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Old 11 February 2010, 13:30   #1
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epirb for diving rhib

hi folks,
The diving club i belong to are currently in the stages of buying an epirb for our rhib.The main problem is ,whether to buy a manual,or manual/automatic.
our branch diving officer is of the opinion with the amount of water spray that comes over the boat,it could lead to accidental activation as there is not any relative sheltered area on the boat in which it could be kept fairly dry.
could someone enlighten me as to how much exposure it could withstand before it would activate.

Fraser.
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Old 11 February 2010, 14:35   #2
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Fraser,

The EPIRB manufacturers have actually thought of this, the DO might want to RTFM on models available. When in thier cradles EPIRBs have a magnetic swicth keeps the unit from switching on, if it released into water it will activate. There is often a manual switch so that the unit can be activated in it's cradle, often this is a combined test/activation swicth.

Other models, which in fairness to your DO is what they may be thinking of are ones that have hydrostatic releases that allow the beacon to float free in the event of a sinking.

We have an ACR beacon - ACR Product range

McMurdo Beacons

The better beacons have internal GPS that acquire and alert more quickly, it'll be a matter of budget - unless you are lucky! Most 406Mhz beacons also have 121.5Mhz homers, might not be wise to go for 121.5 only but it's better than nothing. A number of people have debated whether an EPIRB on a dive rib is required if you have a DSC VHF, my personal view is that the VHF tends not to work much when the boat has capsized!
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Old 11 February 2010, 16:20   #3
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What Simon B said

He's obviously digested some McMurdo instruction manuals.

If you need to talk to somebody about the various release options for the McMurdo products then their Customer service Manager Jon Till, or Steve Rogers the UK sales Manager know their stuff. Contact details are here:-

http://www.mcmurdo.co.uk/company/company.html

Tell them Nasher sent you.

Nasher.
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Old 11 February 2010, 16:38   #4
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Personally I reckon a handheld is probably better, stored with the emergency kit. A float free one seems pretty much overkill on a dive RIB unless its huge as it will just get in the way.
Since the only circumstance that I can imagine that you would require one is if you capsize then a float free version doesn't seem to be ideal since the boat is over it
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Old 11 February 2010, 19:20   #5
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Feedback from the CG suggests don't waste your money on a non-GPS unit (and I'm really serious about this, the time differences are significant). I didn't think it was possible to buy a 121.5 only unit - monitoring has been discontinued!

I carry a GPS enabled PLB myself, but for a club boat, I'd think an enclosure mounted, hydrostatically released, GPS enabled EPIRB was the ONLY sensible way to go...
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Old 12 February 2010, 03:21   #6
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Iíd have to agree with Willk, a non-GPS unit really isnít worth it, considering the difference in purchase cost and the speed with which it provides the boats location.

And not wanting to sound like his fan club, the club boat recommendation would also be my own for a boat thatís used by lots of people who may not know the exact details of the unit.

However an EPIRP mounted on the A-frame nicely tucked up in itís housing is no good to anyone that goes overboard or gets injured severely on board and canít reach it.
It should be considered as the Boats EPIRB, not the crews, and personal units should also be considered.
Watching the boat float away with the White housing reflecting the sunshine whilst you try to swim after it wouldnít be a nice last experience.

Personally Iíd fit the crew out with personal units before spending the money on a boat mounted unit, but ideally have both.

The ultimate for a Dive boat would of course be personal units for each Diver in the Waterproof canisters designed for depth that most of the manufacturers sell as an accessory.

Having been a dive club boat handler since my teens I understand how difficult it can sometimes be to keep track of SMBs even in a small chop in sheltered waters, and have had a couple of scares over the years when I realised that the SMB was travelling far too fast and had become detached from the dive pairing, requiring me to go looking, very carefully, for bubbles.

Think of the news stories of the Dive pair that were separated from their charter boat in some exotic location a couple of years ago, and spent days washed up on a beach before somebody found them. A canister carried personal unit would have had them out of the water in an hour or so in most locations around the world.

Nasher.
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Old 12 February 2010, 07:53   #7
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hi folks,
Thanks for all your input,I'll pass this on to the d.o. and we'll discuss the options

thanks,
fraser.
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Old 12 February 2010, 11:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willk View Post
Feedback from the CG suggests don't waste your money on a non-GPS unit (and I'm really serious about this, the time differences are significant). I didn't think it was possible to buy a 121.5 only unit - monitoring has been discontinued!

I carry a GPS enabled PLB myself, but for a club boat, I'd think an enclosure mounted, hydrostatically released, GPS enabled EPIRB was the ONLY sensible way to go...

I carry a GPS enabled personal unit on my lifejacket.
I did look into boat mounted units but eventually came to the opinion that hydro units were not entirely appropriate as they will only operate once submerged and a RIB is unlikely to sink but more likely to turn over.
In these circumstances it is of no use as the GPS signal is almost certainly blocked by the hull and will probably not b deep enough to release anyway.
The other type which floats free is
1. a nuisance mounted anywhere where you can guarantee it would float freely away and
2. very likely to get knocked off/set off accidentally in a club RIB which are usually notoriously overcrowded.
There is no right answer for a club boat as it is unlikely that everyone would personally buy a PLB.
Possibly a handheld mounted on the console beside the gauges where it is easily accessible and obvious and can be grabbed in an emergency?
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Old 12 February 2010, 13:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
I carry a GPS enabled personal unit on my lifejacket.
I did look into boat mounted units but eventually came to the opinion that hydro units were not entirely appropriate as they will only operate once submerged and a RIB is unlikely to sink but more likely to turn over.
In these circumstances it is of no use as the GPS signal is almost certainly blocked by the hull and will probably not b deep enough to release anyway.
The other type which floats free is
1. a nuisance mounted anywhere where you can guarantee it would float freely away and
2. very likely to get knocked off/set off accidentally in a club RIB which are usually notoriously overcrowded.
There is no right answer for a club boat as it is unlikely that everyone would personally buy a PLB.
Possibly a handheld mounted on the console beside the gauges where it is easily accessible and obvious and can be grabbed in an emergency?
Fraser, Bruce,

Our beacon manual does have some specific mounting instructions

Do not mount the beacon in the vicinity 3.3 ft/1 m of strong magnetic or electrical fields, such as loud speakers, radar or high power radio transmitter. The beacon should not be mounted closer than 3.3 ft/1 m. to a magnetic navigation compass.

It is one of the now older types that do not have an internal GPS, however, it wil still send a reasonable 406 signal that will allow a satelite homing position fix, the older 121.5Mhz signal is also broadcast and is still usable and I believe if the RNLI know a beacon is active they can home in on it, Chewy may able to shed further illumination on this.
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Old 12 February 2010, 13:46   #10
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What does RTFM mean?
I have seen it on NOS4R2's signature and tried to guess what it stood for. At one point I (stupidly) thought it might mean Rock The F'ing Mike. Now I am more inclined to believe Read The F'ing Manual.
Is this right?
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