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EPIRB to the rescue

Dec 21, 2012
Various EPIRB models

Various EPIRB models

NOAA photo

For voyagers going offshore, an EPIRB continues to be a must have piece of gear. This story form the Coast Guard being a good illustration of the point:

From the press release: NEW ORLEANS — A Coast Guard aircrew located a 60-year-old man aboard a 34-foot disabled sailboat approximately 50 miles south of Marsh Island in the Gulf of Mexico, Thursday.

Rescued was Charles Hampe, a native of New Hampshire.

Watchstanders at the 8th Coast Guard District command center received a 406 MHz signal at 9:46 a.m. from an electronic position indicating radio beacon on board the sailboat Amante. Hampe manually activated the EPIRB at approximately 9:40 a.m. and donned his life jacket. The sails of the Amante reportedly became shredded due to a storm developing in the area. While the mast remained intact, several riggings had broke loose. He was then unable to start the engine or safely navigate the vessel.

A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched and deployed a rescue swimmer into the water to avoid the mast and guided the man into the hoist basket. Before Hampe departed his boat, the mariner took the EPIRB with him, turned off all of the electronics on board and energized the navigation lights.

The aircrew transported Hampe to the Acadiana Regional Airport in New Iberia. He reported no medical concerns or injuries.

“The position we received from the EPIRB was very, very acurate,” said Lt. Marc Lanore, Air Station New Orleans pilot. “We were able to go right to the spot of his location.”

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