How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

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How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby mapunter » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:53 pm

Just out of interest,
How many people while seakayaking carry a EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacon) or PLB (Personal Location Beacon)

If you look at the new McMurdo Fast Find 200
http://www.mcmurdo.co.uk/products/produ ... roduct=100
E bay you can find it at £ 190.00, but then I would buy it from a recommend retailer !! is safety worth that amount !!

This unit is about the size of a large Mobile phone

Thoughts and comments please ?
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby Ligan » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:16 pm

I have carried a GME one with a intergal gps for the last few years, Makes little diference weight wise, and seams quite robust.

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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby John N » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:32 am

My original query on VHF/DSC handhelds resulted in me eventually asking my MP to chase up OFCOM on my behalf. I've just had a reply (that'll I'll add to the thread when I get it in a form I can put on here) from Lynette Huntley (Director of Public Affairs at OFCOM) and as an alternative to a VHF/DSC she suggests using a PLB in conjunction with a standard handheld VHF.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby rockhopper » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:05 pm

I have a McMurdo Fastfind that I take with me usually if I go out on my own (gives my girlfriend a bit more peace of mind) or as a group in more 'testing' conditions. Definately the 'nulear' option (if all else fails, hit the button).

Rog.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby nickcrowhurst » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:05 pm

I use the McMurdo FastFind Plus PLB, which incorporates a GPS, and sends out the lat and long of one's location with the distress signal. I believe it's similar to the FastFind 210, as described on the McMurdo website. I see it's 225 pounds on ebay. If I actuate the PLB I want the rescue services to know as fast as possible where I am. We do go to some remote places. For me, the extra facility was worth the extra money.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby Mark R » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:24 pm

I just bought one for £220 from http://www.waterware.co.uk/product_info ... cts_id=457

I sincerely hope that I've wasted my money.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby chilealan » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:11 pm

I have an EPIRB. I do hope I wasted the money!!!!!!!! and I never have to use it.

Being serious it was bought beacuse there are areas even in Northwales where a VHF signal would not get throught. For example if you are close in on the Great Orme.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby Harvey.Anderson » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:35 pm

I also carry a McMurdo Fast Find.

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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby app » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:34 am

I carry a "Spot Tracker" http://www.findmespot.eu/en/

at around £150 to buy unit, then with an additional annual subscription charge from about £80 pa. it will work out more expensive than the cheaper Epirbs/Plbs

But some good added functions, send pre written "OK" messages, send pre written "Help" messages (by email and / or sms )

Or a full blown "Distress" signal

All via satellite comms.

With the additional live "Tracking" option I use on longer trips and "open crossings" it gives peace of mind to partners and children left behind, you can have your progress followed live on Google maps, the link can be shared globally or password protected.

you can include details of medical conditions, allergies etc, it can be modified via your on line account, I use the space to include details of people paddling with me,

Been using it for 8 months or so and it performs as stated. Only during the tracking has it missed sending a position report but this could be down to me , letting it slip under bouyancy aid

I will be renewing my subscription

As an afterthought, it can also be used "on Land" ie walking climbing etc
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby nickcrowhurst » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:16 pm

app wrote:I carry a "Spot Tracker" http://www.findmespot.eu/en/
As an afterthought, it can also be used "on Land" ie walking climbing etc


Some time back I signed a petition to Parliament asking that such use be made legal in the U.K. Here's a link on the subject:

http://www.mcmurdo.co.uk/products/produ ... product=86

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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby Mark R » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:31 am

Mark R wrote:I just bought one for £220 from http://www.waterware.co.uk/product_info ... cts_id=457

I sincerely hope that I've wasted my money.


Aha, it has arrived. I suppose that on this occasion - just this once - I really ought to read the manual, rather than just pressing random buttons to see what happens.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby haydnwelch » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:28 pm

I just carry a basic epirb. But the spot tracker idea seems fab. What scale can the google map cope with? or is the blob on the computer going to look 5 miles wide? It seems that during my swim around the uk, I could simply alert the coast guard when I start each days swim and let them follow the spot, and just radio in every hour to say Im still ok but without having to check my gps to tell them exactly where.

