The Eventider's News
Issue Eleven. Autumn/Winter 2008.
This page will be a collection of snippets and information, gleaned from owners and friends, newspapers, magazines and scurrilous here-say as well no doubt, hopefully all factual, as far as can be ascertained, and maybe humorous, we all need a giggle some times! Have you found a snippet we could add?
LIFEBOAT crews fear being scuppered by crippling
new charges for using their radios from Ofcom, the communications regulator. The
RNLI could see the price of using its VHF emergency frequencies rise to £250,000
under plans to charge the full commercial rate.
The charity, which saves hundreds of lives every year currently pays an annual £48,000 at a discounted rate of 50 per cent. It relies on donations and fears the move will have a disastrous impact on fund-raising. Peter Bradley, RNLI operations staff officer, said: "It's a lot of money when you think in terms of lifeboat days and little old ladies collecting pound coins."
"We could buy several inshore lifeboats for the same amount."
"The Government rely on us to provide this search-and-rescue service, at a cost of £124 million a year, but they want to charge us for doing it!"
Ofcom has set out plans to bring "market forces" into maritime and civil aviation communications in a policy it calls Administered Incentive Pricing.
£250,000 represents an awful lot of charity collections, even more so in the current economic climate so, if like me you feel strongly enough
about this, please sign the petition below.
November 2008, John Stevens find more snippets!
Thinking of trading up from an Eventide 24?
found on the BBC website by Christine...
Secret cavern found
under Lord Nelson's favourite tavern...
SECRET chambers outside the site where Nelson spent his last day on land have been uncovered by road workers drilling a hole in Portsmouth.
Again thanks to John Stevens for finding
another interesting snippet!
RNLI Photo Competition Winners.
Thanks again John S.
Changes to EPIRB frequencies and the implications for mariners
There has been some confusion in the press about the impending changes to the EPIRB frequencies being used. Here, Safety Marine looks at what is actually happening and what the implications are for commercial mariners, fishermen, small craft operators and leisure boat owners.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has announced that from 1st February 2009, only 406MHz and not 121.5MHz emergency beacons will be processed by the international search and rescue satellite system known as COSPAS-SARSAT.
This will affect all maritime beacons (EPIRBs), all aviation emergency-locator transponders (ELTs) and all personal locator beacons (PLBs) operating on the 121.5MHz frequency.
The MCA and its partner organisations are now encouraging all mariners to take the necessary action to ensure they have an alternative means of alerting the rescue services in the event of an emergency, such as using a 406MHz beacon system.
The MCA's View
Commenting on the changes, Chris Blockley-Webb, of the MCA's Navigation Safety Branch, said:
"The 406MHz system is far superior to its older 121.5 MHz sibling. Each beacon has a unique code which means that specific information about the vessel and its owners is available from the EPIRB Registry, and any vessel in difficulty can be pinpointed down to a distance of 120 metres"
"Seafarers can still retain the 121.5MHz beacons if they so wish, but should be aware that these can only be used as a homing device for search and rescue assets and not as an initial alerting system."
How useful are the 406MHz beacons in practice?
The 406MHz beacon has now been available to mariners for well over two decades and has already contributed to the saving of many lives at sea.
In January 2007 the 406MHz beacon from an Irish fishing vessel 'Discovery' started transmitting. The boat was 160 miles west of the Isles of Scilly. There were seven people on board the vessel which had capsized and had no communications other than the 406MHz beacon. Five fishermen took to one life raft and the other two took to another. Unfortunately as the boat turned over, it punctured the life raft with the two fishermen in and it started to deflate.
Following the 406MHz beacon alert, Falmouth Coastguard worked with the Irish Coastguard to send resources to the seven fishermen. They were able to pinpoint exactly where to send the search and rescue team following the signal from the 406MHz beacon.
The Irish Coastguard aircraft 'Casa Maritime Patrol' located the fishermen relatively quickly and a nearby ship, the ultra large crude carrier 'Front Commander' was asked to turn around and send its ship's lifeboats out to rescue the fishermen who were then taken back to the ship, before being airlifted off by a UK military helicopter.
"These seven fishermen almost certainly owe their lives to the 406MHz beacon which they had onboard", said Andy Cattrell, a Watch Manager at Falmouth Coastguard.
"The two men whose life raft was deflated had been in the water for nearly five hours by the time they were found and it is incredible that they survived as long as they did. It would have been very difficult to find them if they had only had the old 121.5MHz beacon onboard. The crude carrier also did an impressive job of manoeuvring close to the life rafts, launching their ship's boat and rescuing the fishermen."
"For all vessels, from the smallest yacht to the largest ship, the 406MHz beacon really can make a massive difference in the time that it will take us to find you".
For independent technical advice about 406MHz EPIRBs, call the Safety Marine technical team on 0870 165 7424 or email email@example.com. Or for further information about the EPIRB frequency changes, visit www.mcga.gov.uk.
Is it worth keeping a 121.5MHz Personal Locator Beacon?
From 1st February 2009, 121.5MHz beacons should not be used as an initial emergency alerting device. The primary method of electronic alerting will be the 406MHz beacon system.
The COSPAS-SARSAT search and rescue satellites were originally designed to work on the 406MHz EPIRB frequency. However, the satellites also have the capability to pick up a 121.5MHz signal and relay it to the appropriate rescue authorities.
However, there are some problems:
Because of these limitations - and the fact that demand for 406MHz EPIRBs has increased dramatically as prices have fallen, the international organisations who are responsible for operating and maintaining the satellite systems have decided that it is no longer practicable to support the processing of 121.5MHz signals.
So is worth keeping a 121.5MHz Beacon?
Yes, definitely! What most people do not realise is that the 121.5MHz personal locator beacons were only ever designed to be homing beacons. This means that they will help search and rescue aircraft and vessels to home-in on your location once they begin looking for you. And all search and rescue helicopters and lifeboats will still have 121.5MHz monitoring equipment on board so a 121.5MHz beacon is still a useful piece of equipment.
For independent technical advice about 406MHz EPIRBs, call the Safety Marine technical team on 0870 165 7424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Or for further information about the frequency changes, visit: www.mcga.gov.uk
McMurdo Fastfind MaxG with a FREE RNLI Membership
For a limited period, Safety Marine is offering FREE RNLI membership worth £64 and FREE Shipping to anywhere in mainland UK with every McMurdo Fastfind MaxG 406MHz GPS EPIRB.
This advanced GPS personal locator beacon has been designed to provide users of leisure craft, professional and semi-professional crew, delivery yachtsmen and fishermen, with the very best chance of being found at sea in an emergency.
Competitively priced, the Fastfind MAX-G will transmit a unique identification signal and your current GPS position via the COSPAS-SARSAT international search and rescue satellite system. This is then quickly passed to the regional search and rescue authorities who can rapidly get to the scene.
The Fastfind MAX-G has a built in 12-channel GPS, is compact in size and will transmit for a minimum of 48 hours once activated, updating its position every 20 minutes to reduce the normal search area rescue services need to cover.
This advanced EPIRB is affordably priced at £337.00 (inc VAT).
For a full technical specifications, visit Fastfind MaxG, or call 0870 165 7424
Old flares: Coastguard will still take them
Following a government review on the disposal of outdated flares the Coastguard
will continue to accept them, but only by prior appointment.
Found by John Stevens of course!
This one came to us from Safety Marine.
Another from John Stevens. It was suggested
members mailed in with their interpretation of the collision regs breaches here!