Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 30-06-2016, 10:56   #61
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,318
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
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.

Sadly, yes, in some countries and on EBay. Also, the kind that require an external GPS confuse people still. The only design people should buy today have the GPS receiver built in with rapid fix feature.

Having a GPS built in should not provide a false sense of imminent rescue within a few minutes. But you can reasonably expect something within 24 hours. In remote areas a commercial freighter will often be near and sent your way. You also need a good VHF radio and a bag of batteries to communicate when help gets close.

Successful rescue requires training and the right equipment.
__________________

transmitterdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-06-2016, 14:37   #62
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,087
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Dan, et al,
While in "Best Case Scenarios" when offshore, yes you could "expect something within 24 hours".....this is not going to be the case in many situations...
(and this was my initial impetus for starting this thread....)
Have a look at those COSPAS-SARSAT pages, but especially look at Beth's articles!

And remember there is a reason why there is a second "S" in GMDSS, standing for "System"...
Using EPIRB, INMARSAT-C, and VHF-DSC and MF/HF-DSC, will allow you to get your Distress alert to be noticed, position verified, etc., AND when using DSC radios, allow you to get your Distress alert immediately noticed on the bridges of ships in your area/region...
Have a look at the ships in this video...those are the ones that are likely going to be coming to your assistance...




Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Having a GPS built in should not provide a false sense of imminent rescue within a few minutes. But you can reasonably expect something within 24 hours. In remote areas a commercial freighter will often be near and sent your way. You also need a good VHF radio and a bag of batteries to communicate when help gets close.

Successful rescue requires training and the right equipment.
Here's Beth Leonard's article...
Increase Your Odds After Activating the EPIRB | Cruising World

Here is Beth Leonard's side-bar article....the "Best Case Scenario"...
Best-Case SAR Scenario | Cruising World
Quote:
1. **0000-0020: Activate COSPAS-SARSAT System **
• East of Africa, the EPIRB aboard Misadventure begins transmitting the 15 hexadecimal ID number while its GPS searches the satellites to get a fix.
• GEOSAR satellites MSG-2 and INSAT-3A pick up the distress signal and transmit it to seven LUTs in seven countries, including India and the United Kingdom.
• LUTs pass the transmission on to MCCs worldwide, including USMCC, in the United States, and ASMCC, in South Africa.
• ASMCC issues an alert message to the RCC in Cape Town, MRCC Cape Town, and to USMCC.

2. 0000-0020: Fix Vessel Position
• The GPS gets a fix. The EPIRB begins transmitting position information that automatically passes to all parties through the COSPAS-SARSAT System.
3. **0020-0100: Verify emergency signal **
• USMCC forwards the alert to the U.S. Coast Guard LANTAREA RCC.
• LANTAREA RCC accesses the beacon registration and obtains the owner’s emergency-contact information.
• LANTAREA RCC contacts the listed person, who confirms the vessel with two aboard was located 300 nautical miles southwest of Madagascar eight hours earlier.
• LANTAREA RCC contacts ASMCC and verifies the emergency signal.
4. **0100-0300: Determine jurisdiction and available SAR assets **
Misadventure lies at the intersection of four rescue areas: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Réunion; ASMCC contacts RCCs in each country and negotiates jurisdiction.
• Since no other country involved has SAR assets that can be deployed, MRCC Cape Town takes the lead in rescue coordination.
5. 0300-0500: Evaluate Rescue Options
• MRCC Cape Town alerts commercial shipping through the AMVER system and contacts the South African military to find out if air assets can reach the distressed vessel.
• South African C-130s can be available at first light for SAR. Given the location, 450 nautical miles off the South Africa coast, at the very limit of a C-130’s range, air assets will only be used if no ships are available.
• Contact is established with two ships, m/v Too Far, with an ETA of 24 hours, and m/v Safe Haven, with an ETA of 12 hours.
6. **0500-1700: Deploy SAR assets **
Safe Haven asked to respond while Too Far stands by.
Safe Haven steams toward Misadventure’s last known position; Safe Haven’s ETA is 1700.
• MRCC Cape Town remains in contact with all parties and regularly updates the position and situation.
7. **1700-2000: Make contact with distressed vessel **
Safe Haven reaches Misadventure’s reported position but can’t make visual contact with the vessel. Misadventure, although less than a mile away, is dismasted and awash and all but invisible.
Safe Haven begins square search while broadcasting on VHF Channel 16. Safe Haven makes contact as darkness falls.
Misadventure’s crew transfers to Safe Haven in a life raft. Misadventure is scuttled.

