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Old 27-10-2013, 09:54   #1
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spot phone

I had heard that the spot tracker was more accurate than an Iperb but then heard that spot does not automatically send info to Coast guard etc. and this second step could be an issue at times. I loved using spot to let my family know where I was and was considering their new spot sat phone - any input before I purchase? the price is certainly better than most..
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Old 27-10-2013, 10:18   #2
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Re: spot phone

Depends where you want to use it. Check their coverage map. An Iridium phone is truly global. The Spot phone has huge gaps in coverage mid-ocean. But if you just want to cruise the US and Bahamas, it'll do fine.
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Old 27-10-2013, 10:59   #3
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Re: spot phone

heading from Georgetown to DR to Puerto Rico to BVI
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Old 27-10-2013, 11:10   #4
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Re: spot phone

I went with the inReach SE. You can text family/friends and it has an SOS button which contacts the authorities. Also it wifi's to a map on an iPad. Check it out>>> https://support.delorme.com/WebHelp/inreachse/
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Old 27-10-2013, 11:39   #5
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Re: spot phone

How much was the InReach SE. does it cover Turks, DR, Puerto Rico and BVI?
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Old 27-10-2013, 12:58   #6
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Re: spot phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthurs2 View Post
How much was the InReach SE. does it cover Turks, DR, Puerto Rico and BVI?
Inreach is Iridium based which give it global coverage.

http://www.panbo.com/archives/2013/0...een_do_it.html
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Old 27-10-2013, 14:12   #7
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Re: spot phone

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Originally Posted by Arthurs2 View Post
How much was the InReach SE. does it cover Turks, DR, Puerto Rico and BVI?
It's world wide. The unit cost right around US$300. The plans are monthly or seasonal. You can choose the one that suits you best. Plus, there is an initial activation fee. InReach
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Old 27-10-2013, 19:52   #8
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Re: spot phone

thanks so much - does the sos direct through them or direct to coastguard etc.?
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Old 27-10-2013, 22:05   #9
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Re: spot phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthurs2 View Post
thanks so much - does the sos direct through them or direct to coastguard etc.?
I believe it goes thru them due to it being world wide. The USCG is only USA bound unless they happen to be elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeLorme
The SOS function of the inReach SE is a valuable, life-saving service to DeLorme’s customers. Pressing SOS is like dialing 911 from a telephone. Emergency personnel will attempt to contact you and send assistance to your most recent location.................

When SOS is active, the inReach SE will begin tracking and sending your location. You will not be able to stop the inReach SE from tracking.
Who the emergency personnel are, I don't know! You would have to contact them and ask. I was curious myself. I have an account, so I'll send them a message and see....
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Old 28-10-2013, 04:27   #10
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Smile Re: spot phone

Thank you again - apparently the famous sailboat that went down not long ago did contact "spot SOS" but no-one is clear why emergency personnel did not try to locate them - Emergency personnel claim they were not contacted so I was just curious what actually transpires vs. a regular EPIRB which is direct.
Thanks for your input it is greatly appreciated - I think I will call both and scrutinize their processes. Arthur
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Old 28-10-2013, 04:45   #11
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Re: spot phone

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Originally Posted by Arthurs2 View Post
... apparently the famous sailboat that went down not long ago did contact "spot SOS" but no-one is clear why emergency personnel did not try to locate them - Emergency personnel claim they were not contacted ...

I hadn't heard about this. What was the name of the boat?
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Old 28-10-2013, 05:27   #12
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Re: spot phone

I will let you know that - I heard it from a reliable source so will contact them and have them refresh my memory and update you. Thanks for being so supportive - Arthur
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Old 28-10-2013, 07:17   #13
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Re: spot phone

Since the InReach does two-way messaging I would expect you to get some feedback that your distress message was received and was being handled. This would also allow you to confirm that there was an actual emergency and you didn't just accidentally pushed the wrong button. If I didn't get a confirmation message I would start sending distress messages to family and friends to ensure that the authorities was alerted to my situation.
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Old 28-10-2013, 08:32   #14
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Re: spot phone

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Originally Posted by Arthurs2 View Post
I loved using spot to let my family know where I was and was considering their new spot sat phone...
This is a fine use for a SPOT. And I expect their sat-phone to work about as well as any other. But neither a SPOT, nor a sat-phone, are a substitute for an EPIRB. They do not serve the same function.

Neither a SPOT, not any sat-phone, will automatically send a message to SAR resources. They are not intended for that. They can, of course, connect you to someone else, whom you then rely on to relay the message to the appropriate SAR resources.

