Emergency calls from the river bank.

Inland paddling
User avatar
Will.S.
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:54 pm

Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Will.S. » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:17 pm

Just pondering what people have for communications back up

Any idea if a VHF radio would be of use? Many paddling locations have no mobile signal and so I wonder what the alternatives are to carrying a mobile in a pelicase.

Suggestions please?!

Thanks
Will

Bards
Posts: 740
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:23 am
Location: Dorset
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Bards » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:34 pm

Satellite phones - though at around a bag of sand a pop to buy, it's worth investigating hiring one for the group if needed just for individual off-piste expos... Do note that the different satellite networks have different coverage... Although I have a VHF for sea use, I can't believe they are of any use inland; they have very limited range, only work on line-of-site (so bugger-all use in a canyon) and are very, very unlikely to be at all monitored (aahhh!), as I believe I'm right in saying that using them inland is any way illegal....
Not good news, is it?! Maybe just ensuring the group carry a range of different mobys with different networks is better than nothing...

Best I can do, I'm afraid... :-(

LucyLou19
Posts: 506
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:04 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by LucyLou19 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:38 pm

Dont know quite how off the beaten track you intend to go, but how about a couple of packs of mini-flares stored in a dry-bag. Within the UK this would probably be enough to draw attention to your location...

Garry
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:23 pm

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Garry » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:46 pm

Should not be any need to carry a range of different mobiles as they shoudl all default to whichever network has coverage for the purpose of making emergency calls anyway. e.g. if you have an O2 phone it can still use Voda or Orange network for "emergency calls only."

Most places in the UK (and main parts of Europe) its therefore a case of carrying your mobile and being prepared to walk out a bit to get coverage or find a road with passing vehicles etc if you really need to in an emergency.

User avatar
Yakdiver
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:11 am
Location: North Baddesley Hampshire

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Yakdiver » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:50 pm

I do know of a person that used his VHF on a large lake when his kayak started to sink, a helicopter was called and he was saved from spending a long time in the water.
I always take VHF and mobile if I go out even on the Hamble or Beaulieu River as I could call up the harbour master if things went wrong (my mate is quite elderly)
as I believe I'm right in saying that using them inland is any way illegal....
I think that would go out the window if a life was going to be saved
Name Richard
Point 65n Sea Cruiser
Ocean Prowler

Bards
Posts: 740
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:23 am
Location: Dorset
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Bards » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:00 pm

Yes - indeed life-saving use means you don't have to have a licence, either, however the illegality of non-emergency use away from the coast would lead me to believe there aren't going to be a whole heap of users tuned in to them within hailing distance inland... or am I missing something here?!

User avatar
Strad
Posts: 1892
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:27 am
Location: The Beautiful Borders of Scotland
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Strad » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:12 pm

what about ePirb / PLB ? not two way but can be used to identify you're in trouble and where.
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

User avatar
TheKrikkitWars
Posts: 5809
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Sheffield

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:46 pm

Strad wrote:what about ePirb / PLB ? not two way but can be used to identify you're in trouble and where.
I could be wrong but I'd have thought that a PLB might bring a disproportionate response to most paddling emergencies (They'd be perfect in a life-threatening situation, but overkill if you need an ambulance for someone with a bad dislocation or break).
ONE BLADE, ONE LOVE, [TOO] MANY PIES


Joshua Kelly

User avatar
Strad
Posts: 1892
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:27 am
Location: The Beautiful Borders of Scotland
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Strad » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:53 pm

TheKrikkitWars wrote:
Strad wrote:what about ePirb / PLB ? not two way but can be used to identify you're in trouble and where.
I could be wrong but I'd have thought that a PLB might bring a disproportionate response to most paddling emergencies (They'd be perfect in a life-threatening situation, but overkill if you need an ambulance for someone with a bad dislocation or break).
must admit I had life threatening in my head when suggesting it....
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

User avatar
Wildswimmer Pete
Posts: 1324
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:07 pm
Location: Runcorn New Town
Has thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:18 pm

Dare I mention it, how about a handheld CB? Most of the dickheads have gone now and the CB bands are pretty clear. 27MHz will carry for quite a distance even in hilly terrain and with 80 channels available you should be able to find someone to relay an emergency call. You don't even need to buy a licence - CB is now licence exempt.