Also, please take note, that unless you happen to have a distress in US or UK coastal waters, and/or are in within the 200 mile range of USCG or UK helos, your rescue is almost always going to come from merchant vessels, typically SOLAS-grade vessels contacted via AMVER network!

There seems to be a myth that the USCG or US Navy are out there all over the place looking for you...while there are USCG C-130's and USN P-3 Orion's that are likely to be deployed, rescues on the high seas are mostly done by merchant vessels...

And again, this is one of the reasons that I started this thread....so that everyone would know what happens when you do have an emergency and activate your EPIRB....and what you can do to have better odds of rescue, and a quicker, more effective rescue...(especially when far offshore and/or in 3rd world areas)


Fair winds...

John
__________________

__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 13:58   #63
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,087
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

While I personally hope that everyone reads the COSPAS-SARSAT pages that I provided the links to, and understands what EPIRB's do and what they don't do....and especially how-to deploy 'em properly....
I suspect that many will not read all the mumbo-jumbo...

Which is why I also linked to Beth Leonard's excellent articles!!

But, now I was thinking it might prudent to post some excepts of Beth's articles, as I know that some haven't the time (or possibly not the bandwidth) to click on the links and read them all...


Beth Leonard's article...
Increase Your Odds After Activating the EPIRB | Cruising World

Here are some excerpts from Beth's excellent article...
Quote:
The incoming message over our VHF radio stunned me. “Your EPIRB went off last night,” said the captain of the Chilean navy gunboat. “We canceled the search when you called Radio Wollaston. You must anchor at Caleta Martial and wait for us to inspect your vessel.”

My husband, Evans Starzinger, and I were 20 miles north of Cape Horn and motoring in light winds through the Wollaston Archipelago en route to the Horn. The night before, our 47-foot Van de Stadt Samoa, Hawk, had carried us safely through a sustained 60-knot front. When we dropped anchor in a sheltered harbor at 2300, I’d radioed the local navy station and reported our position. I knew we hadn’t activated our 406-megahertz EPIRB, but I wasn’t going to argue with a gunboat. “We’ll anchor at Caleta Martial and wait for you,” I replied.
Two hours later, the men who’d boarded us with angry scowls waved good-bye, satisfied that our EPIRB hadn’t gone off. But the two crew on a German yacht sailing nonstop from Tahiti had activated their EPIRB in that 60-knot storm. A lack of communication led search-and-rescue authorities to mistake us for them, and as a result, no search operation was launched for more than eight hours. Only the boat’s EPIRB was recovered.
Quote:
...we’ve learned that activating an EPIRB is nothing like dialing 911, especially in international waters. Since our Chilean experience, we’ve been indirectly involved with two other international EPIRB incidents in which rescue efforts were hampered by communications problems, jurisdictional issues, and a lack of SAR resources. Should you ever have to activate your EPIRB, understanding how the system works, where the process can break down, what steps to take, and what those ashore can do will increase your chances of survival.
Quote:
[In our "best case scenario" we have a vessel with] a 406-megahertz EPIRB equipped with an internal GPS that transmits position information along with the unit’s 15 hexadecimal ID number. As a result, SAR authorities know the boat’s exact location within 20 minutes—as soon as the EPIRB’s GPS establishes a fix and transmits that to the GEOSAR satellites monitoring the Indian Ocean. [again, in this "best case scenario", where the EPIRB has been properly registered and deployed] Had the boat carried an EPIRB without a GPS, its position couldn’t have been calculated for several hours, until a low-Earth-orbit satellite had passed over two or three times. “Initial LEOSAR positions can differ by 50 to 60 miles and sometimes cross rescue areas,” said U.S. Coast Guard Captain Dave McBride. “I’ve seen cases where the first two positions calculated by the LEOSAR have been in different oceans.”
Quote:
In U.S. waters, an unverified emergency signal would delay a search until a position could be established, but a search would be undertaken. Elsewhere, local SAR authorities may decide not to conduct a search for an unverified signal.
Quote:
Many countries lack the resources to search for foreign sailors. In less developed countries, jurisdictional issues, a lack of resources, or communication problems can delay or prevent rescue attempts.
Quote:
"The challenges to a successful rescue grow exponentially with the distance from shore,” said Rick Button, chief of the Coordination Division of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Search and Rescue. “Any SAR organization
Quote:
[including the USCG] would be pushed to the limit of its capabilities trying to mount a rescue 400 to 500 miles offshore.”
Misadventure [the vessel in the example] is beyond helicopter range and at the very limit of the range of fixed-wing aircraft, so the rescue attempt is dependent upon merchant ships via AMVER, a voluntary ship-reporting system used worldwide for SAR.
According to U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Mark Turner, “Even in U.S. waters, the average time to rescue a vessel so far offshore would be three to four days. In most cases, once authorities activate the AMVER system and find a ship that can respond, it takes at least 12 to 24 hours to reach the vessel.”


