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Old 28-06-2016, 19:25   #46
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EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue ...

Keeping it on the EPIRB topic I'll add that in the continental US you can rent an EPIRB or PLB from BoatUS.

http://www.boatus.org/epirb

They handle the process of registration so you don't have to register it with NOAA. Just order on line at the link above and return via FedEx when your done. If you need one for more than 3-4 weeks in a 5 year period it probably pays to buy your own. But many people can benefit from this money saving program if you make infrequent off-shore passages. The PLB option is helpful if you are temporary crew on anther boat and want to be self prepared.
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Old 28-06-2016, 21:17   #47
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Excellant thread, thanks John. Just thought I would add a note for the Aussies out there. The Epirb registration under AMSA includes a Notes Field where you can write whatever you want.

I often quickly log on to the website before a trip and add a note in my Epirb and PLB registration details about the upcoming voyage.

I add crew names, additional contact details, passage plans and dates and links to any other Epirbs carried, because often crew might bring their own PLB along. This way AusSAR get much more infomation right away, without even having to make phone calls.

This is very good for deliveries where I carry my own epirb and PLB. Or if I crew for someone with my own personal PLB

I also sometimes lend the Epirb or PLB out. So it is pretty quick to add a note about who now has it and what sort of trip they are doing. That way they know who has it without having to contact me if I am unavailable.

You can also upload photos of your vessel to help with SAR.

This is a very handy tool. Maybe other countries have the same easy to use system?
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Old 29-06-2016, 03:20   #48
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I'm not at all famililar with Queensland legislation, but this 'story' smells to me.

Whether you have expired flares, or epirbs on board is irrelevant, as long as you have up to date flares and epirbs. And of course epirbs need to be registered every two years. At least down here, I'm not sure of any offence there is for carrying an expired, unregistered epirb.

And throughout AUSTRALIA fines go into internal revenue. They don't go back to the 'authorities' at all. I give you though that the motivation behind some 'authorities' such as police is that with good 'stats' come good funding at budget time, hense the frequent push.
EPIRBs must have a printed expiry date and be replaced or serviced by the manufacturer (or authorised service agent) by this date;.

Extracted from Qld Transport Department website. Notice that it does not state "the EPIRB"

You might be surprised at who can issue you with expired EPIRB infringement notices in some states, maybe even the local dog catcher. This was the reason I used the term "authorities".
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Old 29-06-2016, 04:02   #49
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Excellant thread, thanks John. Just thought I would add a note for the Aussies out there. The Epirb registration under AMSA includes a Notes Field where you can write whatever you want.

I often quickly log on to the website before a trip and add a note in my Epirb and PLB registration details about the upcoming voyage.

I add crew names, additional contact details, passage plans and dates and links to any other Epirbs carried, because often crew might bring their own PLB along. This way AusSAR get much more infomation right away, without even having to make phone calls.

This is very good for deliveries where I carry my own epirb and PLB. Or if I crew for someone with my own personal PLB

I also sometimes lend the Epirb or PLB out. So it is pretty quick to add a note about who now has it and what sort of trip they are doing. That way they know who has it without having to contact me if I am unavailable.

You can also upload photos of your vessel to help with SAR.

This is a very handy tool. Maybe other countries have the same easy to use system?
A photo great idea. Not heard of doing that before.
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Old 29-06-2016, 04:21   #50
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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In France and other European countries, you can get a stiff fine for expired flares or not in date life rafts (I don't know about EPIRBs), whether or not your have unexpired ones on board.
Yep.

I have never experienced it but have been told by other cruisers that the skipper is marched off to the nearest ATM by the officers. Pay or be arrested, and the fines are substantial.

This is the ugly side of compulsory safety equipment legislation.
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Old 29-06-2016, 06:15   #51
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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Yep.

I have never experienced it but have been told by other cruisers that the skipper is marched off to the nearest ATM by the officers. Pay or be arrested, and the fines are substantial.

This is the ugly side of compulsory safety equipment legislation.
You are not wrong. Qld has some ridiculous rules, and interpretation's of the rules by overzealous marinepolice.

In my experience MAST in tassie and the marine police down here have a pretty good attitude and a sensible approach to regulation.

I suppose you can say NO to all legislation on the principle that once the regulators get their foot in the door they just keep adding rules. Or you can fight for sensible and well written legislation that works so that more draconian laws aren't needed.

