Emergency Beacons

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:49
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Whats the correct name for the beacon that has the 4 txt messengers you can pre programe into.cheer's GREENDOG
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:53

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:53
Spot??
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Follow Up By: Member - GREENDOG - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:59

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:59
OK thanks,i'll google that and see what i came up with.thanks GD
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:57

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:57
GreenDog

It is a Spot Messenger


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - GREENDOG - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 21:06

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 21:06
Yep thats the one thanks mate,cheers GD
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Reply By: parjopete - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:59

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 20:59
hi there Greendog,
spot i think is the one u are after, www.findmespot.com
i have just been looking at them. hope it helps
Pete
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 21:02

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 21:02
Are they to be used in an * emergency * ???

Maîneÿ . . .

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 21:28

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 21:28
It contains a distress alerting facility and there is a Memorandum Of Understanding between AMSA and IERCC (which Spot messengers utilise):

http://natsar.amsa.gov.au/Manuals/Search_and_Rescue_Manual/documents/SPOTMOU11June2009.pdf

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:28

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:28
Andrew
Ummm, what's your reply got to do with the question I've asked ??
I expeced a 'yes/no' reply

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:34

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:34
It sounds like a personal choice Maîneÿ..

On this years remote trip I will not be taking a new Epirb.

However I will be taking a Spot, old Epirb, Sat Phone and maybe even a Satellite Internet transceiver. This will do fine for my needs.

Cheers


Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:41

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:41
Did you read that link or just shoot from the hip?

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 00:20

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 00:20
Sorry, i apologise for that statement Mainey....

Yes they can be used in an emergency. They cannot replace a legal requirement to carry an EPIRB in certain situations.

Hope that helps.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 02:02

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 02:02
Guy's, I asked the question because I was thinking if it was to be used in a true *emergency* would you have the time and capability to select the correct message ??
Is no good telling someone via the message your on your way to Bourke from Sydney, if that message was preprogrammed into the unit on the trip last month, when your really on your way to Bega from Sydney this month.

If for instance you needed it because the vehicle rolled over there is the probability your going to be hurt, or even trapped inside the vehicle ??

In those conditions, how is the correct message selected and sent ??

I'm not going to suggest I know of a better alternative, because I don't.

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 07:04

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 07:04
Mainey the text is for non emergency use. There is a dedicated emergency button which has the same function as activating a PLB.

I was told by a country copper that Vic Police have adopted them as their emergency beacon in the country so they must have some faith in them if that is true.
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:42

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:42
Mainey
Some gliding clubs use them to send their location if immbobilsed but unhurt.
I use my spot in a similar manner as follows .
When on the move I transmit the OK message about once a day.
The Spot device lets me know when its signal has got through.
The OK Button
To my selected contacts, this updates my GPS coordinates and a link to a Google map each time – my message never changes and states “Dennis is Ok – Don’t send Help”
The Help Button
The Help message which I would send if immobilised, but not in dire risk of death – my message states “Dennis is in trouble get me help ASAP”
I this case my contacts have been instructed to ring the police nearest to my location and tell them to send a rescue team to my GPS coordinates.
The 911 button.
This is the emergency signal and is sent to the Huston monitoring station who will take control and contact the Australian SAR and provide them with my current GPS location.
I won't go without it when travel solo to remote locations particlarly if I take my kayak.
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Follow Up By: Anotheone - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 17:55

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 17:55
Just a little point about the MOU, please also read Para 9.1 that says"AMSA is not, by this MOU, endorsing the SPOT device or the IERCC service" Its a small point but relevant.

There are a number of similar systems in place around the traps, a lot are more expensive, and more are on the way, so the idea is simply to establish some protocols (not so much establish an endorsed distress system)

A tip if you have one: AusSAR cant get any info from the IERCC if you havent pressed the 911 button, so make sure your contacts have access to any of your track data (web or email) this is significant when you say "Ill send you an OKAY message every day to say I am okay and one day it doesn't get through. Have had some events like that and your data isn't releasable.

The Kayaker in Bass strait mentioned above was one of the reasons for setting up the MOU, there was a delay in the rescue. There have been a couple of times where a spot was activated and the wrong people were called. the idea is as mentioned to "provide one contact point" and ensure that only one rescue operation is commenced. Once Aussar gets it they will pass on the job to the state police (who look after land rescue which is what most here will use a spot for), and relay any info as required.

I have nothing against spots either - I use one as well.

Now here is one to throw amongst the pigeons :), http://www.406link.com/ , when this comes in please remember that the battery that sends your position is the same one that is used when you are in distress.
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Follow Up By: Anotheone - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 17:59

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 17:59
Sorry post above was a followup to the discussion below, not this one
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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 22:50

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 22:50
Why complicate things with the memorandum of understanding?
I rang the Australian National Search and Rescue authority before I purchased Spot.
They will respond to a Spot 911 distress call.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 22:59

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 22:59
Just maybe because the Spot system sends the alert to the American Rescue facilities and the Aus RCC won't know anything about it until they are phoned by their American counterparts and its confirmed that the distress signal is from the Australian area of responsibility.

