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Old 09-05-2018, 20:00   #76
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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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]?? 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
You have all the facts? Responses are not universal, but among civilised western states there are some common threads and principles. These transcend one subject source of info as being some all and end all of "fact".

I don't need to speculate to know that an EPIRB, DSC or PLB that registers grid coordinates well offshore, in the Atlantic off the Azores, or anywhere else when activated will be regarded as a distress signal. This is universal.

So the USCG, or New Zealand Navy, attempt to contact "John", SV "I'm Registered", which shows a GPS coordinates 100 miles off the coast of the Azores.

Viewing his "contact info" they have his address in Spain, his phone number, and his relative - his 83 year old mom. So they wake her up at 3am, and she says "Well I don't know where he is RIGHT NOW, he moves around alot you know. Has a place in Spain, and a place in... Uh.. Florida I think". He comes to visit me twice a year.... Great boy!..."

So they still have this distress beacon pinging in the Atlantic. You think they are going to ingnore it??
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Old 09-05-2018, 20:12   #77
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Deleted. Double post
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Old 09-05-2018, 20:30   #78
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

I just want to point out, as a couple have, that as far as the Australia's SARs area is involved, Australia 'does' indeed launch SAR on every activation. Unlike the American situation (it seems), activations are not, ever, dispensed with simply because of missing information.

False alarms here are at 85%, and I think it's about %40 mischievous. They still have active action taken to go to the site of the alert. It's very costly, but Australia has no intent on changing that.
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Old 09-05-2018, 20:50   #79
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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I just want to point out, as a couple have, that as far as the Australia's SARs area is involved, Australia 'does' indeed launch SAR on every activation. Unlike the American situation (it seems), activations are not, ever, dispensed with simply because of missing information.

False alarms here are at 85%, and I think it's about %40 mischievous. They still have active action taken to go to the site of the alert. It's very costly, but Australia has no intent on changing that.
Australia is no doubt not the only country that acts accordingly.

And I would speculate [yes, John, speculate] that any naval vessel from any civilised country in the world, receiving a distress call of *any kind* on the high seas would avail themselves to investigate and assist if possible. It is a naval tradition.

I have to chuckle sometimes when someone claims to be the authority on what is and what is not, the world over - regardless of the subject matter.
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Old 09-05-2018, 21:16   #80
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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I just want to point out, as a couple have, that as far as the Australia's SARs area is involved, Australia 'does' indeed launch SAR on every activation. Unlike the American situation (it seems), activations are not, ever, dispensed with simply because of missing information.

False alarms here are at 85%, and I think it's about %40 mischievous. They still have active action taken to go to the site of the alert. It's very costly, but Australia has no intent on changing that.
Err... maybe but maybe not quite! The devil is in the detail and I guess, your definition of "launch SAR"

If you mean that an beacon alert that can't be confirmed to be negative, then yes, a SAR response with "boots on the ground will result" whether or not is confirmed as positive (in Australia).

However AMSA RCC will always initiate a confirmation process before committing a formal search. If that confirmation process results in a confirmed negative, then no SAR further action is taken.

Of course it depends on one's definitions.

For instance, an aircraft beacon is activated at an controlled airport, RCC will call Airservices and ask if they know of any crashed aircraft at that airport. They will also call the nominated contacts for the beacon owner/operator. Assuming the airport controllers reports no crash and the nominated beacon contacts don't answer and the location is somewhere in the parking area of the airport, most likely the airport authority will send their emergency response personnel or the local copper to "have a look" and track down the beacon. Is this a SAR response? Depends on your definition I guess.

Likewise, a beacon goes off in a trailer boat. AMSA RCC calls the nominated contacts, the owner doesn't answer, the secondary contact (owner's wife) says he is probably at the pub, he does that after every fishing trip, the beacon location is about five miles from the nearest waterway. So RCC calls the local copper who is pretty busy but knows the car and trailer are not at the launching ramp. He says he will track down the owner later and report back. Meanwhile, the guy comes home and his wife tells him to turn "the bludi beacon" off. He does and goes to bed without calling AMSA etc. The copper turns up at midnight and isn't happy!