Does anyone have the Breitling Emergency watch?
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby GlenR » Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:15 pm

Epirbs work using LEOSAT(Low Earth Orbit) Or GEOSAT sattelites orditting the earth.
A normal EPIRB without GPS, can take up to 45 minutes to aquire a fix using LEOSAT, this will give a fix with a radius of approximately 10nm, it can than take up to 45 mins for a sattelite to pass over again, which may or may not give a more accurate fix!
Whereas a EPIRB with a GPS system inbuilt, once activated will give a position accurate to 100m within 5 minutes!
This is a commonly unknown factor that people aren't advised about when buying a unit.
I personally use one with an inbuilt GPS!

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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby AllanJ » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:42 am

GlenR wrote:Whereas a EPIRB with a GPS system inbuilt, once activated will give a position accurate to 100m within 5 minutes!
This is a commonly unknown factor that people aren't advised about when buying a unit.
I personally use one with an inbuilt GPS!
Glen


That's a good point, if you're going to get an epirb it needs to be a GPS one really. In fact I wonder why they even make non-GPS versions, and why is the price difference so great? A GPS chipset doesn't cost £100!

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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby journeyman » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:51 am

Mark R wrote:I suppose that on this occasion - just this once - I really ought to read the manual, rather than just pressing random buttons to see what happens.

Image

Its a slow day
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby Jim » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:25 pm

AllanJ wrote:That's a good point, if you're going to get an epirb it needs to be a GPS one really. In fact I wonder why they even make non-GPS versions, and why is the price difference so great? A GPS chipset doesn't cost £100!

Allan


Perhaps because not everone who will use one is a kayaker, and if your yacht is disabled but requiring assistance an extra 45 minutes probably won't affect your chances of survival..... unless you are heading for the rocks.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby Mark R » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:01 pm

journeyman wrote:Image


Nothing to do with anything, but worth sharing ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cv5-SgA ... re=related
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby AllanJ » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:05 am

Jim wrote:
AllanJ wrote:That's a good point, if you're going to get an epirb it needs to be a GPS one really. In fact I wonder why they even make non-GPS versions, and why is the price difference so great? A GPS chipset doesn't cost £100!

Allan


Perhaps because not everone who will use one is a kayaker, and if your yacht is disabled but requiring assistance an extra 45 minutes probably won't affect your chances of survival..... unless you are heading for the rocks.


That's true if you're mid-Atlantic but in coastal waters if my yacht was on fire or run down or had capsized and I was sitting on the upturned hulls in soaking wet clothes or I'd just gone overboard while single-handing I'd be glad of that GPS... The other concern with a non-GPS version is that the unit might fail or you might not be able to keep the antenna aligned for long enough to get a fix. My understanding is that with a GPS fitted you only really need one transmission to be received.

I think it's all about marketing, the low-price non-GPS draws you in then they 'up sell' you to the GPS model!

Cheers
Allan
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby islanders66 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:12 pm

How do you think the Fast Find with GPS compares to the ACR Resqfix?

The resqfix is larger and is $600 at REI, ($500 at other places). The Fast Find is smaller and $300 at REI.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?

Postby Owen » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:36 pm

AllanJ wrote:I think it's all about marketing, the low-price non-GPS draws you in then they 'up sell' you to the GPS model!

Cheers
Allan


I don't think this is the case, non-GPS EPIRB's have been around for a long time, one's with built in GPS are relatively new. As with all new technology it takes time for it to become the norm. Some people must have the latest gismo's others can't see the need; it's upto you to decide what you need or want. I can't say many kayakers carry EPIRB's, of the top of my head I can only think of one person who has one.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby MikeB » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:36 pm

I know of one, but he's a pal of a pal and hails from London - no one in my immediate paddling group has one. Yet. That said, given that the cost of replacing a full flare set isn't a spit away from buying one - - - - and all my flares are out of date - - - -

10 years ago anyone with a VHF was treated with reverence and accorded god-like status for his ability to master technology and the special skills needed like pro-words and saying "over" at the right time, but only "out" at the end. Hey, these were real pioneering early-adopter types. These days, virtually everyone I paddle with has one - certainly there were 3 radios amongst the 3 kayaks on Mull at Whit, and in a recent SCA trip I think we had about 6 radios in a group of 11 paddlers.

