We have been working through a refit
of our Taswell 49’ cutter
for several months. Finally got to the end and were making final departure plans. One the items we did at the end was replacing the life raft. The one that came with the boat
was a 1990’s vintage last serviced in 2000.
We bought a new Viking offshore
raft. That left us with an old raft to dispose of. But before disposal we felt it would be interesting to attempt deploying the old raft. Would it work
after sun baking for 19 years? It was a Switlock 8 person off shore model. Yes it did deploy! We were a little amazed. We went through the emergency
provisions to check how well stocked it was. It had all the goodies. So that was a good sign. The water
items were far past expiration. But all in all we could have survived with the contents.
The interesting and unexpected item was an old EPIRB
. Also last serviced in 2000. That would be three owners ago! After our survey
we grabbed the raft with contents and deposited them into the marina dumpster.
Then things became interesting. Two days later departed on our summer adventure to Alaska
. We had been motoring a couple of hours and my cell phone
rang. It was the command center for EPIRB distress
. My wife immediately ran below for our new EPIRB. Wondering how we had accidentally activated it??? Well the device number on ours did not match the alarming EPIRB. Hmmmmm. Then we remembered our disposal. Apparently it had been activated during disposal. What amazed us was that they had our new boat
name, my name and cell phone
number. We had not done anything with the old unit. We did not even know it existed!
So somehow that information must have been updated when we bought the boat
6 years ago. Sort of amazing in our eyes. Our lesson in this event was be sure to disconnect any EPIRB battery
prior to disposal.