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Old 29-09-2009, 09:37   #16
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I had a similar experience with a friend and a SPOT.

After several days of regular updates it just didn't update. I waited 24hrs and called the coasties and gave them the last position. It turned out they had hit something and were busy trying to stay ahead of the inflow during some very nasty weather. They weren't sinking but were in trouble and were several hundred miles from the last updated position. The coasties had a plane on regular patrol in the area and found them within about 7hrs.

The coasties were, to a man, expert, polite and effective. I was passed from Houston to New Orleans to Tampa over the 24hrs I was dealing with them and never had to repeat any of the info I gave them. They also didn't, at my request, call his aging parents avoiding unnecessarily causing them any upset. They also called me back and informed me of the finding of my friend and put my mind at ease by telling me the EXACT situation on board as they new it from being on site. George called me several hours later when he arrived back in cell phone range.

The people at SPOT however were idiots. I called their number and it seemed to me the guy on the other end just didn't get the idea that the reason I called was that people using their product might be in danger. His attitude was "ho-hum, ya whatever". He sounded about 18 and none to bright. There is apparently no way to check if the Spot has stopped because it hasn't been updated or it has sunk.

The coasties didn't seem too impressed with SPOT and told me they really prefer if you use an EPIRB for emergencies and didn't count on the update on your SPOT to always do what it's supposed to. They apparently get a lot of false emergencies with these things because they don't get used properly.
That may be an operator/customer malfunction but it would seem to me they need to work on the system to be sure they are not overloading an already overloaded USCG.

It seems these things(SPOT) are supposed to be used to help keep the home bodies assured of your safety when they may actually cause the opposite...........m
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Old 29-09-2009, 09:46   #17
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Devil's advocate...

cantxsailor,

Do you your post a bit ironic then?

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Mike
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Old 29-09-2009, 09:47   #18
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Sounds like it's going to go the way of home alarms.... too many going off with no real emergency... Cry wolf syndrome... the cops no longer respond....
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Old 29-09-2009, 09:49   #19
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It seems these things(SPOT) are supposed to be used to help keep the home bodies assured of your safety when they may actually cause the opposite...........m

It would seem so. Sometimes the communication age gets to be too much. Why must you let folks know where you are nearly every minute of the day? For safety an epirb should do the trick. With SPOT it might get like the home alarm or car alarm system where everybody ignores them and some authorities charge for false alarms in home security systems.
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Old 29-09-2009, 11:56   #20
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Glad to hear it wasn't like the quicksands episode.
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Old 29-09-2009, 12:21   #21
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Is there a valid reason to sail into Hurricane country with two months left in the hurricane season that I'm unaware of?
I realize with the new age electronics and the cradle to the grave protection we've come to expect that nothing should happen.
But.....
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Old 29-09-2009, 12:26   #22
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Just guessing, but it does seem the tracking info stopped broadcasting about 24 hours after their departure time from Lake Worth. This is probably a case of people being too busy to remember to hit the "OK" button.

It's a design flaw of the SPOT that they really need to fix. A user should be able to broadcast tracking info indefinitely without having to push a button every day.
I'm going to have to disagree here. It's not a design flaw. If the crew is disabled, captured by pirates, or otherwise too busy tending to an emergency to send an "all is well", absence of receipt of an "all is well" is a message in and of itself. Can this cause false alarms? Sure, no doubt, as seen in this case. I'd rather have false alarms than have the device happily chirping an automated "OK" when there is a problem and for whatever reason someone forgot to or was unable to press the "not OK" button.

Good engineers always design conservatively and on the side of safety.
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Old 29-09-2009, 12:38   #23
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Maybe read about Queequeg II from earlier this year and revise your comment?

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would this have happened on a cat?



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Old 29-09-2009, 12:57   #24
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Maybe read about Queequeg II from earlier this year and revise your comment?
?Sorry - don't get it. Apologize if I have offended in some way, but...????

FWIW, I know Skip. Helped him get ready by running him around St. Augustine.

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Old 29-09-2009, 13:00   #25
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Maybe read about Queequeg II from earlier this year and revise your comment?
About the "Queequeg II" ➥ Father Missing Off Madagascar
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Old 29-09-2009, 13:07   #26
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Better one alarm too many than one alarm less./Harry
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Old 29-09-2009, 13:25   #27
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About the "Queequeg II" ➥ Father Missing Off Madagascar
Right, thanks Gord. I went to the post as requested. Harry's post notwithstanding I still don't get what Joli didn't get in my original post (there's a double negative for you).

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Old 29-09-2009, 13:51   #28
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I'm going to have to disagree here. It's not a design flaw. If the crew is disabled, captured by pirates, or otherwise too busy tending to an emergency to send an "all is well", absence of receipt of an "all is well" is a message in and of itself. Can this cause false alarms? Sure, no doubt, as seen in this case. I'd rather have false alarms than have the device happily chirping an automated "OK" when there is a problem and for whatever reason someone forgot to or was unable to press the "not OK" button.

Good engineers always design conservatively and on the side of safety.

The tracking data is not really an "OK." The "OK" button is separate, and can/should be pushed as often as possible, or at an agreed-upon schedule. Once in the morning and once in the evening might be ideal. I'd rather have people know where my boat is, and worry because I haven't hit "OK" in 36 hours, than just have my position disappear from the screen.

We have four levels of protection:
1) Tracking info
2) OK button
3) Help button (not an SOS but an e-mailed request for help to your list of friends/family
4) SOS

I just think tracking info should broadcast longer without input from the user.
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Old 29-09-2009, 15:00   #29
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Mike, you are being disingenuous about not knowing you are making backhanded insults. You post an inflammatory comment and add the popcorn avatar waiting for the fireworks.

People get in trouble in all kinds of boats and you choose to use a possible situation as an insult. Get it?

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Right, thanks Gord. I went to the post as requested. Harry's post notwithstanding I still don't get what Joli didn't get in my original post (there's a double negative for you).

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Mike
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Old 29-09-2009, 15:10   #30
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The coast guard doesn't do a search just because a friend calls in concerned, at least I have never heard of that.
My parents were a week over due crossing the gulf of mexico when I called the coast Guard. They plotted wind/waves and concluded they needed to be given another three or four days before a search could be considered. I was very sceptical because I have never heard of a 17 day gulf crossing!! Sure enough Tigger arrived in port on the 16 th day (engine trouble/no wind).
Glad Flying Pig is OK.
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