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Articles Posted in EPIRB

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Survival_suits_USCG1200x700-300x175On August 11th, multiple U.S. Coast Guard units received distress calls stating that the F/V ARCTIC FOX II, a 66-foot commercial fishing boat, had begun taking on water. The vessel was located about 85 miles off Cape Flattery, Washington at the time of trouble.

The three crewmembers aboard were getting ready to abandon ship and reported that they were all wearing survival suits. Once on the scene, the U.S. Coast Guard aircrew immediately spotted a lifeboat. One survivor was aboard and hoisted into the helicopter. Tragically, the other two crewmembers did not survive. While the fishermen were all wearing survival suits, it was later reported that the suits were old, in poor repair, and that the seams were cracked. The suits that were meant to save lives, were not watertight.

This tragic accident highlights the need for all vessel owners, masters, and captains to test the functionality of immersion suits stored on their vessels. Under federal law, it is the duty of the person in charge of the vessel to make sure all lifesaving gear is properly maintained and inspected before each voyage. Follow these best practices for proper inspection and care.

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Florence_Oregon-300x200It is with great sadness that we report the deaths of two people killed early Monday morning after the F/V AQUARIUS collided with a jetty on the Siuslaw River Bar.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector North Bend received a distress call at about 1:50 a.m. from the captain of the vessel, stating that the vessel was taking on water and that all crew members were abandoning ship.

The 13th District command center received a signal from the vessel’s Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon [EPIRB] shortly after the call. The vessel sank near Florence, Oregon.

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Cape_Cod-300x157It is with great sadness that we report that the U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for three missing fishermen near Massachusetts.

An Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alert from F/V LEONARDO was received by the U.S. Coast Guard District One command center on Sunday at 3:18 P.M. Personnel from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to investigate.

The F/V LEONARDO was carrying four crew members when it capsized and sank approximately 24 nautical miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard. Coast Guard crewmembers were able to rescue one of the four fishermen, Ernesto Santos, from a lifeboat.

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Response-Boat-Medium-300x199Five crewmembers were rescued from their skiff after their 49-foot fishing vessel sank near Black Island, Alaska. Watchstanders at U. S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a call about the accident on Sunday, July 14th over VHF channel 16. The F/V DAFFNIE capsized and all five crewmembers boarded a skiff as the vessel was sinking. The position of the skiff was reported, and watchstanders received an additional warning signal from the EPIRB registered to the vessel. It was reported that the crewmembers had only one survival suit, a handheld radio, and one life jacket between them. They were also holding onto the seine net.

An Alaska State wildlife trooper arrived on the scene and confirmed the location of the skiff. Good Samaritan F/V LOVIE JOANN and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from the U. S. Coast Guard Station Ketchikan arrived approximately 10 minutes later. Four of the crewmembers were transferred to the RB-M vessel and taken to Ketchikan. The F/V DAFFNIE master stayed with the skiff, and the crew aboard the F/V LOVIE JOANN assisted in the retrieval of the seine net.

The vessel sank in approximately 500 feet of water and can carry up to 400 gallons of diesel fuel. Responders reported a visible sheen on the water in the area of the sinking. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment personnel will investigate further regarding pollution and potential salvage of the sunken vessel.

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Coast-Guard-Hoisting-300x200Three Tampa Bay fishermen are glad to be alive after the 32-foot F/V MISS SATURIA sank about 90 miles west of Naples, Florida. Watchstanders in St. Petersburg received mayday calls from an unknown source, then launched a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 helicopter crew and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew to search for survivors.

The Norwegian Pearl and the Rotterdam cruise ships both reported that they heard the mayday calls near their locations. The Norwegian Pearl diverted course to assist in the search. About 40 minutes later, the Coast Guard reported that they had received an alert from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon registered to the MISS SATURIA. The vessel owner, James Glover, was contacted and reported that three fishermen were out on the vessel.

The U.S. Coast Guard sent an Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Miami to search for the men, then sent a helicopter to complete the rescue after the life raft strobe lights and red flares were spotted at about 4am. The Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the fishermen then transferred them to the air station where emergency medical personnel were waiting.

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Ocean-Pearl-300x173On Saturday, December 8th, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued four crewmembers who abandoned ship after a fire broke out aboard the 75-foot F/V OCEAN PEARL. The vessel was located approximately 16 miles southeast of Cape May, New Jersey at the time of the incident.

Crew members reported that an electrical fire broke out just after 10:30 EST. One of the crew members was able to activate the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) just before abandoning ship.

According to authorities, a call was made to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay’s command center using a handheld radio. The Cape May station dispatched two 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews as well as the 87-foot patrol boat CUTTER CROCODILE.

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MYSTIC_LADYThe U.S. Coast Guard rescued five adults and two children after the 58-foot F/V Mystic Lady sunk near Thorne Bay, Alaska.

Shortly after 4am on Friday, June 29th, watchstanders at the Station Ketchikan received a 406-emergency position indication radio beacon alert in addition to a mayday broadcast via VHF-FM Channel 16, that the vessel had hit a rock and was quickly taking on water. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew was launched and on their way to the scene by 4:34. The rescue crew traveled approximately 40 miles and reached the mariners by 5:30am. They arrived to find the F/V Mystic Lady underwater and 7 people in an inflatable life raft waving their arms.

“We were the first to arrive on scene, and I’m thankful that we were able to assist these people as quickly as we could,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Fischer, the small boat coxswain during the case. “With the inflatable life raft that the survivors used, they increased their own chances of survival exponentially until we were able to be on scene and assist.”

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C-S_System_OverviewApril 6th is National 406 Day. It is easy to remember, as the date (04/06) corresponds to the 406 MHz frequency used by these devices to transmit digital signals to satellites. These beacons are considered by many in the maritime trades to be the best life insurance available. And in some cases, they are legally required by vessel owners. To read more about safety gear, please see our page regarding life rafts, EPIRBs and survival suits. National 406 Day is also a reminder to anyone with a beacon that federal law requires registration to be current.

What exactly is an EPIRB? It is an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon that works by transmitting a signal via satellite that can then be relayed to a rescue coordination center. The device can be automatically activated (for example if the device is under more than 3 meters of water) or manually activated to transmit a distress signal.

Here is a list of 8 tips NOAA recommends when handling your EPIRB:

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