Seems quite sensible to have the respective responsibilities and procedures laid out in a Memorandum of Understanding so everyone is on the same page.
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:21

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:21
Why so complicated?
I am talking about Australia.
Ring Australian SAR if you don’t believe me.
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:34

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:34
Rather than have 1000 people waste their time with a phone call, refer to the MOU which clarifies the arrangements. Less complicated than phonecalls....

A MOU is a standard and appropriate arrangement when dealing with multiple jurisdictions, and to communicate State and National arrangements.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:51

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:51
God John, this could go on forever.
SAR will respond to a Spot distress call sent from a location on land in Australia.
They will also respond to calls from our coastal waters.
About a year ago they saved a canoeist in Bass Strait
What don’t you understand about that?
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:57

Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 at 23:57
Apologies John, reply meant for Andrew.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 00:08

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 00:08
I must have missed something Dennis??

Seems like a very good and well coordinated system.
Actually makes me think about buying a Spot now as I didn't realise how well they had set up the details of the MOU and the documented response procedures.

SPOT PERSONAL SATELLITE MESSENGER

3.1 The SPOT Personal Satellite Messenger device (SPOT) and its associated service originate from a USA company called SPOT LLC. SPOT is primarily a tracking device which can also send preformatted messages indicating that a person is safe or that they require non-emergency assistance. In addition the user is able to alert an Alerting Post that they are in distress. SPOT LLC has contracted for the provision of around the clock emergency monitoring and response to SPOT users through the IERCC.

4. SPOT EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE ALERTING PROCESS

4.1 A SPOT user will initiate a response by pressing and holding the ‘911’ button on the SPOT device. The device will obtain a GPS fix and send the location and event request via the Globalstar satellite system. The emergency assistance request (distress alert) will be relayed to the IERCC.

5. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES

5.1 When a SPOT distress alert is detected from a GPS location within the Australian SRR the following procedures will be followed:

a) IERCC will confirm that the distress position is within the Australian SRR.

b) The IERCC SAR Mission Coordinator (SMC) will advise RCC Australia by telephone of the time and location of the SPOT distress alert and any other relevant information including track data for the relevant SPOT unit in GPX format.

c) RCC Australia is to be the sole Australian point of contact for IERCC unless otherwise authorized by this MOU.

d) The IERCC will make every effort to determine whether the SPOT distress alert is a false alarm and advise RCC Australia accordingly.

e) After contact with the SPOT emergency contacts the IERCC SMC will advise RCC Australia by telephone and e-mail of any further information such as an updated position, trip details, medical conditions and number in the group.

f) RCC Australia will update the IERCC SMC as required by telephone and e-mail.

g) IERCC will maintain the relationship with the SPOT user’s emergency contact list keeping them up to date with SAR progress.

h) IERCC may continue to receive further information and position updates and these will be advised to RCC Australia as required.

i) RCC Australia will acknowledge each communication from IERCC to RCC Australia.

j) Once the person in distress has been located and removed to a place of safety, RCC Australia will advise IERCC by telephone and e-mail.
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 00:12

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 00:12
I agree with your statement there Dennis, i'm not sure why you are concerned.

Andrew

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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 00:25

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 00:25
I don’t have a concern Andrew, I like facts from the horse’s mouth – I had detailed communications with the monitoring station in Houston Texas and the Australian SAR before I purchased Spot.
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Follow Up By: Anotheone - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 17:58

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 17:58
Just a little point about the MOU, please also read Para 9.1 that says"AMSA is not, by this MOU, endorsing the SPOT device or the IERCC service" Its a small point but relevant.

There are a number of similar systems in place around the traps, a lot are more expensive, and more are on the way, so the idea is simply to establish some protocols (not so much establish an endorsed distress system)

A tip if you have one: AusSAR cant get any info from the IERCC if you havent pressed the 911 button, so make sure your contacts have access to any of your track data (web or email) this is significant when you say "Ill send you an OKAY message every day to say I am okay and one day it doesn't get through. Have had some events like that and your data isn't releasable.

The Kayaker in Bass strait mentioned above was one of the reasons for setting up the MOU, there was a delay in the rescue. There have been a couple of times where a spot was activated and the wrong people were called. the idea is as mentioned to "provide one contact point" and ensure that only one rescue operation is commenced. Once Aussar gets it they will pass on the job to the state police (who look after land rescue which is what most here will use a spot for), and relay any info as required.

I have nothing against spots either - I use one as well.

Now here is one to throw amongst the pigeons :), http://www.406link.com/ , when this comes in please remember that the battery that sends your position is the same one that is used when you are in distress.
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 19:47

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 19:47
Hi Anotherone,
I have checked it out at both ends, both with the USA monitoring service and the Australian SAR - they will respond - no doubt about it.
You made some observations and it goes without saying that:
IERCC can't respond if you don't press the 911 button.
I carry spare batterys
My contacts are instructed to use one contact point only.
I don't use the OK message for Help messages so there is no point in sending them at frequent intervals - the OK message is just a social thing - nobody responds to it.

