EPIRB activation experiences

I'm interested in hearing people's experiences who have activated their EPIRB in an emergency.

What was your situation, location, rescue time, and changes (if any) you have made to your emergency procedure/safety equipment setup.

For the record I would support compulsory wearing of lifejackets whilst vessel is underway for all boaties and passengers offshore.

Many thanks,


Swompa's picture

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Looking forward to following

Mon, 2018-10-08 12:11

Looking forward to following this one.

Percula's picture

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Can I please add...?

Mon, 2018-10-08 12:18

Does anyone have one of the float free epirbs? Thinking of getting one as well...

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Date Joined: 06/02/14

Funny

Mon, 2018-10-08 21:46

 Funny you mention thats, after the boat gone missing I looked at them at Whitworths, they are 3 times the price and only 6 year battery life not 10.

No idea why.

Posts: 3650

Date Joined: 01/02/10

Haven’t set one off before

Mon, 2018-10-08 14:46

Haven’t set one off before but responded to quite a few when I was a marine rescue on call skipper. Both genuine and hoax epirb activations. 

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Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

little johnny's picture

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Mate activated one

Mon, 2018-10-08 15:38

Lost all power to everything . Motor everything including radios. 1.5 hours later helicopter above, lowered them down into boat ,everything fully recorded. Lots of questions . 55 ks out. Tried rocket flares and smoke last ditch effort was epirb. Good ending

carnarvonite's picture

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Dump

Mon, 2018-10-08 16:30

About half way back from Monkey Mia to Carnarvon in the rescue boat after atraining weekend with Shark Bay sea rescue, when we got a call of an epirb going off near Carnarvon. So automatically cranked the revs up and raced towards home, AMSAR sent a plane up from Perth  with tracking gear and one swoop found that the signal was coming from the rubbish dump. Slowed down and cruised the last 10nm home then got the magic wand out and off to the dump we go, sure enough there was the epirb singing away along with a heap of old flares and other rubbish including some personal mail with the owners address on it. Local cops gave him a friendly reminder call on how to properly dispose of unwanted flares and how to disable an epirb so it won't cause a false alarm.

IncognitOh's picture

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Should all boaties be treated equally

Mon, 2018-10-08 17:18

when it comes to life jackets SK?

i mean is a 15 metre vessel doing 9-10 knots at the same risk, when underway, as a 5-6 metre boat doing 25-30 knots?

 

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Date Joined: 28/11/16

Good point, so have a max

Tue, 2018-10-09 05:34

Good point, so have a max vessel length, and distance from shore. Obviously there would be some exemptions.

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Date Joined: 17/06/10

Lie jackets and the wearing of

Mon, 2018-10-08 17:45

all those who come out with me the first thing that goes on even before the radio is the life jackets and they are the last thing to come off. Now that is my choice and I would not like to see it become another regulation, I mean what next we make it a law that all the surfing brigade must wear shark shields.
It's getting so the state is micro managing recreational pleasure activities, it is assumed that all skippers have got a skippers ticket and to get one you have to prove you are eligible for an exemption or sit the exams, and in the exams I'm pretty sure there would be questions about safety gear and how and when to wear/use it.

I acknowledge that the latest event of our coast looks like it has cost 4 people their lives and that is a tragedy however I think it is up to all skippers to make sure that they and all their passengers take prudent action to keep themselves safe, and I'am not saying the skipper has in any way been negligent in this latest event and who knows if the wearing of life jackets would have brought about a different outcome.

That's my take on making it a regulation that life jackets must be worn.

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Date Joined: 28/11/16

It's very easy to become

Tue, 2018-10-09 06:09

It's very easy to become complacent in regards to safety, probably even more so for experienced people (I'm unhappy to admit guilt).

I'm sure many of us have made decisions, then after the fact thought they shouldn't have. Laws can act as a safeguard against complacency.

Jackalchub's picture

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 I’m with you mate, let’s not

Fri, 2018-10-12 10:23

 I’m with you mate, let’s not turn it into a cash cow for the govt

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Date Joined: 01/02/10

Had a call one morning around

Mon, 2018-10-08 18:49

Had a call one morning around 3.30am from amsa coordination centre that there was an epirb activated offshore Hedland. Their range from

the first pass of the sattelite was vague enough that they only knew it was Hedland area. Next sattelite pass due in half an hour to narrow down the search area. Started calling crew members and headed down to shed to get the boat ready. 

Had a call after the next pass saying it was narrowed to a 50km area but possibly over land so hold off launching. 

Next call was half hour later saying it was def on water. Approx 3nm offshore from a northern creekmouth. Boat launched just as sun came up. Just enough tide to get the boat in. 

Next call was to say there was a dornier aircraft in Carnarvon that was going to be sent over for a fly by. Must of been already in the air as it came over us heading out about 15 mins later. 

It called on vhf 10 mins later to say yacht and single occupant located and rescue pack dropped. 

Approx 10am we got to the diamanté’s yacht and started the 40nm tow back to Hedland. 

That was the moment I realised how much better the gps Epirbs are. They sent coords with the first pass. No waiting for multiple passes. 

