This isn't aimed at anyone in particular.
I do not see why there is the obsession with spending as little money as possible on a vhf.
VHF and DSC is the best
possible means of telling somebody and everybody that you need some assistance. When it comes to safety then surely money is no object.
I have 2 icom radios, I choose them because after years of using them at somebody else's expense I found that they could stand up to lots of wear, tear and abuse. I know they are expensive, thats why my hand held came from ebay, but if I could't have got it on ebay I would happily have paid full price.
Anyway thats my opinion and probably not yours (light blue touch paper and retire)