Allow me to quote this last sentence again....
Quote:
According to U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Mark Turner, “Even in U.S. waters, the average time to rescue a vessel so far offshore would be three to four days. In most cases, once authorities activate the AMVER system and find a ship that can respond, it takes at least 12 to 24 hours to reach the vessel.”


Quote:
Captain McBride has flown dozens of missions in search of distressed vessels in the U.S. rescue area, which extends 600 nautical miles from shore. Most 406-megahertz EPIRBs also broadcast on 121.5 megahertz to assist in the final location of the vessel, but the 121.5-megahertz signal has a very short range. “I can direction find off a 406-megahertz signal from 120 miles out, but with 121.5 megahertz, I may not be able to find it until I’m five miles away,” he said. Very few commercial vessels are equipped with direction-finding equipment, so they must rely on the position supplied by the RCC. If the battery has run out and the EPIRB ceased signaling, if the boat is dismasted or awash, or if the crew has taken to the life raft or is in the water, the target may be impossible to find.
Quote:
The COSPAS-SARSAT System is a highly developed, worldwide SAR system with international protocols. But equipment and protocols change.
For instance, merchant ships are no longer required to monitor earlier radio-distress frequencies [and haven't been since 1999]; instead, they screen the new DSC system on VHF and SSB [MF/HF-DSC].
If you’re headed offshore, outfit your boat properly with a GPS-equipped EPIRB (make sure it has a small readout showing your broadcasted position) and with both fixed and handheld DSC-capable VHF radios.[and MF/HF-DSC radio, as this will allow contact with vessels beyond VHF range, as well as provide a secondary Distress alert to the RCC]
Quote:
When you issue a Mayday, you’re agreeing to abandon your vessel. The Mayday should be signaled in three ways: by emergency DSC call over VHF [VHF-DSC] and SSB [MF/HF-DSC], by a voice call over both, and by activating the EPIRB. [INMARSAT-C is also an excellent / reliable data communications service and along with EPIRB's, VHF-DSC, MF/HF-DSC radios, being part of the GMDSS, it is a great way of signaling distress]
Here is Beth Leonard's side-bar article....the "Best Case Scenario"...
Best-Case SAR Scenario | Cruising World
Quote:
1. **0000-0020: Activate COSPAS-SARSAT System **
• East of Africa, the EPIRB aboard Misadventure begins transmitting the 15 hexadecimal ID number while its GPS searches the satellites to get a fix.
• GEOSAR satellites MSG-2 and INSAT-3A pick up the distress signal and transmit it to seven LUTs in seven countries, including India and the United Kingdom.
• LUTs pass the transmission on to MCCs worldwide, including USMCC, in the United States, and ASMCC, in South Africa.
• ASMCC issues an alert message to the RCC in Cape Town, MRCC Cape Town, and to USMCC.

