Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Pinoy Boat Servic
Port Carmen, Cebu

This post truly ought to have been posted several months ago when the mystery occurred but here we go.

These days one of the most important pieces of safety equipment aboard cruising yachts is the EPIRB. This acronym stands for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon.This small radio transmitter when activated sends out a position message via satellite for the yacht to which it is registered to. Ours is through SARSAT or Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking a division of the USA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. What all this means is in case of an emergency we can activate the transmitter and a signal is sent out via satellite showing our position.
This in turn would allow some sort of rescue response.

There is of course a protocol to be followed by the receiving agency in case of an accidental activation. The registration form lists several emergency phone contacts to try and determine if in fact the activation has been for a real emergency. Ours lists our son and his wife who live in Huntington Beach, California. They would be asked questions such as did they know our last location, any knowledge that we may be in trouble, were we currently underway, etc..

Now you ask what is this all about? One morning while Kathy was in California and staying with the
Kids and speaking to me on the phone Lori interrupted saying the US Coast Guard from Guam was on the phone and trying to find out our status as our EPIRB had been activated. She said Kathy was actually there and talking to me on the phone and there was no emergency. This was relayed to me and looking at the EPIRB I could see the transmit light flashing. the mystery was how it had gotten activated as a tab on the bracket holding the unit prohibits switching on the unit without removal from the bracket but there it was flashing and transmitting away. I removed the unit lifted the on/off lever and the unit shut down. Ir's still a mystery as to what caused the activation but we were happy to see that it worked as advertised. The Coast guard said that they had us in a location off Cebu in the Philippines. If in fact Lori could not have let the authorities know we were all right they would have in turn notified agencies here in the Philippines to try and locate us and either find that it was an accidental activation or an actual emergency.

  In the photo you can see the on/off lever under the tab on the left side of the unit. Not sure how but was some how activated while still in the bracket.

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