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Author Topic:   Personal Locator Beacon Saves Boater
jimh posted 03-01-2014 01:48 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
A solo boater was rescued in 2013 when searchers were able to quickly locate him from the signal emitted by his personal locator beacon (PLB). The boater was thrown from his boat in rough seas while crossing a stretch of the Irish Sea in a small boat. He was about nine miles offshore when he was thrown from his five-meter rigid-bottom inflatable boat. Because he was wearing an engine shut-off safety lanyard, the boat engine was immediately stopped, but the sea conditions were too rough to permit the boater to swim back to his boat. The boat and the boater-turned-swimmer began to drift in the waves, with the boat drifting faster than the swimmer.

To the fellow's great good fortune, he was wearing a personal locator beacon. He activated the beacon, and its transmission of distress was received by the orbiting satellites that monitor for such signals.

The satellite system alerted local rescue agencies. The rescue agencies found the beacon was registered, and made the standard inquires to the contacts listed in the registration. When the distress situation was verified, the coast guard diverted other vessels into the area to search, and a helicopter search was also begun. The PLB alert came about 4 p.m. local time. After about three hours in the water, the swimmer was found by a coast guard helicopter and hoisted aboard.

Although this occurred in July, the fellow had taken the precaution to wear an immersion suit, and he did not suffer from hypothermia due to the three hours of immersion in the water. He was also wearing a personal floatation device.

This boater had made very good preparations for this solo-crossing over open water, and they probably saved his life.

More at:

Personal locator beacon triggers rescue personal-locator-beacon-triggers-rescue#

Personal Locator Beacons

A Primer on EPIRB

jimh posted 03-01-2014 01:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is a bit more news, from the electronics firm that manufactured the actual PLB used in this case:

Sartech service PLB fresh from dramatic Irish Sea helicopter rescue

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