2. 0000-0020: Fix Vessel Position
• The GPS gets a fix. The EPIRB begins transmitting position information that automatically passes to all parties through the COSPAS-SARSAT System.
3. **0020-0100: Verify emergency signal **
• USMCC forwards the alert to the U.S. Coast Guard LANTAREA RCC.
• LANTAREA RCC accesses the beacon registration and obtains the owner’s emergency-contact information.
• LANTAREA RCC contacts the listed person, who confirms the vessel with two aboard was located 300 nautical miles southwest of Madagascar eight hours earlier.
• LANTAREA RCC contacts ASMCC and verifies the emergency signal.
4. **0100-0300: Determine jurisdiction and available SAR assets **
Misadventure lies at the intersection of four rescue areas: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Réunion; ASMCC contacts RCCs in each country and negotiates jurisdiction.
• Since no other country involved has SAR assets that can be deployed, MRCC Cape Town takes the lead in rescue coordination.
5. 0300-0500: Evaluate Rescue Options
• MRCC Cape Town alerts commercial shipping through the AMVER system and contacts the South African military to find out if air assets can reach the distressed vessel.
• South African C-130s can be available at first light for SAR. Given the location, 450 nautical miles off the South Africa coast, at the very limit of a C-130’s range, air assets will only be used if no ships are available.
• Contact is established with two ships, m/v Too Far, with an ETA of 24 hours, and m/v Safe Haven, with an ETA of 12 hours.
6. **0500-1700: Deploy SAR assets **
Safe Haven asked to respond while Too Far stands by.
Safe Haven steams toward Misadventure’s last known position; Safe Haven’s ETA is 1700.
• MRCC Cape Town remains in contact with all parties and regularly updates the position and situation.
7. **1700-2000: Make contact with distressed vessel **
Safe Haven reaches Misadventure’s reported position but can’t make visual contact with the vessel. Misadventure, although less than a mile away, is dismasted and awash and all but invisible.
Safe Haven begins square search while broadcasting on VHF Channel 16. Safe Haven makes contact as darkness falls.
Misadventure’s crew transfers to Safe Haven in a life raft. Misadventure is scuttled.
I hope everyone can see the gist of this thread??
--- Please take note, that unless you happen to have a distress in US or UK coastal waters, and/or are in within the 200 mile range of USCG or UK helos, your rescue is almost always going to come from merchant vessels, typically SOLAS-grade vessels contacted via AMVER network!

--- And in many areas of the world, a secondary means of sending your distress alert to the RCC will be necessary in order to trigger a SAR response!
{and, using MF/HF-DSC radios to do this (there are > 80 HF-DSC coast stations worldwide and > 450 MF-DSC coast stations worldwide), will also send your DSC Distress alert directly to all other vessels in HF radio range / beyond VHF radio range!!}
This will be required in just about everywhere except areas covered by US, UK, Aus, NZ, or France...



--- Again, these are the primary reasons that I started this thread....so that everyone would know what happens when you do have an emergency and activate your EPIRB....and what you can do to have better odds of rescue, and a quicker, more effective rescue...(especially when far offshore and/or in 3rd world areas)


Fair winds...

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 15:23   #64
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,900
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
While I personally hope that everyone reads the COSPAS-SARSAT pages that I provided the links to, and understands what EPIRB's do and what they don't do....and especially how-to deploy 'em properly....
I suspect that many will not read all the mumbo-jumbo...

Which is why I also linked to Beth Leonard's excellent articles!!

But, now I was thinking it might prudent to post some excepts of Beth's articles, as I know that some haven't the time (or possibly not the bandwidth) to click on the links and read them all...


Beth Leonard's article...
Increase Your Odds After Activating the EPIRB | Cruising World

Here are some excerpts from Beth's excellent article...



Allow me to quote this last sentence again....


Here is Beth Leonard's side-bar article....the "Best Case Scenario"...
Best-Case SAR Scenario | Cruising World
I hope everyone can see the gist of this thread??
--- Please take note, that unless you happen to have a distress in US or UK coastal waters, and/or are in within the 200 mile range of USCG or UK helos, your rescue is almost always going to come from merchant vessels, typically SOLAS-grade vessels contacted via AMVER network!