Wildswimmer Pete
Nili illegitimi carborundum

User avatar
matt_outandabout
Posts: 272
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:13 pm

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by matt_outandabout » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:09 pm

Be experienced, trained, prepared and ready to drag your own ass off any hill or up out of any river.....?

;-)

User avatar
R4
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:01 pm
Location: Devon
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by R4 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:21 am

Take your old mobile, put it in a condom. Job done.

HarryWats0n
Posts: 1129
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:52 pm
Location: BC, Canada

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by HarryWats0n » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:30 am

Guys, sorry to hi-jack the thread, but is their any phone that runs on batteries (duracel), they would be pretty useful on a riverbank and much less hassle.

User avatar
ianletton
Posts: 666
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:42 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by ianletton » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:15 am

matt_outandabout wrote:Be experienced, trained, prepared and ready to drag your own ass off any hill or up out of any river.....?

;-)
I like this one. It's good.
IanLetton

Bards
Posts: 740
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:23 am
Location: Dorset
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Bards » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:31 am

ianletton wrote:
matt_outandabout wrote:Be experienced, trained, prepared and ready to drag your own ass off any hill or up out of any river.....?

;-)
I like this one. It's good.


I don't like it, as it dismisses the worth of being able to call help for a situation which completely necessitates the emergency services for any reason, or indeed calling help for others in the area, including complete strangers. They may or may not have bought the situation upon themselves, but either way it's a poor paddle show if we don't assist out of superiority...

Hope that doesn't sound too chippy, it's just what I think. :-)

User avatar
ianletton
Posts: 666
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:42 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by ianletton » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:49 am

...see above if you missed anything that was said...


Let me clarify.

This thread started by asking what other options are available when mobile signal is zero and you need to contact the emergency services. At this point, Matt_Outandabouts comment and my agreement would come in to use as you would have to get yourself out of there and to a place with reception to make the call or to get help some other way.

Whether its someone in your group or a complete stranger that is in trouble, I feel that it is extremely important that you, as an individual, are
matt_outandabout wrote:...experienced, trained, prepared and ready to drag your own ass off any hill or up out of any river.
Not meaning to be agressive or argumentative, it's just what I think.

Ian
IanLetton

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24134
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Mark R » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:01 pm

VHF is indeed illegal to use inland, but more crucially it's useless in river environments as it works on line of sight - I use it extensively at sea and pretty well any minor barrier kills the signal.

The odds of someone also listening in on Ch16 within line of sight at the bottom of a river valley; not good.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
matt_outandabout
Posts: 272
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:13 pm

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by matt_outandabout » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:00 pm

I was not meaning to be aggressive or dismissive. Ian is right.

BUT, I do think many reach for the 'help' button too quickly. Self rescue / rescue of others if you are suitable prepared and trained is always preferable.

I don't think you could get any communication device that is 'fool proof' or out of signal the moment you need it (see Sod's Law).

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24134
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Mark R » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:15 pm

matt_outandabout wrote:I do think many reach for the 'help' button too quickly.
Example?
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

MarcusJClifford
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:53 pm

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by MarcusJClifford » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:40 pm

Has anyone any experience of the SPOT GPS / Satellite messenger? See: http://www.findmespot.eu/en/
It needs a reasonable view of the sky, but is purely satellite based so works even if no mobile signal etc.

Can send and OK message, a custom pre-defined message, a help message (for assistance required but not emergency) and a SOS emergency message.

Marcus

User avatar
caveman_si
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:22 pm
Location: In Reading

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by caveman_si » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:24 am

Mark R wrote:VHF is indeed illegal to use inland, but more crucially it's useless in river environments as it works on line of sight - I use it extensively at sea and pretty well any minor barrier kills the signal.

The odds of someone also listening in on Ch16 within line of sight at the bottom of a river valley; not good.

Thats what I thought but this weekend I was walking by the Thames in Reading and there was signs at Caversham weir stating in case of emergancy use channel VFH 16 to contact life guards between the weir some place up stream. I cant remember the lifeguards mentioned on the sign but im guessing it was a special case as the Reading festival was on, and the inland waterways association festival was on too, just a bit futher up the river.

