Monday, February 18, 2008

Can you find me now?

The value of carrying a 406Mhz EPIRB has once again come to light off the coast of New Zealand. Ten French sailors rescued from a capsized racing trimaran 145km east of Dunedin are back on dry land. The 32m Groupama III was taking part in the Jules Verne Round the World Yacht Race when it overturned.

Now, a few years ago, being French, we Kiwis may well have left them, but even though memories linger, you have to move forward.

RCCNZ mission coordinator Keith Allen said the incident highlighted the value of people carrying this variety of EPIRB, which had greatly assisted in the rescue."Because the 406Mhz variety EPIRB is able to be detected by satellite within minutes, it gives rescuers an accurate position very quickly, which greatly speeds up any emergency response," he said.

"The fact that the beacon was also registered with up to date ownership details, meant that rescue agencies knew straight away who was in trouble and were able to make contact with them."

A 406Mhz PLB is compulsory for every competitor in the upcoming Everglades Challenge, so it's kind of nice to see it working in action. In fact, any kayaker doing any serious offshore kayaking should pack one away with them. I even take mine with me on road trips. Remember those women last year, in two separate occasions, who drove off the road and weren't found for a week or so...


Adam Bolonsky said...

Hi Kristen,
thanks for the post! I've always enjoyed the awesome sight of fast ocean trimarans and catamarans under sail at high speeds. Scary to see them upside down.

You might want to mention that kayakers and hikers can rent a consumer version of an EPIRB, called a personal locater beacon, for about $45 a week. One place is

For what it's worth, I'm currently testing and will be writing about the new SPOT beacon, which uses gps and GEOS to send to friends email or text messages that you are okay (or need help), including an embedded a Google Map pinpointing your location.


Kristen said...

Excellent remarks, Adam. I'm also doing a test on the SPOT for Sea Kayaker magazine.

Dana Law said...

Does this device leave a bread crumb trail that we can follow on the internet?
Dana Law

Kristen said...

Excellent remarks, Adam. I'm also doing a test on the SPOT for Sea Kayaker magazine.

Kristen said...

The SPOT leaves breadcrumbs, Dana, on a Google map.

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

stop it...your making sense... :-)

paddle paddle... hope you are feeling better - bri