--- And in many areas of the world, a secondary means of sending your distress alert to the RCC will be necessary in order to trigger a SAR response!
{and, using MF/HF-DSC radios to do this (there are > 80 HF-DSC coast stations worldwide and > 450 MF-DSC coast stations worldwide), will also send your DSC Distress alert directly to all other vessels in HF radio range / beyond VHF radio range!!}
This will be required in just about everywhere except areas covered by US, UK, Aus, NZ, or France...



--- Again, these are the primary reasons that I started this thread....so that everyone would know what happens when you do have an emergency and activate your EPIRB....and what you can do to have better odds of rescue, and a quicker, more effective rescue...(especially when far offshore and/or in 3rd world areas)


Fair winds...

John
John, I really liked your first really really long article to begin this thread.

But this post I don't think much of as its frankly too 'American' in context (I think that's what it is).

To begin with the first scenario suggesting, rather stating, that an epirb signal like that could be ignored after authorities somewhere heard a radio broadcast is NOT how the system works. Epirb emergencies at least in Australian SAR area is not cancelled until properly verified. And that illustration highlights the importance of 'registering' the epirb so authorities know the vessel that is missing. In this instance this yacht may have contributed to the loss of the other vessel by failing to advise the 'gunboat' that it was not their epirb?

Setting off an epirb 'is not' an agreement that your willing to abandon your vessel at all. It may be the result and you 'may' be expected to, but it will depend on the nature of the emergency. But people should not be intimidated or frightened to use an epirb for fear of being forced to abandon their vessel if it's clearly not necessary.

Epirbs in Australia are still commonly sold without GPS. Gps epirbs are a little dearer. But you can still commonly buy non GPS epirbs. GPS enabled epirbs are still relatively new throughout Australia (a bit like dSC). Personally I wouldn't purchase a non GPS one now days.

And the most important thing, within the Australian SAR area, an epirb signal will not be ignored, cancelled, because it's not verified. All signals are acted on immediately.
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 16:33   #65
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,087
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

RC,
Thanks for the compliment...

While the article might seem US centric (it was published in a US magazine), it does portray the reality of the situation when away from US, UK, Aus, NZ, France SAR regions...

But, for clarification, the "first scenario" was NOT a "scenario", but rather a real incident....and that German crew made no radio call that anyone heard...
Quote:
the two crew on a German yacht sailing nonstop from Tahiti had activated their EPIRB in that 60-knot storm. A lack of communication led search-and-rescue authorities to mistake us for them, and as a result, no search operation was launched for more than eight hours. Only the boat’s EPIRB was recovered.
I think you misread the article RC...




Now as for whether you are "required" to abandon your vessel....to be honest, I've never read that in any IMO or GMDSS papers, but I have read this in lots of "sailing press", and it seems that this is one of those "rules" that everyone knows, but nobody knows where/why???
RC, if you have any official info in this regard, please pass it along....I know I'm not the only one that would like to know!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Setting off an epirb 'is not' an agreement that your willing to abandon your vessel at all. It may be the result and you 'may' be expected to, but it will depend on the nature of the emergency. But people should not be intimidated or frightened to use an epirb for fear of being forced to abandon their vessel if it's clearly not necessary.



As for EPIRB's without GPS built-in...
I'm sorry to hear that these are still commonly being sold in Aus...haven't seen any over here, like that in more than a decade!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Epirbs in Australia are still commonly sold without GPS. Gps epirbs are a little dearer. But you can still commonly buy non GPS epirbs. GPS enabled epirbs are still relatively new throughout Australia (a bit like dSC). Personally I wouldn't purchase a non GPS one now days.



Good to know that Aus is doing the same as US and UK...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
And the most important thing, within the Australian SAR area, an epirb signal will not be ignored, cancelled, because it's not verified. All signals are acted on immediately.



Gotta go...just wanted to clear-up the facts of that first part of Beth's article...

