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I just bought an EPIRB and made detailed emergency plans - shouldn(39)t you?-gctid810133

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    I just bought an EPIRB and made detailed emergency plans - shouldn(39)t you?-gctid810133

    A fellow BOC'er wrote started a different thread about his 4788 catching on fire (the fire originated in the engine room) while under way. He and his crew had about five minutes from the initial smell of smoke to jumping into the water. Couldn't put the dinghy into the water as the electrical connection to the davit was fried. They couldn't get to the cockpit because the salon was sitting over the roaring fire.

    That got me thinking about what we would have done, and it wasn't a pretty set of thoughts. Let's see, I have some expired flares under one of the salon settees, couldn't get to them. A flare gun in the storage area along the port salon wall. Couldn't get to that. My new electronic flare/signal device is hanging on the cockpit ladder that goes up to the flybridge. Could maybe get to that. The Admiral hasn't been shown how to use the DSC for a distress call, so if I were incapacitated there'd be some issues there. So I am changing all of that this week.

    I started by buying an EPIRB. West Marine has a new model from ARC on sale for $250, with a $50 mail-in rebate. https://www.westmarine.com/buy/acr-e...FYuifgodWqUO-g Ordered and received at the end of last week. I registered it with NOAA and got my confirmation back. I will have a stick-on decal in another week.

    For a ditch bag I picked up a waterproof plastic ammo case from Harbor Freight. The EPIRB, two personal emergency strobe lights, and flare gun with flares will go in there. On the side of the ammo case will be instructions (made on my label-maker) for emergency situations. I will write them up this week, but something like: How to send a MayDay call; how to report location (both Garmin chartplotter and iPad Navionics in case electric power is lost); how to activate the DSC; location of bright orange life vests; grab the handheld VHF; grab my cell phone in its waterproof case; wait on the bow until you have to jump; then, finally, jump in and wait.

    Talking with a fellow boater we reviewed the plan and agreed one more risk was being in bad waters (think Cattle Pass on the way to the San Juan Islands if you're in the PNW). If two or more of us jumped into six-foot or higher waves, would we be able to find each other and hold on to each other? Probably not. So I have added to my list getting carabiner clips and making lines with clips so we can hook up together and then jump into the water holding hands, but the lines will keep us connected if/when we lose our grip.

    I'm not worried about food and water because in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) the water temp is such that we'll have about 15 minutes of full alertness, another fifteen minutes of compromised mental/physical abilities thanks to hypothermia, and another half-hour of survivable coldness before we check out. We don't need energy bars and bottled water for that.

    Any additional thoughts from the boaters here? FWIW we're not interested in buying an inflatable life raft or getting survival suits as our current boating destinations are all within a ready reach of the USCG/ Canadian Coast Guard.

    #2
    I believe your thoughts and directions are great and its always best to have a plan.

    Since we have been boating we try and take reasonable prudent planning as part of our boating activity.

    Some of those which may interest you include:

    - All of our normal crew can operate all the boats devices, captain the boat and the dinghies.

    - Our daughter passed the USCG class(s) at 14 and could dock the main boat by then fairly well

    - Our ditch bag is a way of life , we carry it on and off the boat every time we go boating

    - The ditch bag incudes one communication device and at least one good knife in addition to the other contents

    - We always have 2 means of communication that are charged and waterproof

    - We have always had 6 or more fire extinguishers on board with the Piiothouse one at 10#'s or larger

    - For the past 12 years or so we towed a dinghy sizable enough to handle varied tasks including MOB and recue

    - Typically 3 full sets of flares if you include the towed dinghy

    - We always have easy access to 'good' lifejackets

    - Non swimmers are required to wear lifejackets when underway and on deck

    - All normal crew are First aid / CPR / AED and MAT certified

    - Always have had an extensive first aid kit on board and added an AED and EPIPEN about 6 years back

    - Added an EPIPEN and ask each visitor if they have any allergies prior to a departure

    - Engine room inspections are part of our departure and arrival process, we follow a written list that takes only minutes to complete

    FWIW - I would be concerned that your plan calls for tethering two person together as that can be problematic under stressful conditions.

    Great idea and hope this helps
    Northport NY

    Comment


      #3
      Emergency plans and placards - done

      First aid kit and flare kit - done

      Total of four fire extinguishers - done

      Immersion suits for 5 adults and one child size - done

      Life vest to use with immersion suits. Outfitted with light, whistle, reflectors. - done

      Lift raft with instructions - done

      Ditch bag - under construction

      Epirb and DSC registered - done

      Bottled water for take along with life raft - done

      Handheld waterproof, floating VHF - on the list to purchase.

      300 c.f. capacity automatic fire extinguisher - on list to purchase

      HF radio - debating this one as of present.

      All of this because of plans to operate as much as 25 to 75 miles offshore. Even though there is a USCG station with helicopter at home port, I want all on board to be rescued rather than recovered. If the helicopter is already busy elsewhere it could take two or more hours for the USCG to arrive.

      Good reminders Robster

      Greg
      Newport, Oregon
      South Beach Marina
      1986 3270 with twin 110 HP Hino diesels. Name of boat "Mr. Darcy"
      Past work history: Prototyping, tooling, and repair for Reinell,. General fiberglass boat repair starting in 1976.
      Also worked as heavy equipment mechanic, and machinery mechanic for over 30 years.

      Comment


        #4
        Nice job, Greg!