Is this a confirmed negative or an unconfirmed positive? Is this a SAR response?

Once again depends on one's definition!
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Old 09-05-2018, 21:53   #81
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

I'm not going to get involved with back and forward scenarios. If the signal is on land and not up in the mountains (bush walkers), then of course they are not going to call out a full scale SAR with helicopters and all the rest. They do how ever, immediately act on the signal and for those on the water, they immediately send out a search, 'on the water' to the site of the signal, whilst they follow up on enquiries. I was once one of these cops called to launch to go and check out a signal on the water. Before I quite got to the location I was informed the epirb had been sold on and no longer with the vessel it was registered too. We located it in a tinny with a couple of guys fishing. In 2015, a lot of police, fire and a helicopter were used to narrow down an epirb that was found at a tip. They knew it was inland, but they still began an expensive search.

If the signal is in the outback (bushwalkers or 4wd's), or on the water, a SAR is always put into action immediately.

My main point is in relation to what appears the American situation and that is that epirb signals are never discounted in the Australian SAR area.
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Old 10-05-2018, 01:37   #82
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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..............

My main point is in relation to what appears the American situation and that is that epirb signals are never discounted in the Australian SAR area.
Well while I can't comment on the USA situation (because I don't have any facts about it), I do agree with your point that the Aussies take every EPRIB activation seriously unless confirmed otherwise.
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:47   #83
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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Australia is no doubt not the only country that acts accordingly.

And I would speculate [yes, John, speculate] that any naval vessel from any civilised country in the world, receiving a distress call of *any kind* on the high seas would avail themselves to investigate and assist if possible. It is a naval tradition.

I have to chuckle sometimes when someone claims to be the authority on what is and what is not, the world over - regardless of the subject matter.
RPZ,

You should read this thread as John suggested. An EPIRB does not send a distress message to other ships. It sends it to a satellite and then is forwarded onward to a response center. If the response center deems it necessary they can ask a nearby naval vessel to divert and render assistance. But the naval vessel isn't going to take that action on its own initiative.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:55   #84
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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RPZ,

You should read this thread as John suggested. An EPIRB does not send a distress message to other ships. It sends it to a satellite and then is forwarded onward to a response center. If the response center deems it necessary they can ask a nearby naval vessel to divert and render assistance. But the naval vessel isn't going to take that action on its own initiative.
I'm aware of that. However, once a vessel is aware of another in distress there is, in US. law an obligation to render assistance.

In the U. S., Federal law dictates that any ship under U.S. jurisdiction - that means any U.S. flagged vessel - is obligated to assist a vessel in distress unless it is unsafe or otherwise unreasonable to do so.

Now, we can dance around data collection systems, methods of distress calls, and semantics concerning "just what IS a vessel in distress?" but that is U.S. Federal law. Canada has a similar law.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:46   #85
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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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.
Amen. registration at least gives them a hint of what they are searching for and a contact if I recall.
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Old 10-05-2018, 13:19   #86
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

I can tell you step 1 in the US is the phone call that you put on the initial registration.
I know this cause I have had a couple of calls on aircraft that we installed an ELT which is the same as an EPIRB essentially. They were set off by shops doing avionics installs and they didnít know it and my Company has used my number on the registration.
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Old 18-05-2018, 11:32   #87
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

NOAA has some notes up on EPIRBs and proper use of them.
NOAA - Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking - Emergency Beacons and similar.

They are very frank about registration and accidental transmission, saying that if you have triggered a REGISTERED one by accident, you are going to get a FRIENDLY phone call. They expect false alarms. But if you trigger an unregistered one...they will "not be so friendly". Reading between the lines, I would guess that is because an unregistered beacon must always be presumed to be true distress--since there's no way to eliminate that question except by an immediate waste of assets in response.

