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Old 06-03-2018, 05:14   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: New Hampshire
Boat: Gulfstar 50 ketch
Posts: 227
Global Fix v4 Well that was impressive but unfortunate

EPIRB

Well that was impressive…and unfortunate.

As I am preparing Calypso for her upcoming ocean voyage, it is time to check the items we have that don’t get used sailing from island to island. One is our satellite rescue beacon, an EPIRB. It sits under the nav station in a passive plastic bracket. As we were motoring along 5 miles or so after leaving Martinique, I pulled it out to press the Test button to insure it is connecting with satellites. Before I could do that the strobes start flashing is a way I had not seen. I pressed the Test button, hoping it would run its cycle and stop. It indicated a normal connection but still flashing. After about 30 seconds I put it back in the bracket and it stopped flashing. Whew.

Sixty seconds later, the VHF radio alarms at full volume. Even though I had never heard this feature before, it was the unmistakable “All Stations DSC Alert.” A French woman who is the voice of Martinique coast guard comes on and starts rattling off Latitude and Longitude coordinates, in French of course. Ruh, roh, a sinking feeling comes over me. Could that be us? Now what? 30 seconds after that, she is calling “Calypso, Calypso.” I reply, “This is Calypso.” We had a nice chat, in English, probably overheard by every boat within 30 miles. She verified all the EPIRB information necessary to call off the international air and sea rescue. Yikes. I poked my head out the companionway, half expecting a helicopter to be bearing down on us.

So the system works perfectly, that’s the good news, which mariners always wonder about. False alarm, not so good news. Now I don't dare come near the thing without a tin foil enclosure. Anyone have any idea what is going on here? Yes it is designed to alert when in water. My hands were not wet. Perhaps a slight residue of salt from normal boat line handling, etc. I purchased this two years ago. It has never been on deck. I have not touched it in 16 months. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:16   #2
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Boat: Gulfstar 50 ketch
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Re: Global Fix v4 Well that was impressive but unfortunate

Also I searched the ACR website for Support. The only link was to rescue testimonials. So I gave them one. I'll let you know if they reply.
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:52   #3
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Re: Global Fix v4 Well that was impressive but unfortunate

Tech support very responsive. Replacing with new unit. Current one will be destroyed.
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