Thursday, May 10, 2007

THIS could save your life!! You need one of these if you fish, hike, hunt or explore in isolated areas. We decided today to invest in this ResQFix 406 w/ GPS model. It has a notification time of 2-15 minutes and will let the Coast Guard know your GPS coordinates within 110 yds of your location (hearing distance). Every minute counts when you're the bait!!

An EPIRB is meant to help rescuers locate you in an emergency situation, and these radios have saved many lives since their creation in the 1970s. Boaters are the main users of EPIRBs.
A modern EPIRB is a sophisticated device that contains:
A 5-watt radio transmitter operating at 406 MHz (see How the Radio Spectrum Works for details on frequencies)
A 0.25-watt radio transmitter operating at 121.5 MHz
A GPS receiver Once activated, both of the radios start transmitting. Approximately 24,000 miles (39,000 km) up in space, a GOES weather satellite in a geosynchronous orbit can detect the 406-MHz signal. Embedded in the signal is a unique serial number, and, if the unit is equipped with a GPS receiver, the exact location of the radio is conveyed in the signal as well. If the EPIRB is properly registered, the serial number lets the Coast Guard know who owns the EPIRB. Rescuers in planes or boats can home in on the EPIRB using either the 406-MHz or 121.5-MHz signal.
Older EPIRBs did not contain the GPS receiver, so the GOES satellite received only a serial number. To locate the EPIRB, another set of satellites (like the TIROS-N satellite) orbiting the planet in a low polar orbit could pick up the signal as it passed overhead. This would give a rough fix on the location, but it took several hours for a satellite to come into range.

We already have a hand-held GPS and 2-way radio (both waterproof) that can be grabbed easily if time permits. With the EPIRB purchase, they gifted us with a huge waterproof, floatable bag to store all our gear, like whistles, flares, mirrors, etc. It's called a "ditch" bag, which only adds to my adrenalin rush. The final item remaining on our To-Buy emergency list is an inflatable raft. This would make a disaster so much easier on us.

We say, "Prepare for the worst and hope for the best." Jack had a friend survive 30 hours on the hull of his overturned boat during an oncoming Tropical Storm, blowing 6-8 ft seas. An EPIRB, ditch bag and prayer helped him to survive the ordeal. He even had water & food packed.

Think safety!

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