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Old 28-10-2013, 17:00   #1
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When to Deploy an Epirb

The Epirb I have is designed to mount on the outside of my boat and self deploy as my boat sinks, as such it sends a clear message that my boat has sunk and there are people in the water that need help.
Some cruisers manually deploy their Epirbs by removing them from their case and dropping them in the water, much like activating a sprinkler system by holding a flame under a sprinkler head. Their reasons vary from loss of power, loss os steering, to loss of cocktail ice, and anything in between.
What are your parameters?
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Old 28-10-2013, 17:19   #2
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Re: When to deploy an Epirp

I could see a situation or two when you know your boat will go down but not necessarily down enough to deploy the EPIRB. Other scenario is when one wants to expedite the process of letting rescuers know of hopeless situation like sinking or fire while not able to communicate using other means.

I've heard USCG urging the sinking boat captain to deploy the EPIRB while he was still onboard and preparing to ditch.
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Old 28-10-2013, 17:55   #3
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Re: When to Deploy an Epirb

I keep our EPIRB in the boat near the companionway on a breakaway bracket. I don't think there are a lot of "common scenarios" when it comes to losing a boat.

Our liferaft, ditch bag, and EPIRB are all in the boat. I think I could have them all in the water in under a minute.
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Old 28-10-2013, 18:11   #4
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Re: When to Deploy an Epirb

Fire the epirb when I know that the boat is lost. i.e. when rescued they wont rescue the boat.
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Old 28-10-2013, 19:21   #5
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Re: When to Deploy an Epirb

Really depends...if you know you are in reach of a rescue helo...any time life or limb is in danger and other communications aren't working.

Or if in major trouble but still not sure and way out of helo range....setting off an EPIRB will often trigger a flyover or a ship divert to ascertain your situation...not necessarily a big deal but allows everyone to be on the same page.

If it turns out to be a long range rescue...use your head as to when you are formally declaring that you can do no more and someone headed your way would be in your best interest.
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Old 28-10-2013, 19:31   #6
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Re: When to Deploy an Epirb

I'm with MarkJ - I'm not deploying an epirb unless my boat is going down and I am going to need to be rescued. IF there's a chance of saving it, I'm staying on working to do that and just using the radio to try to get help as needed.
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Old 29-10-2013, 05:13   #7
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Re: When to Deploy an Epirb

Quote:
Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
I'm with MarkJ - I'm not deploying an epirb unless my boat is going down and I am going to need to be rescued. IF there's a chance of saving it, I'm staying on working to do that and just using the radio to try to get help as needed.
Sure...but that's just one of MANY emergency scenarios at sea that may make the use of an EPIRB a good idea.

As a former guy who used to respond to EPIRBs...all new coastal or offshore cruisers should take the time to visit a maritime aviation rescue service and discuss the care, use and deployment of an EPIRB.

Make sure you are speaking with one of the pilots or operations center watchstanders that is also an avid boater and has serious knowledge about both activities.

You will learn so much more than from someone who is only a boater or only a rescue guy....
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