by Des Ryan
It fitted in his pocket, but it saved his and his three crew mates' lives when they had a problem in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It was a McMurdo PLB that saved the lives of the four yachtsmen, who were successfully rescued this week when they activated the beacon following a problem onboard their sailing yacht.
The US Coast Guard received the 406MHz distress signal from the McMurdo FastFind 210 PLB, which was registered to the French-flagged yacht, Recidive, en route from the Canary Islands to Martinique.
The PLB’s distress alert also included exact GPS position data, enabling the Coast Guard to direct a Greek-flagged tanker, the Delta Kanaris, to the survivors’ precise location at 1,582 miles east of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Within 12 hours, all four crew members had been recovered by the crew of the merchant vessel, and were safely heading towards Philadelphia. A C-130 rescue crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., which had also been scrambled by the Coast Guard, was subsequently stood down.
McMurdo’s Fast Find 210 PLB is just one of those recommended for use by safety-conscious individuals who spend time on the water, whether for leisure or work purposes.
Compact, waterproof and lightweight, this pocket-sized device can be used to alert search and rescue authorities anywhere in the world.
With a powerful 5 watt signal output that transmits for a minimum of 24 hours, the Fast Find 210 PLB ensures that a distress signal will get through, no matter how remote or extreme your location may be.
However, you don't need to go remote to need one of these. In the wrong weather the waters off most coastlines can be just as dangerous and life threatening as remote waters. Time may still be of the essence no matter where your yacht happens to be sinking. As the man in the commercial might have said, don't go to sea without one!