 

 

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Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Swompa's picture

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 Wow, technology has come a

Mon, 2018-10-08 19:12

 Wow, technology has come a long way.

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Date Joined: 01/02/10

Can still buy non gps epirbs.

Mon, 2018-10-08 19:18

Can still buy non gps epirbs. This was only 4 or so years ago.  

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Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Posts: 45

Date Joined: 28/11/16

Some really good outcomes

Tue, 2018-10-09 05:58

Some really good outcomes with the use of EPIRBS, no doubt have saved countless lives.

The lifejacket discussion should be a seperate topic.

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yes you are right

Tue, 2018-10-09 15:46

Sorry about that you are quite right the subject of life jackets and compulsory use should be a separate subject my mistake.

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It's all good mate,

Wed, 2018-10-10 04:58

It's all good mate, considering how contentious the subject is I shouldn't have mentioned it in my original post

carnarvonite's picture

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Epirb rescue

Tue, 2018-10-09 15:26

Was the radio co ordinator at Carnarvon sea rescue  on a rescue at midnight around the Lady Joyce wreck a few years back.

 

Yachty anchored in the Fascine heard a mayday call that had a boat sinking with 2 men and a boy on board located at the Lady Joyce wreck.

The water police got coordinates from the epirb signal but each time the satellite did a pass they were different by 3-4 nm so the boat crew were constantly back and forth in the dark. Another boat joined in the search and again same thing with the beacon location swinging all over the place. Tha Amsar plane arrived around 0800 and after an hour managed to spot them some 4nm away from where the boats were searching.

 

Finally they got them on board at 0930, the father and son were in a bad way but the other bloke was like he'd done 50 metres in a pool, fit as a fiddle. What we found out at the debriefing was that the epirb had been stuffed down his shirt and not let float at the end of its tether and because of this gave a muffled signal and its location was affected.

 

3 very lucky blokes and Gary H and Dukey did the hard yards saving them in nasty conditions

 

The 40ft boat is on the bottom not far from the Lady Joyce but I haven't heard of anyone pinging it or they are keeping it secret

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Free float

Thu, 2018-10-11 19:53

 Free float beacons activate in 1.5 to 4 m of water, will they work in a simple overturning without that depth of sinking I wonder?

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Date Joined: 26/03/15

PLB

Fri, 2018-10-12 08:38

I wear a PLB attached to my waist lifejacket in addition to a EPIRB on board. I think safety will be improved if EPIRBs can become small enough to wear on the person. Cant see how we can ever get away from EPIRBs going down with boats.

carnarvonite's picture

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Personal epirbs

Fri, 2018-10-12 08:47

You can get personal epirbs that can fit in your pocket

 

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Where?

Fri, 2018-10-12 11:23

Please send a link.

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whitworths

Fri, 2018-10-12 20:40

 whitworths has many kinds for sale

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Yes but I'm still waiting for

Sat, 2018-10-13 20:40

Yes but I'm still waiting for a EPIRB that will fit in your pocket.....

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PLB

Mon, 2018-10-15 06:18

 Search 'PLB whitworths'...I put a resqlink in my pocket when I remember.

sorry, can't attach a lot no for some reason.

DTrain's picture

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I also keep a PLB in my

Fri, 2018-10-12 09:06

I also keep a PLB in my pocket at all times. You never know what might happen. A boat could always capsize and sink suddenly without giving people enough time to get to the EPIRB. There's been a few stories where the boat has sunk with EPIRB still on board.

Jackfrost80's picture

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Same and when solo I also

Fri, 2018-10-12 21:59

Same and when solo I also have my handheld VHF clipped onto the back of my pants

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uncle's picture

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No

Sat, 2018-10-13 09:11

 Comment

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all aggressive fish love bigjohnsjigs

quest's picture

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 My understanding is that a

Thu, 2018-10-18 10:55

 My understanding is that a epirb gets registered to a vessel and a plb to a person. Both work basically the same but a plb by law needs only to send a signal for 24 hour minimum ( most do more) but an epirb must send a signal for nothing less than 48 hours and  that’s why a plb can’t replace the epirb and the reason why most plb’s are smaller than epirbs. I have an epirb in the boat but also one of those small Ocean Signal Resque Me plb’s in my life jacket. I’ve got auto pilot on my boat and if for what ever reason I was to fall into the drink with auto pilot engaged there would be no way to find me. By the time the boat runs out of fuel it could be well over a 100nm away and were would anyone start looking.

Make sure you log on and off with the local Vmr group and let them know if your plans change. Make sure all your safety gear is in date, working and you know how to use it. 

Just my 2cents. 

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Date Joined: 28/11/16

...."I’ve got auto pilot on

Thu, 2018-10-18 12:05

...."I’ve got auto pilot on my boat and if for what ever reason I was to fall into the drink with auto pilot engaged"..

Don't you attach kill switch?

Posts: 45

Date Joined: 28/11/16

...."I’ve got auto pilot on

Thu, 2018-10-18 12:05

...."I’ve got auto pilot on my boat and if for what ever reason I was to fall into the drink with auto pilot engaged"..

Don't you attach kill switch?