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          #5
          I keep a charged (out of service) cell phone in my ditch bag. It's in a ziploc bag so I can make an emergency call if we abandon ship and don't have a chance to grab our phones. It's free and will make emergency calls. They'll all dial 911 even without a carrier. I keep one in my glove box of my truck as well. Ya never know and they're free. They can be used to take pictures as well.
          Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

          iBoatNW

          1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

          Comment


            #6
            We added a waterproof inexpensive handheld vhf to our ditch bag along with the flares, EPRIB etc. Its a bright yellow floating bag that sits in the PH ready to grab
            Partner in a 1999 4788

            Seattle, WA

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              #7
              What a great topic. Thank you all for the suggestions and lists. I will get started to get things together before our next trip.

              Jerome
              Jerome Robbins
              Commodore, Fidalgo Yacht Club - 2019
              Anacortes, WA

              Previously owned:2001 Bayliner 4788 - twin 370 Cummins,
              1994 Bayliner Ciera 2855 V8-7.4L
              1994 Bayliner Classic 2252 V6-5.2L

              Comment


                #8
                "robster_in_edmonds" post=810133 wrote:
                I'm not worried about food and water because in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) the water temp is such that we'll have about 15 minutes of full alertness, another fifteen minutes of compromised mental/physical abilities thanks to hypothermia, and another half-hour of survivable coldness before we check out. We don't need energy bars and bottled water for that.
                The Coast Guard plans around a 2 hour response time - 30 minutes to prep, 90 minutes to reach and locate the distressed vessel/persons.

                https://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg534/SAR_Program_Info.asp

                If you are boating in an area where your expected survival time in the water is less than 2 hours, I strongly recommend survival suits and/or a life raft.
                1994 2556, 350 MAG MPI Horizon, Bravo 2

                Comment


                  #9
                  The EPIRB is such a cheap insurance policy! I have always had one, if you do have an accident, their is a 100% chance you will be quickly located as long as you get it activated.

                  A month or so ago, I was stopped by the coast guard for a safety inspection. When they saw the EPIRB they got real excited, I guess it's pretty rare where I live. We told them we were headed out into the gulf fishing, and the coasty says "if you have any problems, you activate that thing and we will have your coordinates within 1/2 meter. " He said just using Radio direction would put them within a mile or two.

                  He did ask me to move it out of the cockpit and put in on the flying bridge or the bow area to make it more accessible in a sinking. I think this would also be better for fire, so I will do this before leaving next week.

                  When going out (next week I am planning to go about 80 miles out) I also rent an Iridium satphone. They are about $80 for the week, another cheap insurance policy.

                  I fish in the Gulf of Mexico, and water is already in the mid 70s, so not as brutal as a lot of folks on here. I do throw my kids tow behind raft on top of the rear canvas just to have something to get out of the water in a ditch situation. (It's one of those big round things that holds 3 people)

                  Back in March I listened to the coast guard calling repeatedly trying to get a response (or another boater who saw them)from someone who called with an emergency but then just stopped transmitting. They only knew the bay they were in when calling. Wouldn't want to be that person!

                  Dean

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                    #10
                    I've had the ACR PLB for some time now and have found that the best location for it is strapped to my life jacket. It covers those cases where I could be solo like in the tender or on the boat alone. While underway I try to always slip on the life jacket when leaving the cabin even with the admiral aboard. If I go missing she should get a phone call, assuming cell signal available, from the SAR folks in short order.

                    Or, the PLB is small enough to fit in a pocket and it floats.
                    "Impasse". 2001 3988
                    Cummins 330's
                    Puget Sound

                    "You don't want to be the richest guy in the nursing home..."

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                      #11
                      One thing a lot of people overlook in there emergency kits are the batteries. Most leave the batteries in the unit, VHF, AM/FM radio, GPS etc. they may sit untouched for long periods. When you need them that batts are dead and they've corroded things up. We pull all the batteries out of devices that are not in use or not needed fast in an emergency. I also have extra batteries in my kit's.

                      We have a ditch bag on the boat and a hurricane kit at home in Hawaii. We go through each once a year and freshen things up.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        "dpeery" post=810706 wrote:
                        A month or so ago, I was stopped by the coast guard for a safety inspection. When they saw the EPIRB they got real excited, I guess it's pretty rare where I live. We told them we were headed out into the gulf fishing, and the coasty says "if you have any problems, you activate that thing and we will have your coordinates within 1/2 meter. " He said just using Radio direction would put them within a mile or two.
                        I forgot to mention that. OP got a PLB, not an EPIRB. While they function similarly, the EPIRB is designed to work completely passively once activated (and activates automatically if you get an auto deploy mount). The PLB has to be manually activated. In particular, it needs to be held above the water in the correct orientation with the antenna up to get a GPS fix. An EPIRB automatically floats in the correct orientation and configuration for a GPS fix.

                        http://www.smartsat.com.au/wp-conten...uct_Manual.pdf

                        Don't get me wrong. I have a PLB instead of an EPIRB too (for going hiking/camping as well as boating). But the water where I'm at is usually 60-70 F, so I'd have no problem holding it properly for a GPS fix for hours. OP on the other hand is in water so cold he's not expecting to survive in it more than 60 minutes. If he ends up in the water, he'll activate the PLB, the Coast Guard gets a GPS location, 45 minutes later they have a helo at that location looking for him. Except he's drifted, and he hasn't been able to hold the PLB properly for an updated GPS fix for the last 30 minutes. So the Coast Guard has to resort to trying to locate him via radio direction finding in a 2 mile radius when he's only got an estimated 15 minutes of survival time left.

                        You gotta make your emergency plans around the conditions you expect to encounter.
                        1994 2556, 350 MAG MPI Horizon, Bravo 2

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Good point. I'll bring an extra life jacket to lay the PLB on, plus the ammo case floats.

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