Its also not a straight bit of the Thames so I did wonder about its use what with VHF being line of sight and all.

User avatar
Poke
Posts: 4864
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 4:35 pm
Location: Wigan
Been thanked: 14 times
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Poke » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:04 pm

Mark R wrote:
matt_outandabout wrote:I do think many reach for the 'help' button too quickly.
Example?
Ask any Mountain Rescue volunteer and I’m sure they’ll be able to recount a number of instances where people are calling for help unnecessarily.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7195365.stm
Uniyaker - Uni expeditions
Team Pyranha - My adventures

User avatar
AndyK
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 5:41 pm
Location: Buxton

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by AndyK » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:21 pm

Poke wrote:Ask any Mountain Rescue volunteer and I’m sure they’ll be able to recount a number of instances where people are calling for help unnecessarily.
Yes but these are mostly from inexperienced walkers. "Real" climbers and paddlers "tend" to be more self reliant and only call when the fan is certainly stained brown. People whos idea of emergency survival kit is a phone and a gps (or one of thise SPOT things mentined above) are the ones who cause preventable callouts. I wont say un-necessary as they ineviably become necessary after they have been standing around for 2hrs waiting to be found.
Mark R wrote:VHF is ...useless in river environments as it works on line of sight
Yep, even with a 2 metre whip aerial on the outside of a pack, a third person as a link or a repeater are required.
Mark R wrote:The odds of someone also listening in on Ch16 within line of sight at the bottom of a river valley; not good.
Indeed. Even if people had access to MR and UKSAR channels, nobody sits at base listening to them.

Basically, rather than carrying all the radio gizmos, carry torches, food, bothy bags, first aid kits and be able to be in a good nick when the MRT arrive. There is nothing worse than finding original injuries made worse by preventable hypothermia.

Last point, click this link below ;-)

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24134
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Mark R » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:48 pm

Poke wrote:
Mark R wrote:
matt_outandabout wrote:I do think many reach for the 'help' button too quickly.
Example?
Ask any Mountain Rescue volunteer and I’m sure they’ll be able to recount a number of instances where people are calling for help unnecessarily.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7195365.stm
We're talking about paddlers though ... is there really a culture of paddlers out there wasting the emergency services' time by calling for help in incidents they could resolve themselves? I suspect not. On the other hand, I can think of incidents where seeking help earlier could potentially have altered the outcome favourably.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

ROB PackersCC
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:14 am
Location: Peterborough
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by ROB PackersCC » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:20 pm

Hi All

While in the French Alps paddling this summer we used these little things!!!

http://www.exteradirect.co.uk/product/d ... e%29/1965/

They are fully waterproof PMR446 hand held radios, no licence required either, only downside is that you need someone out and about ie: bank crew in a car to help relay rescue/medical needs!!!

We used them on various rivers with great sucess and in some preety steep gorges too!!!

But dont always rely on tech gagets to get you out the ****!!!! Training and practise are a paddlers best friend!!!

Cheers Rob

User avatar
Poke
Posts: 4864
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 4:35 pm
Location: Wigan
Been thanked: 14 times
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Poke » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:10 pm

Poke wrote:
Mark R wrote:
matt_outandabout wrote:I do think many reach for the 'help' button too quickly.
Example?
Ask any Mountain Rescue volunteer and I’m sure they’ll be able to recount a number of instances where people are calling for help unnecessarily.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7195365.stm
Mark R wrote:We're talking about paddlers though ... is there really a culture of paddlers out there wasting the emergency services' time by calling for help in incidents they could resolve themselves? I suspect not.
Well, in that case we can all feel proud of ourselves that we're all suitably prepared as Matt suggested above:
ianletton wrote:
matt_outandabout wrote:Be experienced, trained, prepared and ready to drag your own ass off any hill or up out of any river.....?

;-)
I like this one. It's good.
Uniyaker - Uni expeditions
Team Pyranha - My adventures

jackbay131
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:46 pm
Location: cardiff , wales

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by jackbay131 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:04 pm

A tactic im in the process of using is buying a sim of every major network putting a few quid on each this way i can keep swapping networks whilst scrambling as fast as possible up the nearest high ground.
Pay cheques , here today , gone tomorrow.