Frankly, when Delorme says that pressing the SOS button is like dialing 911 that is a bold-faced lie. It is not. It is more like calling a trusted friend and asking him to call 911 on your behalf. With either Delorme or SPOT, you are sending a message to a private organization, which then passes the message along to the proper governmental organizations.

I have no doubt that these private organizations are quite competent at passing the message along, and that your rescue will begin very nearly as soon as--if not JUST as soon as--it would if you sent the distress call any other way. I am not disparaging these private organizations. Nonetheless, I think it important to understand that you are working with a middle-man in the process.

With an EPIRB, world wide SAR resources are directly monitoring the signals that come through, and there is no middle-man.

You pays your money and you makes your choice.
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Old 28-10-2013, 09:30   #15
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Re: spot phone NOT a substitute for an EPIRB!

Arthur,
Please understand that nothing is a replacement for an EPIRB (specifically a GPS-enabled EPIRB, aka a "GPIRB"....)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthurs2 View Post
Emergency personnel claim they were not contacted so I was just curious what actually transpires vs. a regular EPIRB which is direct.
Thanks for your input it is greatly appreciated - I think I will call both and scrutinize their processes.
a) BEFORE you buy a sat phone, tracker, etc. please understand that they are NOT EPIRB's and are NOT a substitute for an EPIRB....

(see details below and the links I'll add here for more details on EPIRB's!!!)


b) A handheld sat phone allows you to make phone calls, and/or low-speed data connections if so equipped/configured, when out in the open (NOT below decks, etc.)....
Adding a docking station, external antenna, etc. (which will cost you $500 - $750 more) will allow you to do this from below deck....
The "emergency personnel" you speak of at SPOT and/or InReach might be good (but probably like many customer service personnel...you get the personnel you pay for), but they are NOT like the professionals manning the Rescue Coordination Centers of the USCG (and UK, French, Austrailan, New Zealand, etc.), nor do they have access to all the data / personnel / assests that the USCG, etc. have!!!
PLEASE, should you choose to buy / equip your vessel with emergency signaling device, do NOT rely on a sat phone as a substitute for a properly registered EPIRB!!!



c) An EPIRB (or more specifically a GPS-enabled EPIRB / GPIRB) is a worldwide rescue beacon....
PLEASE read over these pages to more fully understand what they do and how they work!!!

Here is a quick overview with links....
EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds
SSCA Forum • View topic - EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

And, another overview, directly from the horses mouth (Cospas- Sarsat)....
Cospas-Sarsat System Overview

Detailed Cospas-Sarsat System Description
Concept of Operations


And, here are the links to Beth Leonard's excellent article on EPIRB activations....
Activating an EPIRB | Cruising World
Best-Case SAR Scenario | Cruising World




d) And, finally understand that you MUST register your EPIRB!!!
Although obvious to anyone that understands the system and how it works, many EPIRB owners either forget to do so, or some just ignore this requirement out of ignorance...

Without proper registration, even in the very best circumstances/scenarios, the search and rescue (SAR) operations will be seriously delayed!!! (and in some situations, particularly in 3rd world regions, there may not be any SAR operations at all, until/unless someone can "verify" that this is a "real" distress!!!)
Do you really want to be floating in the icy N. Atlantic for an extra 6 hours??? Or, treading water for days in the middle of some remote part of an ocean??? Just because you couldn't spend < 5 minutes registering your EPIRB!!

Also, unless/until you've established a voice contact with a rescuer, without a proper registration anyone looking for you / trying to assist you in your distress has no idea what type of vessel you're on, nor what color it is, nor its size, nor whether you have liferafts/lifeboats, nor what communications equipment you have, etc... NOT even the name of your boat....
All they know is that a beacon has gone off, somewhere!!!
Have you ever tried calling a "nameless boat in distress" on the radio, and not even knowing if he has a radio????

EPIRB registration is free, and you can do it on-line, so PLEASE do it!! and keep it up-to-date!!!
And, there is plenty of room on the forms to include many phone numbers of "shore-side emergency contact"....I currently have EIGHT (8) phone numbers and THREE (3) different people listed on my EPIRB registration (not including my own name and numbers), so the RCC should be able to find someone that can confirm where I was sailing!!

(Having just renewed mine a couple a few months ago, I found the name and phone numbers of an old girlfriend of mine still listed there as some of my secondary contact numbers....haven't spoken to her in > 2 years, and I wonder if she's just tell the USCG to "let him drown!!"
Okay, she wouldn't do that, but she's certainly NOT someone that would have any up-to-date information about me / my voyage, so I corrected/updated the names/numbers for my emergency contact, so now all is good!!)




Arthur, I do hope this helps...

Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie


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