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Old 15-04-2013, 12:44   #76
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
For two-way messaging capability, look at the Iridium-based beacons (global), or the SPOT-like devices (restricted area). We have already discussed why these are not true emergency beacons (although they can be used for this).
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Originally Posted by Steve Olson View Post

I have a Spot Communicator and used it while crewing a delivery up the coast of Mexico. Even though I shut the unit off after every use, I noticed that regular batteries don't last long in this device. I think the Spot device is better than nothing, but I would feel much better having a PLB in an emergency. Just my $0.02.
As far as communications, I'm surprised the the Inreach system hasn't been mentioned in this debate. I plan to keep one of these aboard as well as an EPIRB.

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Originally Posted by denverd0n
This is what I don't get. You spend thousands buying and outfitting a boat to travel around the world, and then you're a crunger for a couple of hundred for an EPIRB? What the heck!

I can understand those who make the philosophical argument that "I should take care of myself, and I'm not going to carry an EPIRB because, if I can't rescue myself then I shouldn't expect someone else to do it." I think that's a bit of a crazy argument, personally, but at least I understand it.

For someone who has the money to buy a boat, outfit it, and sail off around the world, and who has decided that they want to carry electronic means to summon help, arguing over a couple of hundred here or there is just ridiculous. I don't understand that at all. Buy an EPIRB for the boat. Buy a PLB for yourself. Buy a SPOT, if you want, to keep friends aware of where you are at. Buy all these things and you probably won't spend half of what it cost to outfit the galley, provision for the first month or so, and fill up the gas tank.

Seriously. I just don't get it.
It's called supply and demand.
In order to keep prices down on products the general public has to keep it under control by diversity. IAW's what else is out there that will do the job. Which keeps the Mfgr's/Vendors from running away with their pricing. If there's only one choice then they can set whatever price that the public can bare.
With known competition, they have to regulate their prices to maintain sales but yet still make a profit.

Gasoline on this side of the street is a few cents higher so you drive to the other side to fill up. It's human nature to take the better deal unless there's other reasons to take the other price, like quality. And for some that doesn't matter either.
Even the wealthy pinch pennies! As a matter of fact they're experts, for the most part at negotiating or squabbling over a few minor details.


Also an FYI.....

Quote:
ResQMate G
The ResQMate™ G is a Class 3 (Manual Activation Only) EPIRB with an internal GPS quickly and accurately relays your position to a worldwide network of Search and Rescue satellites, reducing search time and increasing your chances of survival. Approved for sale only in Australia and New Zealand (Pending AMSA and Cospas-Sarsat Approval).
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Old 15-04-2013, 12:59   #77
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

[QUOTE]And that the EPIRB is registered to your boat, and more likely has more power for transmission than the smaller PLB. If it gets solas approval as an EPIRB, but it wont, as it won't float upright, and in real life has less battery life than a full-fledged EPIRB, and most likely less transmission power, and are not automatic. [/QUOTE

PLBs and EPIRBS both transmit at the same levels,

very few EPRIBS leisure yachts are SOLAS approved.

a modern PLB will act in virtually 99% similar to an EPIRB and has the advantage of being cheaper , smaller and more likely to me on you when the boat sinks under you.

There is is reality very little differnt from a typical lesiure EPIRB, now a Cat 1 float free EPRIB is a slightly different animal.

Remember GMDSS requires TWO independent means to contact the shore rescue station , an EPIRB is only one.

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Old 15-04-2013, 14:04   #78
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

"Remember GMDSS requires TWO independent means to contact the shore rescue station , an EPIRB is only one. "

who are gmdss.....do i need to care or hold concern????
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Old 15-04-2013, 14:11   #79
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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post

i find it quite hilarious that someone would diss me for using spot tracker when they cannot leave the desk.....
Can't be me....

I spend plenty of time away from the desk. Even catch hell for being in the field too much...

Log a hundred miles or more every month under sail.....

Never disrespected anyone....
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Old 15-04-2013, 14:40   #80
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
An activated PLB is certainly a MAYDAY. Rescue personnel consider it to be, and so should you. You activate a PLB for exactly the same reason you activate an EPIRB: You are in serious danger and require rescue.

Also, the EPIRB and PLB transmit exactly the same signal, the significant difference being the shorter battery life of the PLB. If your boat is sinking somewhere between the Marquesas and Panama and all you have is a PLB, go ahead and trigger it. Even after the battery quits the SAR team will have tracked your drift, and may still be able to vector aid to you. Carry flares, smoke, and a VHF in your liferaft.

The PLB and EPIRB are different in some ways, but either one is good to have in an emergency.
I'm sorry, I think I may have been unclear. I include under the term PLB not just those with the same functionality as the EPIRBs, but those small "locator beacons" such as AIS SARTs. To me, they are all beacons; the difference being that the "life tag" type allow you to use an antenna from the boat to locate and retrieve the MOB. I suppose I should not consider them a subset of PLBs (even though they are personally worn beacons that broadcast a location...just not to the boat unless it has a particular receiver) and more an electronic tether of sorts.