10 years ago a semi decent set was well over £200. Today, well below and careful shopping will yeild a top-of-the range set for significantly under its rrp.

It's only a matter of time before EPIRBs come into the same price banding.

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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby AllanJ » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:45 pm

Owen wrote:
AllanJ wrote:I think it's all about marketing, the low-price non-GPS draws you in then they 'up sell' you to the GPS model!

Cheers
Allan


I don't think this is the case, non-GPS EPIRB's have been around for a long time, one's with built in GPS are relatively new. As with all new technology it takes time for it to become the norm. Some people must have the latest gismo's others can't see the need; it's upto you to decide what you need or want. I can't say many kayakers carry EPIRB's, of the top of my head I can only think of one person who has one.


You're probably right, I'm being too cynical (perhaps a result of working in the marine electronics industry)... Still seems a big price difference in two otherwise identical units.

Just to add to what Glen said preiously, 45 minutes is an average time to get a fix on a non-GPS EPIRB, worst-case is IIRC 2 hours.

Cheers
Allan
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby app » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:47 pm

Here's an opportunity to see the SPOT tracker at work

http://www.paddlefaroes.com/index.php?o ... 6&Itemid=6

........ and I wish these Guys good weather


Colin
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby Steen Johansen » Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:23 am

app wrote:Here's an opportunity to see the SPOT tracker at work

http://www.paddlefaroes.com/index.php?o ... 6&Itemid=6


It seems like the SPOT tracker stopped working this morning. Fortunately the guys have a SAT phone with a fantastic microphone.
I cannot even talk to my wife on my cellphone in a force 3 because of wind noise.
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby Mike Marshall » Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:42 am

Steen Johansen wrote:
app wrote:Here's an opportunity to see the SPOT tracker at work

http://www.paddlefaroes.com/index.php?o ... 6&Itemid=6


It seems like the SPOT tracker stopped working this morning. Fortunately the guys have a SAT phone with a fantastic microphone.
I cannot even talk to my wife on my cellphone in a force 3 because of wind noise.


Hmmm
Last position some 4 hrs ago.
If this is the case then this one and Freya's have both stopped working..not good at all.

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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby rockhopper » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:02 pm

Guaranteed to make your loved ones at home start to worry about you !!!!
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby forestknights » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:15 pm

Interesting I was about to buy one of these units for my next exped but I am not sure now.

I have emailed Spot sales and had no answer and now this.

Doesn't bode well.
Know the wisdom of patience during times of inactivity.

www.forestknights.co.uk
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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby Douglas Wilcox » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:30 pm

I think the Spot is a cool gadget to keep in touch with folks at home but I do not think it is a dedicated safety device like a McMurdo or ACR EPIRB. I have carried an EPIRB for 5 years now and only carry day/night flares, so do not have a lot of other out of date flares to dispose of.

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Re: How many people carry EPIRB or PLB while Seakayaking ?^

Postby Mike Marshall » Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:00 pm

forestknights wrote:Interesting I was about to buy one of these units for my next exped but I am not sure now.

I have emailed Spot sales and had no answer and now this.

Doesn't bode well.


Its not necessarily broken, as Simon Willis was mentioning that they had the option to switch it on or off, or leave it on auto.
Strange there is no reporting from it when they have eventually arrived, but it did cause the tension for the finish :-)
An absolutely amazing crossing.

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Stowing a PLB

Postby nickcrowhurst » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:30 pm

The McMurdo FastFind Plus needs to be stowed on the person, rather than attached to the boat. Mine weighs 13 ounces, and I prefer to keep that weight out of my BA. I solve this issue by using a Seals spray deck with a zipped mesh pocket at the front, wherein I stow the PLB on a lanyard. It's an excellent deck: http://www.sealsskirts.com/prod_tr_tropicaltour.html
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