Whenever I see an account of someone "lost at sea" and then rescued after many days or weeks
, I have to wonder "WHY" sailors or boat owners let this unnecessary vanishing happen, when today a sailor can get a PLB for about $250 or an EPIRB
While some may criticize the EPIRB
use by sailors who "hit the Help Me button" for what some may think the wrong reasons, EPIRBs (and PLBs) do work
and they do save lives and they do locate vessels in distress
very quickly (and that frees up the SAR assets from wasted time searching).
I think stories like this one (and a very similar story some months ago about a man "lost at sea" for 12 days while fishing on a sailboat near Oahu
, Hawaii) are good as reminders that some very simple decisions and simple to operate things (EPIRB) can make a big difference in rescue
or survival stories.
As one Coast Guard officer said:
"An EPIRB takes the 'search' out of 'Search and Rescue.'"
In this case, having a $260 item (PLB) on board the boat would have meant locating him in minutes
or rescuing him in hours, rather than "missing for 66 days" and adrift "surviving" for 64 days.
I think the lesson for ANY boat (power or sail) is: "Don't go offshore
without an EPIRB or PLB."
While a boat may sink, as long as the crew has a working EPIRB (or PLB), there is a very good chance they will be located.