Sorry if I caused confusion via imprecision.
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Old 15-04-2013, 22:54   #81
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To answer your question, no.
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Old 16-04-2013, 04:06   #82
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

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who are gmdss.....do i need to care or hold concern????
Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. Unfortunately in the US, because there is no formal training in VHF , its procedures and practices get little attention

It covers the worldwide organisation of rescue services

Equipment for designated sea areas

Carriage requirements, recommended and mandatory

Rescue co-ordination practice, on-scene procedures

etc etc

It replaced the SOLAS convention

Its mandatory for ships over 300 tons and certain classes of vessels under that, and recommended for all others

For example, most people think that today , a MAYDAY is broadcast to the nearest ships or boats. under GMDSS, the goal is to reach a shore based rescue centre ( which is why EPIRBS do that). As a second backup it is reccomended you have a another independant way of reaching land, for sea area A1, thats a DSC equipped VHF, A2 DSC equipped MF, A4 DSC HF, INmarsat A, B or C may also be used in seas area A2, A3 though not polar.

IN Europe for example the VHF Cert has about 30% of the course covering the operation of teh radio, and about 70% covering DSC, GMDSS, SARTS, EPIRBS and rescue procedures


This is why I feel US boaters miss out by not having a training system around VHF and rescue procedures. Its a very useful day course.
Dave
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Old 16-04-2013, 06:43   #83
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

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IN Europe for example the VHF Cert has about 30% of the course covering the operation of teh radio, and about 70% covering DSC, GMDSS, SARTS, EPIRBS and rescue procedures

This is why I feel US boaters miss out by not having a training system around VHF and rescue procedures. Its a very useful day course.
I completed the Canadian VHF operator's certificate course (Restricted Operator's Certificate - Maritime) about 6 years ago. As I recall, we spent at least 1/2 the time covering various aspects of the GMDSS. We spent a lot of time on the DSC, but also looked at the whole Cospas-Sarsat system. It was time well spent.
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Old 16-04-2013, 07:04   #84
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

I've been looking at system data for EPIRB usage. What immediately comes out is the incredibly high level of false alerts - 96% for EPIRBs in a 2010 USCG presentation. This numbers is pretty constant going back a decade. The same high false alert numbers can be seen via other systems and tools.

What also comes out is the vital importance of maintaining your EPIRB data. Given the high levels of false alerts, the authorities first try to determine if the alert is real -- the vast majority aren't. This underscore's Dave's comment about having a second independent means to contact the shore rescue station.

It's interesting to see that maritime rescues account for about 50% of all COSPAS-SARSAT SAR events, and about 3/4 of all people rescued (more people per incident, as you'd expect with yacht rescue).

NOAA has a nice presentation of rescue data here.
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Old 16-04-2013, 07:15   #85
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

I passed the full GMDSS exams in 2002 (is called Marcom-A in Holland). Count on a week back to school for that and every minute of it was very well spent

US cruisers should take these courses voluntarily, because the rest of the world uses this and that is where most cruisers end up sailing. Not knowing these procedures causes trouble and this shows on VHF channels often... too often, even when lives are at stake.
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Old 16-04-2013, 07:31   #86
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

Another perspective on the false alerts - and I have no stats - but I do know that many false alerts are resolved in the first 5 to 10 minutes of activation.

I probably cause 2 or 3 false alerts a year myself when maintaining / repairing aviation ELTs but a fast phone call to the national RCC sorts the problem

Even had a couple of occasions where the local SAR aircraft had their own on-board ELT self activate in flight (due to wiring / design defect). At least they knew they didn't need rescuing
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Old 16-04-2013, 07:47   #87
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

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Another perspective on the false alerts - and I have no stats - but I do know that many false alerts are resolved in the first 5 to 10 minutes of activation.
USCG data says 80% of the false alerts are resolved within a hour (45% within the first 10 minutes). This leaves 20% that extend beyond the hour. It seems that many (most) get resolved by the signal getting switched off quickly -- likely by the user who realizes they've just issued a false MAYDAY.

According to the USCG, 10% of false alerts are due to testing (without following proper testing procedures), and 69% are due to some sort of bracket failure.
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:37   #88
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Re: Have Epirb's been superseded by the Personal Emergency response beacons?

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I completed the Canadian VHF operator's certificate course (Restricted Operator's Certificate - Maritime) about 6 years ago. As I recall, we spent at least 1/2 the time covering various aspects of the GMDSS. We spent a lot of time on the DSC, but also looked at the whole Cospas-Sarsat system. It was time well spent.
Same here. It's a great course to take if only to understand what happens when you mash that red button.
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