As for theThe Spot data, it is reliable - I have tested it extensively from Perth to the tip of Cape Yorke and it has a 100% success rate in establishing contact. It has a indicator to tell you when the message gets through - after it gives that indication it has never failed to send GPS coordinates to my portable computer (some times the computer is out of Next G range but the spot messages are always there when I next log on).

I can't see any cat amongst the pigeons and it will continue to be my sole rescue communiction device.







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Follow Up By: Anotheone - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 20:00

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 20:00
Dennis

My point about not getting info if you dont use the 911 button was in relation to the IECC wont pass your previous position updates to aussar unless you use that button. So if you are overdue or something like that aussar cant get your track history. Thus your contacts will need to have that data available. Have had to chase a few overdue spot users and its not an easy task as you dont have a starting point. If your contacts have it it is of great assistance.

I mention it because some users believe that aussar can gain access to this data if someone reports you missing - but its not the case

Regarding the cat among the pigeons its not about spot its the new service using epirbs to send your "im okay" messages

Actually aussar will respond to any advice of distress by any means, there is nothing special about spot's relationship.
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 20:20

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 20:20
Hi Anotheone.
If you are overdue and don't send a 911 then its going to be a hard job for persons like yourself to locate the user - I understand that.

Spot suits my requirements, as my prime consideration is to have some one respond when I hit the panic button.




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Follow Up By: Anotheone - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 20:29

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 20:29
Dennis

lol, it would help take the search out of rescue,

Yep I use one as well, I think the tracking function is great.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 07:27

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 07:27
Greendog,

Be aware that the Spot Messenger will cost you around US$100 per year to subscribe to their service.


Bill.

Bill


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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:43

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:43
Thanks for the heads up Bill

I was wondering then if you could answer me this.

What is the very basic EPIRB worth and do you know if there is a "subscription" to it as well?

We should get something ourselves I suppose. Not interested in telling anyone where we are unless its an emergency so an EPIRB may be better for us. The rest can wait until we are home to find out where we are.

Phil
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Follow Up By: signman - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:32

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:32
I got the SPOT thru eBay at a very 'good' price. The annual subscription is about that of a tank of fuel or a few packs of smokes.
We use it as our family and friends are interested in our travels, and can plot our trips live on their computer. We also send a 'All ok' message evry other day to 'the kids' ..and the 'Help' and '911' features are there if we ever need them.
I readily admit it's just another toy-




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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:48

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:48
What a difference. We don't even take a computer. Haven't got HF. No sat phone and my mobile went in the rubbish. No news is good news. I certainly don't want anyone to know our house is empty. NO WAY.

But I think we should have some emergency device etc. Maybe one day!

So anyone:
I would still like to know if there is a fee or subscription for the EPIRBs.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:54

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:54
NO Phil :)

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 18:50

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 18:50
Greendog,

Here is the Web site for Whitworth Marine which shows a bunch of current EPIRBs available.
Their price is as cheap as any I know of.

Whitworth Marine EPIRBS

You can buy one for around $400 but for a bit more, one with a built-in GPS will give more accuracy.
Any of the 406 Mhz units will be suitable in an emergency however and there is no additional cost involved.


Bill.
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Tuesday, Mar 02, 2010 at 20:20

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2010 at 20:20
Key Benefits & Features for the MT4OO EPIRB:

A 406MHz beacon can be located within 5km's.
The MT400 406MHz beacon will also eliminate much of the guess work in the search by telling AUSSAR your name and all your identification and contact details.

Ground Breaking, Microprocessor Based Technology
Zero Warm-up Digital Technology
Hi reliability solid state strobe replacing xenon tubes
Rugged, Lightweight, easy-to-mount compact design
Quick and easy test facility with Audio Alert
Designed and manufactured in Australia
COSPAS-SARSAT APPROVED and AS/NZS4280 approval is pending
5 Year Warranty
No further or ongoing costs
(except for battery replacement)

Maîneÿ . . .
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Reply By: out141 - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:16

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:16
Great Divide Tours, with who we went on their Cape York trip last August, use spot in two ways.

1 - an emergency signal can be sent

2 - they can track where their vehicles are from base in NSW

Spot will send your exact coordinates to the relavent emergency services.

It is worth noting that in a serious emergency where voice contact or advice is required from doctors / paramedics both an EBIRP and SPOT are useless.

There are threads on SAT Phones in this forum, I am speaking as someone who may need medical assistance when in remote areas, still doing further research!
cheers, John
AnswerID: 406643

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2010 at 19:22

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2010 at 19:22
John,

In a serious emergency it is irrelevant whether or not you can communicate verbally.
If you need to do this, a Satphone is a better choice.

In a real emergency, what you want is a bloody great helicopter hovering above you as soon as possible, or at least emergency supplies dropped until ground support staff arrive.

I hope I never need to set mine off, but the $500 purchase price was easy to justify.


Bill.

Bill


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