I am not sure the best approach, but I'd really hate for NZ Style rules to be introduced in Australia. So I will support some basic safety gear regulations such as epirbs and the like to avoid public outcry over costs of rescue, or lack of regulation and the possibility of excessive regulator overeaction resulting in the NZ solution.

For some of the gory details of just how bad it can get look at this.

http://www.yachtingnz.org.nz/racing/...y-certificates

And the nitty-gritty of what an inpector should check and their powers of veto can be found here.

http://www.yachtingnz.org.nz/sites/y...nes%202015.pdf
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Old 29-06-2016, 10:17   #52
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

I'm glad to see some nations seem to be ahead of use in stupid regulatory laws. The people coming up with them need to justify their jobs.
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Old 29-06-2016, 10:42   #53
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

So-called "stupid regulatory laws" come about because there is a perceived problem and misinformed regulators step in. In this case, the perceived problem is that people go to sea and when they get in trouble innocent lives are lost because the authorities do not know when or where to deploy SAR assets. The GPIRB solves this problem extremely well.

I cannot understand why we as a community do not promote carriage of a GPIRB for all off-shore passages being just as important as having fuel, water and sails. I have been castigated on CF for arguing for carriage of a GPIRB for off-shore passages. Not by government fiat but mandatory by "community norms". Peer pressure is often more effective than government regulation anyway. But I have been told that I am not empathetic to the fiscal reality because some cruisers have to choose between eating and carrying a GPIRB on a passage. Well, if that's true then it seems to me common sense should kick in and avoid the passage.

If we have several more of these "senseless" loss of life incidents as happened last week we will get more useless government regulations.
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Old 29-06-2016, 11:40   #54
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Wow, you guys really know how to drift a thread around!

From my intent of "how EPIRB's work" and "how SAR works when offshore"....now to fines for expired flares, and comments on "over-regulation"....

Good thing this isn't a "gun" thread!

Fair winds...

John
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Old 29-06-2016, 11:50   #55
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

I used to think I had to dispose of expired flares somehow, until CGA informed me to have unexpired flares, and just use the expired ones first! Common sense. I have two EPIRBS, both registered, both batteries expired $$$$
DO NOTE, I mentioned EPIRBS in this post.
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Old 29-06-2016, 12:32   #56
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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Wow, you guys really know how to drift a thread around!
John,

EPIRBs (GPIRBs) can't work if they are not carried on passages. So we have to convince people to take them to sea else the great technology is useless.

I would suggest that we try to stop promoting EPIRBs and only promote GPIRBs going forward. I think there are very few EPIRBs available on the market anyway.

Also, some slight misinformation in this thread. I think most (if not all) the USCG SAR aircraft home on the 406MHz data signal from the GPIRB. Collins is one company that make a receiver pod for helicopters and C130s that has the 406MHz direction finding capability. The 406MHz signal is higher power than the 121.5MHz so can probably be picked up further out and reduce the search time. I think this will become more common world wide and 121.5MHz homing mode may eventually be phased away. This would extend battery life of GPIRBs substantially (or reduce battery size). The CW 121.5MHz signal drains a lot of battery power which is why it is lower power (reaches less distance) than the 406MHz data burst signal.
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Old 30-06-2016, 00:03   #57
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

[QUOTE=transmitterdan;2155629]John,

EPIRBs (GPIRBs) can't work if they are not carried on passages. So we have to convince people to take them to sea else the great technology is useless.

I would suggest that we try to stop promoting EPIRBs and only promote GPIRBs going forward. I think there are very few EPIRBs available on the market anyway.

QUOTE]

I was not aware these existed which is annoying since I replaced an EPIRB early this year and one which sends the vessels actual position would provide a more precise response.

Whilst I was pondering on the implications of the GPIRB I started thinking of ways they might extend the utility even further and the thought came to mind that if they contained wifi and a phone, slate or computer app was available one could also provide more information say for instance, the number of persons involved, the nature of the emergency, whether one was still in the parent vessel or a life raft etc. Make the app standard with multi choice where one clicked on an appropriate button sort of thing.

A localised communications capability might also help with the false alarm problem. If you became aware of a false triggering of the GPIRB you could crank up the device running the app and cancel the alarm.

I just checked the Whitworths catalogue and it includes a number of GPERBs the which are not called this but are listed as "EPIRB with GPS" the lowest cost version is A$60 more than the non GPS equipped version which is probably not excessive.

