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Old 07 January 2016, 04:51   #21
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As someone who ..for many years.. regularly uses a small SIB in remote places..my priority would be to use any extra money to get an auxiliary engine. Personally .. I think that could save my life more than a PLB. ?

I got a PLB last year..simply because I had a bit of extra money . I guess if im in the freezing cold water ..miles from anywhere ..it will give me some hope that a helicopter will save me before the hypothermia sets in.. think that is around 30 mins of life I have left in freezing water before I turn blue ?

However.. I think in my last 30 minutes of life left ... if I was in the water.. with a PLB .. I would wish I had spent the money on a dry suit instead ?

I guess. .. I cant win or cover for every situation on my budget ..perhaps I should stick to rock climbing..its safer.
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Old 07 January 2016, 06:48   #22
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I got a PLB last year..simply because I had a bit of extra money . I guess if im in the freezing cold water ..miles from anywhere ..it will give me some hope that a helicopter will save me before the hypothermia sets in.. think that is around 30 mins of life I have left in freezing water before I turn blue ?
Maybe what you need is more information about survival in cold water - you're underselling it to yourself. A lot of fishermen have a similarly fatalistic attitude to the water. The reality is that most people will last for much longer in cold water (if they float) and longer again if they are properly dressed (some insulation) and even longer if they are trained or know what to do. Survival is another matter - you need to be found and for that a PLB is a good start. A handheld may get a message out to a local craft, a DSC handheld has an even better chance but once activated, the PLB WILL get your position away. Once received the SAR system will not just send a Helo but will send EVERYTHING and alert ALL vessels in your locality to assist. So I'd say that while a PLB may not be the Holy Grail lifesaver some think, it's certainly an Ace up the Sleeve in most emergency scenarios, IMO.
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Old 07 January 2016, 07:29   #23
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Maybe what you need is more information about survival in cold water - you're underselling it to yourself. A lot of fishermen have a similarly fatalistic attitude to the water. The reality is that most people will last for much longer in cold water (if they float) and longer again if they are properly dressed (some insulation) and even longer if they are trained or know what to do. Survival is another matter - you need to be found and for that a PLB is a good start. A handheld may get a message out to a local craft, a DSC handheld has an even better chance but once activated, the PLB WILL get your position away. Once received the SAR system will not just send a Helo but will send EVERYTHING and alert ALL vessels in your locality to assist. So I'd say that while a PLB may not be the Holy Grail lifesaver some think, it's certainly an Ace up the Sleeve in most emergency scenarios, IMO.
I'm sold

You should've been a salesman.
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Old 07 January 2016, 07:37   #24
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For the record .. I have first hand experience of being in the Firth of Clyde ..off Millport ..in December Willk.

I was in a kayak that overturned. Twenty minutes ..I was in the water.. before I hauled myself ashore. I was very light headed.. I just wanted to sleep.. could hardly string a sentence together.. on the freezing beach. The wind was bitter

Fortunately for me..my brother had a survival bag.. took my clothes off .. shoved me in them and then into the bag.. the other kayaker got in with me .. poured hot coffee down my throat..and I survived.

I didnt suffer from cold shock that a lot of theory said could happen. I was under the kayak for several minutes..trying to get the jammed spray cover off.. while hold my breath. Itsw a day I remember vividly.

Im mentioning this as I know my limits..Im not really interested in others limits..or theory .. that is the beauty of self experience. I do appreciate we are all different. I didn’t have a PLB that day..it would not have saved me either. A simple survival bag did.

Although I recovered ..I wouldnt go back in the kayak .. I walked to the ferry..I have one of two photos of that day too.... this one is my brother towing my kayak back..no way was I going back in it that day...I cant back up my experience any other way though..