Much of the US is urban and developed. If something falls out of the sky or otherwise goes "Boom" there are often hundreds of 911 calls. In any of those huge areas, an EPIRB transmission without the corresponding hundreds of calls, might just be seen with a little less urgency. Our "outbacks" are just a wee bit smaller than the ones in Oz.
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Old 18-05-2018, 13:09   #88
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

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NOAA has some notes up on EPIRBs and proper use of them.
NOAA - Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking - Emergency Beacons and similar.

They are very frank about registration and accidental transmission, saying that if you have triggered a REGISTERED one by accident, you are going to get a FRIENDLY phone call. They expect false alarms. But if you trigger an unregistered one...they will "not be so friendly". Reading between the lines, I would guess that is because an unregistered beacon must always be presumed to be true distress--since there's no way to eliminate that question except by an immediate waste of assets in response.

Much of the US is urban and developed. If something falls out of the sky or otherwise goes "Boom" there are often hundreds of 911 calls. In any of those huge areas, an EPIRB transmission without the corresponding hundreds of calls, might just be seen with a little less urgency. Our "outbacks" are just a wee bit smaller than the ones in Oz.
I'm sure I have one someplace? You can register one as deactivated. If it goes off by mistake no big deal, it will be ignored.
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Old 18-05-2018, 13:32   #89
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

I'm counting on my epirbs in the worst case scenario. Why not make it as easy as possible. Before each passage I go online and document the where to where and eta, I do this every passage.
I also have a epirb in the life raft, one in the grab bag and my inreach, I also carry a little solar panel battery (in grab bag) that will keep that inreach screaming indefinitely.
I want the odds on my side and using my technology the best I can helps in this area, it certainly can't be harmful having updated contacts and passage info.
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Old 19-05-2018, 13:15   #90
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Re: EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

1) First off, thanks to hellosailor, transmiterdan, wotname, etc.!! You all are great!
And, kudos to you, Dale...cool idea!


2) Secondly, sorry I haven't been around....had a lot of family matters that came up...


3) Third, my apologies to RPZ for the misunderstanding....
In regards to EPIRBS I was referring to the facts from COSPAS-SARSAT...
In regards to actual SAR operations / rescue, I was referring to facts from USCG, IMO/GMDSS, etc., and from actual, real-world results / experiences (written about by Beth and Evans, and others)...
I was NOT referring to my words here as the facts...
Again, sorry for the misunderstanding...



4) Now, I would be remiss though, if I didn't specifically encourage you to actually read about the GMDSS, about COSPAS-SARSAT, about EPIRB's, about SOLAS, etc. all directly from their official sources and from those presenting actual real-world facts (not just what someone at a boat show said, nor what is written in some regulation, nor what "everyone knows"), because unfortunately there are many myths out there parading around as facts, and these can really effect people in a bad way... (translation: internet myths can cause loss of life)

The 2 main reasons I'm continuing to recommend you actually read all of this info are:
--- so everyone else who stops by this thread isn't lead down a path of misinformation.
--- like a majority of sailors, you seem to be unaware of exactly how the COSPAS-SARSAT system works, unaware of how the overall GMDSS works, etc., including how registration works, why it is important, etc., and especially how any SAR authority / RCC / naval or merchant vessel actually would attempt any search and rescue....
To be clear, what happens in US coastal waters, by USCG, etc. (which is what ~ 90% of US-based sailors know about), is not what is done on the high seas and in remote areas of the world (where time and distance are significant factors in both determining actual Distress and in coordinating any SAR operations), and even worse are the actual practices in areas of the world where SAR operations are the responsibility of mostly well-meaning but under-equipped and poorly staffed 3rd World nations...


5) And, again....
My reason for bumping this old thread up was because of recent discussions of vessels / lives lost at sea...
Such as this thread here:
5 days in the liferaft.
Some of you here may find it enlightening.



Again, sorry for the misunderstanding and thanks to all those who helped RPZ sort out some of his myths.

Fair winds.

John
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