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 18:43   #66
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 62
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

There was an incident not long ago here in Portugal where a fishing boat activated it's eprib but apparently the device just was able to lock latitude and, according to some newspapers, this delayed SAR a bit as the origin was pointing to either a point near the Portuguese coast or close to a beach in Canada. I remember hearing in the news it took 3 hours for SAR from both countries to sort things out until they could pin point the vessel which was lost in the meanwhile and people died.

I have no clue if the eprib was properly registered or not.

They are mandatory here for coastal cruising but normal epribs (without GPS) are still avaliable here.

Just to reinforce the idea that any device can have problems depending on a particular situation. I wish they would guarantee a 100% survival rate but they don't.

Remember last year's azores SAR operation involving 4 sailboats and 14 people? A child died despite being recovered after only 7 hours, 500nm from azores.

Enviado do meu GT-I9195 através de Tapatalk
tchavei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 21:32   #67
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,900
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
RC,
Thanks for the compliment...

While the article might seem US centric (it was published in a US magazine), it does portray the reality of the situation when away from US, UK, Aus, NZ, France SAR regions...

But, for clarification, the "first scenario" was NOT a "scenario", but rather a real incident....and that German crew made no radio call that anyone heard...
I think you misread the article RC...

Now as for whether you are "required" to abandon your vessel....to be honest, I've never read that in any IMO or GMDSS papers, but I have read this in lots of "sailing press", and it seems that this is one of those "rules" that everyone knows, but nobody knows where/why???
RC, if you have any official info in this regard, please pass it along....I know I'm not the only one that would like to know!

As for EPIRB's without GPS built-in...
I'm sorry to hear that these are still commonly being sold in Aus...haven't seen any over here, like that in more than a decade!

Good to know that Aus is doing the same as US and UK.

John
Ok, thanks John, it wasn't a scenario, but an incident. I don't believe I've misread the article. By all means I'm happy to correct what I'm saying if I have. I'm suggesting in that incident, those who failed to indicate the epirb was not there's are irresponsible and negligent to have not informed the authorities the signal was not there's. That 'incident' is an OMG moment which leaves me wondering how anyone could be so selfish as to not make it perfectly clear it was not there's.

As for the 'requirement' to abandon their vessel, or that there is an agreement, I can't help you with documentation on this because I don't believe it exists. Anywhere!
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2018, 17:17   #68
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,087
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

With recent losses of some sailors and sailboats (near Azores and Philippines), and many planning offshore voyages in the next month...
I thought some could benefit from this thread.

Fair winds.

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2018, 17:36   #69
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PORTUGAL
Posts: 21,909
Images: 2
pirate Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchavei View Post
There was an incident not long ago here in Portugal where a fishing boat activated it's eprib but apparently the device just was able to lock latitude and, according to some newspapers, this delayed SAR a bit as the origin was pointing to either a point near the Portuguese coast or close to a beach in Canada. I remember hearing in the news it took 3 hours for SAR from both countries to sort things out until they could pin point the vessel which was lost in the meanwhile and people died.

I have no clue if the eprib was properly registered or not.

They are mandatory here for coastal cruising but normal epribs (without GPS) are still avaliable here.

Just to reinforce the idea that any device can have problems depending on a particular situation. I wish they would guarantee a 100% survival rate but they don't.

Remember last year's azores SAR operation involving 4 sailboats and 14 people? A child died despite being recovered after only 7 hours, 500nm from azores.