Im not saying a PLB is not a very good idea..I am saying there are many things that are a good idea..but I could not afford them all at the start.
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Old 07 January 2016, 08:06   #25
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So as not to thread drift for the OP,
My advice, is to ditch the Time expired flares, buy the best safety kit you can afford,
and adapt your boating to match your safety kit and capabilities.
If you can afford a good waterproof handheld VHF - start there, consider a PLB, flares, decent anchor etc etc.
When you can upgrade, you should.
When you can afford training courses, then go on them,
and until you have a decent safety kit together, avoid situations where you may need to use it.
Boating solo, Quiet areas, bad weather etc etc

Gurnard - interesting to hear your cold water story, cold water immersion doesn't always
affect people the same way
and on the same timescale.
Glad your brother was around to help.
Were you wearing a dry suit at the time?
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Old 07 January 2016, 08:55   #26
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Hi Mustrib .. .nope..I wore my winter hill walking stuff that day.. it happened around 12 years ago. I was not a regular kayaker..so admit I was a bit raw..as well as frozen.

I had wet suit socks on.. but they came off my feet when trying to thrash my legs to get back into the kayak..so ended up bare footed. Waterproof outer and fleece inners were sodden...which added to my weight ..so I abandon my attempt to re enter the kayak. I swam to shore. I believe theory says I shouldn’t try swimming..but I knew I was not going to last..that is why I say ..to hell with theory.. I had to get out the water.. my own survival instincts took over

I was very overweight back then.. 17 stone .. I had quit smoking six months earlier and the weight had piled on..so I had plenty blubber to keep we warm..but I still felt I wasn’t going to last much longer. The extra weight I had..was the problem trying to get out the upturned boat. I was wedged in like a cork in a bottle. I vividly remember twisting my body round to break surface ..three or four times..to get a new breath.. before going back under .. so I was still fully aware.. even though the dooking took me completely by surprise. A freak wave caught me out from the rear..I lost balance and was under the kayak. I dont do kayaks now

I will add that it was my brother who saved me. He is a very experience kayaker and writes for a major kayak magazine. He was also a very experienced medic professor at a major university. He also told me I had to get back in the kayak. I tried but I knew I couldn’t..so I told him .. “Im swimming for shore.. either you paddle like hell to get there and I hang on the back of your boat..or I go it alone.”

I think Im here today because ... He paddled like hell.

I do remember him saying when I got on the beach..you are ok..you have another 10 minutes before you collapse. Nice to know brother..I did collapse on the beach.. perhaps the cold shock came then..once I knew I had made safe ground. It all appeared to turn into a dream.

You can see from the way my brother and other companion were dressed ..that it was a bitter day..even they were shook up a bit..its me that took the photos..but that was around an hour later..in dry clothes.. hot coffee ..and sheltered by the survival bag.



To go back to the only point I was trying to make.. given the choice of an aux engine or a PLB.. I know which I would take..any day.

I do also agree with your last breakdown on safety equipment etc. My advice to the OP is dump the flares and get some he can afford.. then work his way up the safety ladder like most folks do. However ..if money is not an issue.. buy the lot..dry suit included .. take every course you can..it saves lives...and makes sense.

We can all learn from others experiences..which is why I wrote all this out. How many PLB owners and Flare firers carry a survival bag ?
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Old 07 January 2016, 09:14   #27
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How many PLB owners and Flare firers carry a survival bag ?
Having recently read the 'what do you carry in your SIB thread' a survival bag was one of the things that I added to my emergency kit... it's also when I went and searched for those old flares I knew were buried in an old climbing rucksack somewhere.
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Old 07 January 2016, 09:33   #28
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Having recently read the 'what do you carry in your SIB thread' a survival bag was one of the things that I added to my emergency kit... it's also when I went and searched for those old flares I knew were buried in an old climbing rucksack somewhere.
My thread then! So the Gurnard now has proof that I'm among the sibbers who carry a PLB AND a survival bag

The survival bag is a thing I tote everywhere - boating and hiking. TPA's are also listed in most coding equipment for RIBs. I'm not a fan of the space blankies that crop up in first aid kits as they're fairly useless in wind and are a hazard to helos - BUT they can be taped up into a bag and I guess are better than nothing.
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Old 07 January 2016, 09:45   #29
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The survival bag is a thing I tote everywhere - boating and hiking.
Bothy bag (or KISU to use the original name) for the win:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...lands-35250877
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Old 07 January 2016, 09:49   #30
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I have a KISU hidden away somewhere too from my mountain leader days... now, is it to become a boat-tent or survival shelter... #decisions!
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