The rescued sailor with nine years out-of-date EPIRB
"I didn't know whether the EPIRB would work because the expiry date was 2002" .. .
No matter how many times I hear such a story I never cease to be amazed. Never mind that he went sailing in the south Indian Ocean in winter, the sailor involved in the latest rescue, now on his way to the Canary Islands on a bulk carrier, had to be dropped a liferaft and a VHF radio from a helicopter and his EPIRB was nine years out of date.
It took six hours of tricky manoeuvring by the bulk carrier to pick him up in the nine metre seas, costing them precious time and fuel.
That was after the Australian authorities had provided a Dornier helicopter and an Orion aircraft to find him and then stay positioned over the yacht for many hours until the arrival of the ship.
While more cautious sailors might say he must have been on a suicide mission, he now says he 'can't wait to go sailing again.'
With the birth of our era of GPS and AIS and other gizmos that encourage sailors to think it's easy out there, one can't help wondering if there isn't some merit in considering (again) whether nations should be putting some check on the suitability of yachts that leave their home country for the first time.
It would not be the proverbial silver bullet, but maybe it would help.
Lots of other news from our world's oceans and coastlines. Some heavy-hitting warnings about the new USA Broadband's tendency to interfere with GPS signals, idyllic rallying in Indonesia, some good practical articles and the tale of the day the superyacht made an unexpected visit among surprised sunbakers on a Croatian beach.
Browse down the headlines to see what suits your interest, and...
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