'OMG I’ve just set off the EPIRB'
Daria Blackwell, Ocean Cruising Club member and co-author of 'Happy Hooking: The Art of Anchoring', tells us she has just received this notice from the radio licensing authority in Ireland:
All VHF students will remember that if we accidentally set off our EPIRB the following would be considered:
- hiding it under the duvet
- wrapping it in foil
- trying to drown it, or
- leaving it switched on and contacting the coast guard immediately to tell them about the accidental activation and only turning it off when they said so.
Well they are all wrong. Now the new rule is:
- SWITCH THE EPIRB OFF IMMEDIATELY, THEN CONTACT A COAST RADIO STATION BY ANY AVAILABLE MEANS TO EXPLAIN THAT IT IS A FALSE ALERT.
Ocean Cruising Club
Letter from reader:
Sender: Gill Durham, New Zealand Coastguard Boating Education Tutor:
Message: Not in NZ! RCCNZ has confirmed to Coastguard Boating Education that the correct action following an accidental activation of an EPIRB is: To contact RCCNZ ASAP by any means to advise them, but leave the beacon on until told to turn it off.
The reason? If RCCNZ receive a position from the beacon and cannot establish that it is an inadvertent activation, then a SAR resource will be launched. If the beacon is turned off the SAR asset will have difficulty locating the source which may result in an unnecessary large search.
by Daria Blackwell, Ocean Cruising Club
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7:44 PM Fri 13 Dec 2013GMT
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