I finally got one after much persuasion from one of our paddling partners.

Have you ever had to use one ?

I sure hope not, but if you did, what was the response time?

Jack L

I have always wondered
the same thing about channel 16 on my VHS since it’s illegal to do a radio check on that channel. I remember reading an article in sea kayaker magazine about a rescue where the beacon didn’t work for someone who luckily got rescued anyway. I kinda remember reading he had an older generation model and that newer ones are much more reliable. I will look through some old issues and see if I can find the article. It was one of those articles where some careless paddler puts themselves in a bad situation and the readers of sea kayaker are supposed to learn from it even though people who read that magazine would probably never put themselves in that situation anyway.

Jack, which PLB did you pick-up?
These are the two units I have been looking at. Note the the new ACR model was recently announced, but I do not believe it has passed formal ‘certification’ yet.

As I recollect both of these PLBs will retail a bit under $250, which is considerably less than units were just two years ago.

seems very variable
if the unit is working and has a communication contact, it seems that the signal to someone saying there is an emergency with the coordinates should be out within minutes.

But, what happens after that seems to be a huge variable. One big area seems to be where you are located. if you are in the middle of the Pacific, the best they may be able to do is reroute a ship towards you (response time then being how long it takes for the ship to get there - which could be hours or days). If you are in the middle of San Francisco Bay, it may just be a few minutes to get a fast boat or helicopter sent to you.

variable time to me
Usually SAR comes out of Trenton CFB but there was a very fast rescue(within 90 minutes) in Wabakimi last year(not me) as a SAR team was training in the area. The area in Wabakimi is a full four day paddle from the nearest town…some 80 miles. The signaling device was a SPOT.

Weather would have more to do with time elapsed than anything…

A PLB still isn’t going to be able to help a full cardiac arrest. ACLS won’t arrive in 8 minutes. But you wont die of hypothermia if you busted your leg.

You keep it in your PFD?

it is a " Fast Find" by

Sorry, I can’t open the links. Our reception here sucks and it would take all day

jack L

Yes in the pocket
an yes, some times I wear it and sometimes it is on the back deck, but it is always with me.

Yesterday the wind was blowing at 20 knots, and we were playing in white caps in deep water. Needless to say I was wearing it.

jack L

If he had an older gen PLB, it may be

– Last Updated: Jan-10-11 1:20 PM EST –

that no one was listening. SARSAT network has stopped monitoring 121.5 & 243 MHz, which is what older EPIRBs and PLBs broadcast on. Now they monitor just 406 MHz.