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Everyone is running scared Harry and in doing so are saying 'You must ........ blaa blaa blaa' in an effort to protect their own arse, often at our expense. That is the environment we now live it, dic

Just to throw another thing into the mixer, why isn't NZ adopting the DSC emergency system for VHF's ??


some threads on it here  somewhere


apparently too many false calls were made overseas + the costs to upgrade all our shore stations was considered excessive....too many black spots in our vhf coverage


cell phones working really well, most people carrying them etc etc etc

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gps epirbs do seem the way to go


and require no extra outlay by the authorities


the response time is getting pretty good and with the modern units sending the lat/long 


a copter or boat can know here to go very easily 


Some friends of mine were off hiking in the middle of the south island, someone slipped and broke an ankle. NO worries they through, we'll just activate our small compact lightweight plb and wait for the chopper. After 6 or 7 hours, no chopper appears.

Then they decide to activate the bigger grunty marine epirb (don't ask why the wait, that is an entirely different story) and the chopper appeared within minutes.


Turns out the little PLB didn't get and transmit a gps fix, which was indicated by a small red flashing light and explained by the tiny font size instructions on the side of the unit. The chopper had been searching about 10kms away 3 or 4 valleys over. Moral of the story is make sure you understand the operation of your safety gear, and don't just rely on one piece of equipment

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Have we got full time satellite coverage over NZ now for epirbs/plbs or is it still patchy?



Since 03 there's been geostationary birts augmenting the low/medium COSPAS earth orbit birds, Since the 406mhz switch over I don't believe there's been any patchy coverage bar the poles which have no geo coverage.


Ed's story about the PLB is something i've heard alot, the small PLB's have touchy GPS units so in a valley they need really clear sight to the sky. I wish these smaller PLB's had 121.5mhz homing signals like alot of the EPIRB's, The chopper crew would have been able to know sooner they were in the wrong spot

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  • 4 weeks later...

I know this does not directly apply to NZ, but . .


Here is what the US Coast Guard regs are now for coastal waters and

Great Lakes (they changed in 2016) . .


led's can now substitute for flares 



APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  This is an alternative to flares for recreational boats.  It is required to automatically flash S-O-S.  Light intensity and duration requirements apply.  Electric S-O-S distress lights are self-certified by the manufacturer. The Coast Guard does not issue approvals or keep an authenticated list of manufacturers.  Approval standards for these lights are found in Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Subpart 161.013.  


For me, this is a good change - I hate the very idea of holding a lit flare on a moving boat while trying to care for an injured person. 


The price for the LED'S is now starting to come down. Last year they were $ 100 USD's

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