. Some are being advertised with 10 year shelf life.

Rich
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Old 28-06-2016, 11:21   #66
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

As has already been said, I'm taking my handheld aircraft VHF with me, almost everyone flying over long stretches of water monitors 123.45, and if you can see the contrails overhead, you can likely talk to them.
I used to ferry aircraft without a SSB onboard and would call airliners on 123.45 and have them pass position report onto ATC for me as I couldn't contact them.
Of course EPIRB first, but the thread is hand held communication device
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Old 28-06-2016, 11:48   #67
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
As has already been said, I'm taking my handheld aircraft VHF with me, almost everyone flying over long stretches of water monitors 123.45, and if you can see the contrails overhead, you can likely talk to them.
I used to ferry aircraft without a SSB onboard and would call airliners on 123.45 and have them pass position report onto ATC for me as I couldn't contact them.
Of course EPIRB first, but the thread is hand held communication device
I thought it would be cool to try to open up a handheld marine VHF to allow emergency transmission on 121.5, and then I found out that aircraft VHF is AM . . .

I have an Icom IC-92AD handheld ham radio, and it will receive on AM (including in the air bands), but will not transmit on AM on any band

I have too many radios probably to buy a whole new one just for this purpose.
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Old 28-06-2016, 12:27   #68
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

I just happen to have a couple of aviation handhelds and a few aviation handheld GPS's.
the GPS's don't have the map data base of course, but they will give position, speed etc.

Overwater flights, I rented a Satphone, Iridium 9505 I think? Not much beats being able to talk to who you need to, give them a position report and ask how long?

I still play with the idea of buying one, but eventually cost adds up.
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Old 28-06-2016, 12:56   #69
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

This subject of what to have in your "ditch bag", has been well discussed...
And, while I know this particular thread is basically about "electronics", specifically which handheld....I personally would like to emphasize two things...


1) Water....fresh water....
Yes, I have two handheld VHF's, and spare batteries...along with a separate handheld GPS....and lots of flares, and even two flare guns...., flash lights (torches, for those in the UK and Aus) and spare batteries, strobes, maker dye, space blankets, first aide kit, energy bars, whistles, etc. etc. in my ditch bag....
This is all in addition to the emergency kit packed into the life raft itself (which does have emergency water rations)...

But, having plenty of fresh water to each person for a period of 3 - 4 days minimum, is something that I would recommend to all...
Remember a bottle of fresh water will float in salt water....so even if you cannot fit lots of water INTO your ditch bag, simply tie some heavy-duty water bottles to your ditch bag (which should be buoyant all by itself, but NOT float-away like a Styrofoam cooler)...and you will have fresh water to drink...



2) With all the talk of the recent tragedy of the father and 3 teenagers lost just off the SW Florida coast, and with talk of "ditch bags" and EPIRB's, etc....
I thought some may wish to learn how EPIRB's actually work, how the COSPAS-SARSAT system works....and most importantly, how to properly use an EPIRB / get the best results from an EPIRB....

So, please have a look here...
EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds!!


And, for those venturing to far flung locales and/or through 3rd world areas, please read this as well...
Activating EPIRB - Chain of Events that Actually Occurs in Indonesian Waters ?



And, for those who "poo-poo" the thoughts that you should know how the systems work / know how best to use the EPIRB, sat phone, etc....and those that assume all you do is flip a switch and magically a rescue is underway....
Please take note that all of our satellite based signaling / communications services are falling further into the background noise levels that out cheap, non-certified / non-tested, consumer electronics are generating....
And, this applies to use of EPIRB's, PLB's, SPOT devices, sat phones, InReach, Yellowbricks, Thuraya, etc., etc....
(INMARSAT has an entire engineering working group dedicated to just this!!)
Have a look here...

EPIRB interference


Fair winds..

John
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Old 28-06-2016, 14:55   #70
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I just happen to have a couple of aviation handhelds and a few aviation handheld GPS's. . . .
Not coincidentally related to the fact that you are an actual aviator?
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Old 01-07-2016, 17:02   #71
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by daga View Post
[I]...How you end up in the water matters[/]. If you're knocked unconscious on the way overboard you are not going to grab the ditch bag on the way!....
[I]...Personally, my primary effort goes into staying on the boat.[/]
I got a laugh out of that!

Well lots of differing opinions here. I think we can all agree that staying on board would be the 1st choice. But to be clear, if the boat is SINKING, and you have a minute TO grab a ditch bag...

The satphone is an expensive option, and not waterproof. I had originally considered it as an emergency device, but on reconsideration, I'd only put it in the ditch bag in a pelican case since if there was any other issues with sending out a signal for distress, we'd have NO OTHER OPTION once in the raft -can't get a big long-range radio into a raft, eh?

If the boat was going down, and perhaps the electrical gear fried, the Satphone, isolated in a ditch bag would be a godsend.
If we can afford it (what, $400 for the unit and another $270 for a 60-minute prepaid card?)...

However, redundant EPIRB (one on the boat and the older backup in the bag) seems like a better long-term solution -no expiration date per say and they'll keep transmitting until the batteries go dead.

It would be nice to have both.

so maybe I should tune this thread to this:
If you had only $500 or so for a ditch bag, what would you put it in it?
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Old 01-07-2016, 17:23   #72
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

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Originally Posted by OneLeggedParrot View Post

so maybe I should tune this thread to this:
If you had only $500 or so for a ditch bag, what would you put it in it?
The $500 so I could party when I got back to town??

Hmmmm.... put the already owned ship's primary epirb in the ditch bag.. no cost involved,
Stugeron and first aid kit...already owned so no cost there.
Passports and C/cards... no cost there
The fancy Standard Horizon Class D hand held VHF mentioned earlier .... 180 UKPounds ... plus a bucket load of spare batts.
A couple of headlamps and a torch....

You can always take them out of the ditch bag and use them when not abandoning ship....

An electronic red hand held flare thingumee... dunno what they cost.

I think we still have change...

some very basic draw string at the neck foil lined survival bags ( they take up little space and should be stowed in the raft anyway... )

I think there is still enough money left to party on....
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Old 01-07-2016, 22:54   #73
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Re: Ditch-Bag: Hand Held Advice?

Personally I can't see the point in having a sat phone in a ditch bag vhf I can see the benefit, especially if you have a non GPS epirb.

But, what are you going to do with a sat phone when you have abandoned your main vessel? I guess you can ring around your friends and say goodbye. But it's not like you can ring anyone and tell them where you are?
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