Epirb

Discussion of safety equipment and use.

Re: Epirb

Postby Plakkyboat » Sun Nov 01, 2015 4:21 pm

dru wrote:FWIW, and we'Ve been down this chat many times, so apologise in advance if my thoughts upset people.

First an EPIRB and a PLB do fundamentally the same thing, call in the troupes to save your arse. An EPIRB is really designed so they can find the boat. A PLB is designed to find a human.

So NO, do t stow it in a hatch. Keep it in a pocket or a PFD pocket. You want it on you or it's no better than an EPIRB.

In order to make an EPIRB small enough to fit in a pocket there are some compromises. Mainly it is smaller, so a smaller battery and most are only rated to 24hours.

An EPIRB is required to last 48 hours.

It'll take a plane/helicopter less than an hour to find you in most populated areas of AUS. But they might not launch in the dark with little chance of success. So with a 24 hour life span you might think before firing it up at dusk. You'd want to be comfortable of surviving the night, if not fire it up.

Both EPIRB and PLB come in versions with or without GPS. Accuracy with GPS is a few m. Accuracy without is several 100m. Pay your money and take your chances.

On legality. If you get caught off shore without an EPIRB by an officer going to the pedantic limit of law, you will get a fine. If you just used your PLB to allow them to save a life, right, they are going to issue a fine? Sure. I'll bet they'll be using the incidence to broadcast the use of proper safety equipment.


Some good points there Dru.

My 'abbreviation speak' is very limited (probably due my vintage and the company I keep, online) so it leaves me wondering but probably not really wanting to know the translation.

Anyway, thanks for your patience with those who may have been as you suggested 'upset' by your 'thoughts'. (not me).
You have made very worthy mention of the 'letter of the law' and the likelihood of fines that may nudge some (including me) into getting an EPIRB before venturing offshore into water beyond the legal limits with just a PLB.

The fishing in my area is reasonable within the inshore limitation areas but there is always the temptation to go further in fine weather to get to the outer reefs including the local artificial reef.
Of course that also would mean buying a GPS location device to find these areas and a knowledge of where the hell these patches are located.

Plakkyboat wrote:Excellent set up Brendon.

This makes me think about Tony's mention of the EPIRB not working unless it gets wet.
If the EPIRB does in fact start up when it gets wet or flips upside down (not sure how it works), then what happens if you flip your kayak but you can safely get back on and don't need rescuing?

Do you get enough time to prevent it going off when the situation is not actually an emergency and you don't want to initiate a full scale rescue by default?
Looking forward to some enlightenment on this scenario.


As per the above 'quote' (of my own previous post) I would still like some knowledgeable feedback or thoughts on the scenario I described. Thanks.
Cheers -- Paul
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Re: Epirb

Postby tonystott » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:51 pm

Um, perhaps I should mention that I don't think all EPIRBs automatically activate when getting wet. I have never had one, and my PLB needs the aerial extended and a button pressed to activate. I gather that an EPIRB must float, and the battery must last at least 48 hours (PLB "only" 24, but I can't imagine any yakker being still out there alone longer than that)
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Re: Epirb

Postby gbc » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:13 am

I've never heard of an ebirb which auto activates. I think you read Tony's post incorrectly.
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Re: Epirb

Postby Plakkyboat » Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:23 pm

Hi gbc,

Just did some online research and it appears (to me) that auto activated (when wet) EPIRBS do exist.
However, it also appears that they may only activate in water after they have been removed from a mounting bracket and can also be activated manually as well.

GME Comparison chart
https://www.gme.net.au/catalogue/emergency-beacons-and-safety/mt600aus.aspx

Here are some online results I found when pricing the 'auto activate when wet' GME EPIRBS with GPS:
MT600G at $349 http://www.bcf.com.au/online-store/products/GME-Digital-EPIRB-406Mhz-GPS.aspx?pid=361040&menuFrom=571534#Recommendations
MT600G (a bargain by comparison) at $289 https://www.whitworths.com.au/main_itemdetail.asp?item=74524&search123=MT+600G&intAbsolutePage=1
MT406G (with GPS) is discontinued and has been replaced by the MT600G according to C.H. Smith Marine http://www.chsmith.com.au/Products/GME-MT406G-406-EPIRB-with-GPS.html

Of course there are other brands out there and these are only examples of one brand currently on the EPIRB market.
Personally I would not buy any EPIRB that didn't have the GPS feature. The less time out there, the better your chances of being found and rescued.
Cheers -- Paul
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Re: Epirb

Postby Plakkyboat » Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:26 pm

tonystott wrote:Um, perhaps I should mention that I don't think all EPIRBs automatically activate when getting wet. I have never had one, and my PLB needs the aerial extended and a button pressed to activate. I gather that an EPIRB must float, and the battery must last at least 48 hours (PLB "only" 24, but I can't imagine any yakker being still out there alone longer than that)


Thanks for that info Tony.
It certainly helped with my curiosity about the situation.
Cheers -- Paul
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Re: Epirb

Postby Jive Turkey » Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:28 pm

Yea i have had one that activated when out of its bracket for more than 1 min it didn't mention needing to be in water though only out of the bracket. It came with instructions on how to mount it so it would be pulled out of the bracket in the event of a capsize.Wouldn't suit a kayak due to size and weight.
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Re: Epirb

Postby gbc » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:52 am

Plakkyboat - Reefing it out of its bracket so it can 'automatically' activate is tantamount to flicking a switch. Hardly automatic. Plenty of the old 121.5 ones were 'automatic' when the spring aerial popped up ,again, after someone pulled it out of it's bracket. In any event - your upsidedown kayak scenario is safe from 'automatic activation' which was the basis of my reply.
Tony, the old 121.5 epirbs relied on being in water to attenuate their signal - they also worked out of water, just nowhere near as well. It was well known that if you got lost in the desert you put your epirb in a bucket of water. I have no idea if the new 406 ones use the same technology for broadcasting. That is why they were shaped the way they were - to float upright in water, and probably a whole lot to do with why plb's aren't regarded as suitable life saving devices - whether or not rules have moved with technology is another matter.
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