Enviado do meu GT-I9195 através de Tapatalk
Its my thinking that an EPIRB needs time to lock on to several sat's to lock in both Lat and Long.. a boat sinking as a result of a catastrophic incident may not allow an EPIRB that time before it sinks beneath the waters.. its not an instant thing as soon as the button is hit.
The incident near the Azores was a cat where the father jumped in after his daughter when she was swept overboard if memory serves.. the others stayed on board.. 7 hours is a long time in the water.. even by the Azores considering the storm conditions at the time.
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2018, 18:17   #70
RPZ
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 258
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Speculation: I don't think "registration" of an EPIRB, PLB or DSC device would affect an SAR effort. If a distress call is received with a latitude and longitude coordinate by any government agency an SAR operation will probably result, even if merchant shipping only. Western nation navies operate all over the globe and might have vessels in the area as well. All these devices when activated, are a de facto distress call, an SOS. A slap on the wrist or fine might result in cases of non-registration after the fact.
RPZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2018, 18:23   #71
RPZ
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 258
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Its my thinking that an EPIRB needs time to lock on to several sat's to lock in both Lat and Long.. a boat sinking as a result of a catastrophic incident may not allow an EPIRB that time before it sinks beneath the waters.. its not an instant thing as soon as the button is hit.
The incident near the Azores was a cat where the father jumped in after his daughter when she was swept overboard if memory serves.. the others stayed on board.. 7 hours is a long time in the water.. even by the Azores considering the storm conditions at the time.
To me anyone who has an immersion or button activated EPIRB "fixed" to their boat is not thinking straight. It should be part of their abandon ship gear always at hand, and in rough seas/impending peril securely attached to someone.

Tethering would have saved this guy's daughter. I read this stuff and just wonder where some people's brains are. I just don't get it.
RPZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2018, 18:36   #72
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,075
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Over 96% of the EPIRB activations in the US are false alarms.

http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/BMW%20200...2009%20BMW.pdf

As a result, US CG will spend a substantial amount of time (hours) attempting to verify the signal before launching a rescue. They do this by calling the contact information you provided in the database. That's why it's very important to register in the database and include contact numbers of people who are likely to answer their phone and know that you are at sea. (incredibly, the 1970's era Beacon database design still hasn't been updated to accept email addresses or SMS.)

Obviously, any confirming distress signal will speed things up - radio, VHF relay, etc.

This is why I carry an InReach as my first-use distress beacon. Their distress center can immediately confirm the situation (by replying to me) and then contact SAR with a detailed confirmed report. In almost all cases, there will be a faster response. I would only activate one of my EPIRBS if the InReach wasn't available or didn't get a quick reply.
CarlF is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2018, 19:04   #73
RPZ
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 258
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Over 96% of the EPIRB activations in the US are false alarms.

http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/BMW%20200...2009%20BMW.pdf

As a result, US CG will spend a substantial amount of time (hours) attempting to verify the signal before launching a rescue. They do this by calling the contact information you provided in the database. That's why it's very important to register in the database and include contact numbers of people who are likely to answer their phone and know that you are at sea. (incredibly, the 1970's era Beacon database design still hasn't been updated to accept email addresses or SMS.)

Obviously, any confirming distress signal will speed things up - radio, VHF relay, etc.

This is why I carry an InReach as my first-use distress beacon. Their distress center can immediately confirm the situation (by replying to me) and then contact SAR with a detailed confirmed report. In almost all cases, there will be a faster response. I would only activate one of my EPIRBS if the InReach wasn't available or didn't get a quick reply.
I'm sure they are, and I'm sure they do.

When you register an EPIRB, VHF radio equipped with DSC etc you are going to provide contact info. One phone number, two? Yours and a relative?

If they don't get in contact with anyone and the coordinates are in inshore waters (ie: not in port or on land) or offshore out of cell range, it can only mean two things - an accidental activation or a geniune emergency.

Accidental activations are probably the majority, but in the absence of making contact with anyone an SAR will likely result. Less likely in the third world.
RPZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2018, 19:22   #74
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,087
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

RPZ,
Hmm??
We are all entitled to "speculate", but why would you post your speculation here?? When the actual facts are provided here??

If you've taken a GMDSS course, read the GMDSS master plan, etc, (I've done both, as have many others here), and/or talk to some RCC operations chiefs (as I have) and speak to USCG officials (as I and Beth have done), and read the reports of EPIRB activations, etc., you will find the facts....and you will not need to speculate.
Or, you could just read this thread and learn.

1) To be clear, both in theory and actual real-world practice, SAR response IS dependent on many things....

And unfortunately in some areas of the world, not being able to "confirm" an actual rescue is needed (in addition to an EPIRB activation), SAR response is limited, delayed, or simply not done.
This is not "supposed" to be, but it is a fact of life....and you can confirm this yourself by either reading this thread (it seems doubtful that you have read it all) or doing the research yourself...