User avatar
Poke
Posts: 4864
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 4:35 pm
Location: Wigan
Been thanked: 14 times
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Poke » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:21 pm

jackbay131 wrote:A tactic im in the process of using is buying a sim of every major network putting a few quid on each this way I can keep swapping networks whilst scrambling as fast as possible up the nearest high ground.
Unless you're in a hurry to order a takeaway pizza to be delivered tothe takeout, this is a bit of a waste of cash...
If you're making emergency calls, you can do so using any network...
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 35#p494535

You'd be better off saving your pennies for a phone with some kind of pimp ariel set-up...
Uniyaker - Uni expeditions
Team Pyranha - My adventures

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13917
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Jim » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:23 pm

I think some clarification is required.

It is illegal to use a marine VHF with a ship licence from the shore, you should be afloat unless you have forked out a lot of money for a shore station licence (which will be tied to a location).

Large river cruisers are afloat, I see no reason why they cannot be licensed and equipped with marine VHF especially if the river authorities (lock keepers presumably) have shore stations to communicate with. Vessel to vessel comms is probably pretty important on narrow waterways.

There are channels within the VHF band for other than marine use, Mountain Rescue and St John Ambulance I know use them and I presume all the other emergency services do too. Of course these require a different license which probably costs a lot and may be restricted to emergency services only. I'd hazard a guess the military use radios within the VHF band, but they probably have radios in all bands for different situations.

Line of sight is still going to be an issue in the mountains even if you do have a properly licensed set with the appropriate channels, you would need to be carrying a big telescopic mast in the boat, but didn't I just say MRT use them?

Possibly a better solution would be to take a non-paddling buddy with you and station them along the river with PMR 2-way radios (no license required) so they can relay a message and run or drive to find mobile reception or a phone box. Max legal range of PMR is 5km with clear line of sight, should be OK on most normal river trips if you can get your shore contact about mid-way with reasonable elevation and there aren't too many trees or gorges involved.
Business radios I think need a license but have more range, and if you can't get the emergency services you might just be able to call a cab to get you out of there.... ;-)

Personally I'd also advocate the ethos of devising methods for extraction without needing to rely on electronics rather than adding to the pile electronics to carry. I'm not saying don't get and carry the technology, do, it will save a lot of time when it works, what I'm saying is never depend entirely on it, always consider how you would summon help if your gadgets failed - what would Ray Mears do?

Sat-phone, yes for remote trips abroad, but I don't think you are ever far enough away from a mobile mast or a public or private phone in the UK to really justify the expense.
caveman_si wrote:
Mark R wrote:VHF is indeed illegal to use inland, but more crucially it's useless in river environments as it works on line of sight - I use it extensively at sea and pretty well any minor barrier kills the signal.

The odds of someone also listening in on Ch16 within line of sight at the bottom of a river valley; not good.

Thats what I thought but this weekend I was walking by the Thames in Reading and there was signs at Caversham weir stating in case of emergancy use channel VFH 16 to contact life guards between the weir some place up stream. I cant remember the lifeguards mentioned on the sign but im guessing it was a special case as the Reading festival was on, and the inland waterways association festival was on too, just a bit futher up the river.

Its also not a straight bit of the Thames so I did wonder about its use what with VHF being line of sight and all.

User avatar
Strad
Posts: 1892
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:27 am
Location: The Beautiful Borders of Scotland
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Emergency calls from the river bank.

Post by Strad » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:59 am

Poke wrote:
jackbay131 wrote:A tactic im in the process of using is buying a sim of every major network putting a few quid on each this way I can keep swapping networks whilst scrambling as fast as possible up the nearest high ground.
Unless you're in a hurry to order a takeaway pizza to be delivered tothe takeout, this is a bit of a waste of cash...
If you're making emergency calls, you can do so using any network...
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 35#p494535

You'd be better off saving your pennies for a phone with some kind of pimp ariel set-up...
In addition many of the pay as you go sims expire after a certain period of non-use (can be as little as 30 days) so you're wasting your time for a second reason as well, unless you plan to continuously mess about with your phones :-)
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”