The important function of the HX870 is DSC
. If you're stuck in a life raft and see a passing ship, this is better than flares for getting their attention. A DSC distress
signal will set off alarms on the bridge of the ship, and you can then talk to them. The HX870 will do this; other SH radios will not.
You would probably never need it if you have an EPIRB
, but distress
signalling is something where you want to have backups to backups to backups if possible.
For whatever it's worth, this is what I carry:
PLBs (lanyarded in life vests)
Rocket flares (both inside the rafts and also in the grab bag)
beacons (in life vests)
DSC handheld VHF
with a good supply of batteries vacuum packed.
Likely overkill, but when you need this stuff, you REALLY need it.
Don't keep the radio
in the grab bag; keep it in its charging
base in a grab-able location, and put it on your grab list. If you ever need it, you want the normal battery to be fully charged. The radio
only works on reduced power with the alkaline batteries. For the same reason, the solar charger
is also a good idea, but obviously this will not work at night. You will need a spare charging
base for this to work.
Handheld DSC radio is useful for purposes other than distress signalling. Good thing to have in the dinghy
. Read the various threads on it in here.