Introducing the world’s smallest PLB
Give yourself peace of mind knowing you have a life saving device. The Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB1 can be purchased for under $300.00.
After reading this story, I would like to remind you to check the date on your EPIRB battery, make sure your EPIRB is registered and consider replacing older EPIRB technology with a GPS enabled EPIRB.There was no moon, and multiple cloud layers and thunderstorm cells blocked any available light provided by the stars,” said Lt. j.g. Caleb Thorp, the Hercules pilot. “The rain was near continuous, which reflected any light emitted from the aircraft and caused our night vision goggles to be useless. So we secured as many lights on the aircraft as possible to aid the search outside. We could only see straight down where we saw very rough seas.”Finally, through the waves and winds, the C-130 crew received a blip on their radar that matched the profile of a sailboat.Unable to actually see the vessel, and failing to establish communications over the radio, the Hercules crew began to fly over the boat’s location, flashing the plane’s wing tip landing lights to grab the crew’s attention.“We couldn’t see anything on the first pass, but on the second pass we saw a light cutting through the blowing rain,” said Thorp. “We flashed our lights and the sailing vessel flashed a handheld light back at the aircraft.”The sailing vessel, later identified as the 48-foot long Wolfhound, lost all power and was at the mercy of the Atlantic Ocean. With the power out, its radio was useless, and the four Irish nationals aboard had no other means of contacting a rescue agency.Within six hours, both of the AMVER merchant vessels arrived on scene, led there by the Hercules crew. The crew of the 738-foot Tetian Trader eventually came alongside the Wolfhound and helped the crew leave their stricken ship.On average, there is a commercial ship in the AMVER system that is involved in saving a life somewhere in the world every 33 hours.The rescue of the crew aboard the Wolfhound demonstrates how the culmination of EPIRB technology and the partnerships between multiple agencies save lives. The only other thing that might have better facilitated this successful search and rescue effort would have been if the sailboat’s EPRIB had been registered and up to date. With an unregistered EPRIB, a distress alert may be delayed before reaching the Coast Guard, often in situations in which there is not a moment to spare.