2) As for your speculation about SAR upon receiving the lat / long [from a EPIRB]??
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPZ View Post
Speculation: If a distress call is received with a latitude and longitude coordinate by any government agency an SAR operation will probably result, even if merchant shipping only. Western nation navies operate all over the globe and might have vessels in the area as well. All these devices when activated, are a de facto distress call, an SOS. A slap on the wrist or fine might result in cases of non-registration after the fact.
You have obviously not actually read this thread, as this is explained in detail, and in laypersons terms, and links provided for you (directly to COSPAS-SARSAT)....
PLEASE read this thread, and read the links, and then read some more official info if needed....

Finally, RPZ, if I could ask you the favor of not posting your speculation here, where others may be trying to learn the facts.
Thank you.


Fair winds.

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2018, 19:27   #75
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,817
Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Its my thinking that an EPIRB needs time to lock on to several sat's to lock in both Lat and Long.. a boat sinking as a result of a catastrophic incident may not allow an EPIRB that time before it sinks beneath the waters.. its not an instant thing as soon as the button is hit....
Well it certainly isn't instant, it takes about 50 to 60 seconds for the first "active" transmission to be sent but that's still pretty quick!

What happens is this.

Hit the switch and the EPIRB fires up and within milliseconds it starts its self test routine, it also transmits a 406 MHz pulse which is coded as "inactive" (or test only).

This first pulse is received by the SAR satellite system but is not acted on.

It also starts it's embedded GPS engine (if fitted) and with modern units, these can have sixty plus GPS receivers embedded in the chip. GPS cold start acquisition time is pretty quick and a GPS lock can be achieved in around 30 seconds (and often less).

About 50 to 60 seconds after switch on, the beacon transmits its second 406 pulse and this no longer coded as "inactive" i.e. it is now an "active" SAR transmission. This pulse will now contain an accurate GPS location (if the EPRIB is GPS equipped). This second pulse will (or should) activate a SAR alert but not necessarily a full blown SAR response (more below).

The beacon continues to transmit active pulses every ~60 seconds (the pulses are ~500 milliseconds in duration). The beacon also continuously transmits a low level analogue homing transmission o 121.5 MHz. These pulses will continue for at least 48 hours for an EPIRB or 24 hours for PLB.

Every pulse is received by the COPAS/SARSAT satellites but depending on the constellation and your location, they may not all be downloaded to the RCC of the EPRIB's country of registration immediately. However they will be and AFAIK, the maximum time could be 2 hours max but usually way way less.

So in essence, the EPRIB must be turned on for one minute before it activates a SAR alert.

In Australia (and I presume elsewhere), the RCC will (and needs to) geolocate the beacon by way of it transmissions and not by the GPS coordinates contained within the transmitted data. The GPS location is simply "icing on the cake". It is helpful but not essential to have before a launching a full blown SAR response.

One detail that manufacturers often don't advertise is the timing and duration of the embedded GPS data. There no requirements for a standard arrangement of the GPS data. Thus some manufacturers design their beacon to transmit the GPS data with every 406 pulse while others might only transmit the GPS data for the first hour or first 5 minutes or say every 20 mins etc. Some beacons are designed for the GPS engine to be turned off after say after an hour. There is no standard.

Cleary the best is for the GPS engine to remain active and updated data to be transmitted with every pulse or at least least every fifth pulse.

AFAIK, the only manufacturer that publishes it's GPS design features is KTI.
EPIRBs | kti
__________________

__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
epirb, rescue

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are There Any Ship Accidents That Rescue Teams Were Not Effective To Rescue People ? lora20035 Challenges 3 31-03-2012 10:20
For Sale: Mustang Inflatable PFD (automatic activation) MD3031 Vest christiang Classifieds Archive 3 24-01-2012 15:58
406 EPIRB Replacement upon Activation bruce in oz Health, Safety & Related Gear 10 02-11-2009 20:47
121.5 EPIRB activation after Feb 1, 2009? Wotname Health, Safety & Related Gear 27 23-06-2008 18:47



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:34.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.