Since it's compulsory equipment I probably did not read the details of the other devices available and just zeroed in on a like for like replacement for the old one. Oh well, next time.
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Old 30-06-2016, 01:12   #58
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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Since it's compulsory equipment I probably did not read the details of the other devices available and just zeroed in on a like for like replacement for the old one. Oh well, next time.
Another option is to purchase a PLB unit. These are a good compliment to an EPIRB especially one without a GPS. All the PLB units that I am aware of have a built in GPS so are essentially a GPIRB.

Although a seaworthy and sound boat is always the first requirement, so spend money in this area as a first priority.
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Old 30-06-2016, 06:46   #59
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Dan, Raymond, et al,
My apologies here for not spelling things out more clearly...

For more than a decade, when I'm referring to EPIRB's (and I assumed that when everyone else was referring to them as well), I was referring to GPS-enable 406mhz COSPAS-SARSAT EPIRB's...
(while I'm aware that there have been lower cost units sold that do not have built-in GPS receivers, in the past decade or so, I have not personally seen anyone buy one of them...and I've never intended to imply that anyone should)

My use of "EPIRB", is the generic term for a GPS-enabled 406mhz COSPAS-SARSAT Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon....
Or, just "EPIRB"...

Please note that this is just like our common use of the term "SSB radio" or "marine SSB radio", when what we have all been talking about for more than a decade and a half, has been, a "Maritime MF/HF-DSC-SSB-Radiotelephone"....
But, few want to remember all of that, nor take the time to decipher all of that....so, it has become common for almost all layperson sailors to just call it an "SSB"...

And, when talking about "GPS-enabled 406mhz COSPAS-SARSAT Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons", it has become common practice for most layperson sailors to just call 'em EPIRB's...
Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
I would suggest that we try to stop promoting EPIRBs and only promote GPIRBs going forward. I think there are very few EPIRBs available on the market anyway.
Quote:
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I just checked the Whitworths catalogue and it includes a number of GPERBs the which are not called this but are listed as "EPIRB with GPS" the lowest cost version is A$60 more than the non GPS equipped version which is probably not excessive.

Since it's compulsory equipment I probably did not read the details of the other devices available and just zeroed in on a like for like replacement for the old one. Oh well, next time.
What I, and every cruiser/sailor/voyager I know, refer to as "EPIRB's", are in actuality "GPS-enabled 406mhz COSPAS-SARSAT Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons"....
And, we just refer to them as EPIRB's ('cause that's what they are)

But, again, my apologies for not pointing that out more clearly!!



Now, my personal opinion here (feel free to disagree!), is that introducing a new term "GPIRB" may do two negative things...
a) Add some confusion for layperson sailors
b) Lead some offshore sailors to the false sense that simply flicking a level up, gets their GPS position instantly to a rescuer and they'll safe and sound in no time....(this might be the case for US and UK coastal waters, etc...but is NOT the case in many parts of the world, whether you have a GPIRB or not)




So, with all the above, again sorry I didn't spell everything out more clearly.

fair winds...

John


P.S. Yes, some USCG assets can receive the 406mhz data....but speaking with USCG just last year, I was personally told that isn't reliable....and their SOP was to fly to the best know position (last fix, plus/minus drift) and home-in on the 121.5mhz signal...and USCG surface vessels do the same...

And, let's not forget that most offshore rescues are from SOLAS merchant vessels, or coast guard/naval vessels, not helos....and certainly many offshore / mid-ocean SAR's are not flown with the most sophisticated equipped USCG aircraft, but rather with the aircraft (and surface vessels) that that SAR authority has on hand...and in many places in the world, you might not get any real SAR activity at all...
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Old 30-06-2016, 07:00   #60
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Dan, Raymond, et al,
My apologies here for not spelling things out more clearly...

For more than a decade, when I'm referring to EPIRB's (and I assumed that when everyone else was referring to them as well), I was referring to GPS-enable 406mhz COSPAS-SARSAT EPIRB's...
(while I'm aware that there have been lower cost units sold that do not have built-in GPS receivers, in the past decade or so, I have not personally seen anyone buy one of them...and I've never intended to imply that anyone should)
Can you even buy an EPIRB without GPS any more? I don't think they exist. West Marine don't sell any and ACR don't make any; I didn't check further than that.

By the way, it seems that ACR EPIRBs now have 10 year battery life!

And what is even better -- the batteries are now user replaceable!!

The new GlobalFIX V4 looks terrific. The batteries cost $150, which means the cost of ownership is only $15 a year.

But with a 10 year battery life, query whether you even care about replacing the battery -- at the current pace of improvement, there will be something far better available by then.
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