Author Topic: EPIRB false alarm  (Read 1184 times)

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Offline HG

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EPIRB false alarm
« on: April 04, 2010, 10:00:38 AM »
Howzit everyone,

Just wanted to share my experience yesterday, maybe it will help someone down the road.

Paddled out around 3pm on the Westside.  The winds were gusty trades (blowing offshore), so I stayed close to shore, less than a mile out.  Shortly after 4pm, my cell phone starts going nuts- mom, aunty, uncle, and the Coast guard are blowing up my phone!  Turns out my EPIRB, which I keep stored in the back pouch on my kayak seat, had activated itself. 

I carry the ACR MicroFix Personal Locator Beacon and if you look at the image below, you have to lift the yellow arm to activate the distress signal.  Only by lifting the arm can you see the red emergency button.  Well, somehow by leaning back on my kayak seat, I activated it without lifting the arm.

In a nutshell:

Pros:  Good to know the EPRIB works and to know the Coast Guard was immediately on the ball.  They called all my emergency contacts (filled it out via web submission), called me, and monitored my position via GPS.  I'm glad I had my cell on me so I could let them know it was a false positive.  They also recommended I fill out the color of my kakak and what kind of car I drive, which can be done online.

Cons: It activated while the 'safety' was on.  And it refused to go off!  I had to unscrew everything, pop it open and physically remove both batteries to shut down the distress signal.  Even with only 1 battery in, it would still work.  Anyhow, the Coast Guard was still calling me at 9pm that night, asking when me remove the alert.  They said it would interfere with other distress signals, should they come in at the same time.

Hope that helps
HG




Offline Rocket

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Re: EPIRB false alarm
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 10:11:13 AM »
April Fools!

Offline molokaimarshall

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Re: EPIRB false alarm
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2010, 03:41:12 PM »
nice to know that they are on it ;)

Offline takoman

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Re: EPIRB false alarm
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2010, 03:47:32 PM »
Another Con is now the Coasties know where your honey hole is. ;D

Offline Jim720

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Re: EPIRB false alarm
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 11:53:28 AM »
wow. now you know that it works   ;)

Ahnkochee

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Re: EPIRB false alarm
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 11:59:48 AM »
Flexible plastic safety cover not the best design.  Guess you have to make a modification to prevent this from happening again in the future.  Nice little system otherwise.

Offline cliffs2yak

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Re: EPIRB false alarm
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 03:30:16 PM »
HG,

I've been contemplating the purchase of a PLB and taking another look at the ACR Aqualink models.



I wonder if that's why ACR is making the switch cover a little wider and domed the area above the switch.  ACR is also offering a 406link.com option that you could use to test your unit before heading out; but, at a cost of $40 a year :(  Guess despite it being marine hardened, it's still electronics and susceptible to failure.  Thank goodness you brought your cell phone with you and that you answered the calls. 

Let us know how it goes with getting your unit back up to operational condition.  It looked like ACR has a pretty good warranty and that they recommend changing the battery after 5-6 years or after use.

Bet you're family was relieved that you answered you phone ;)  whew!

c2y


Offline screamaz inc.

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Re: EPIRB false alarm
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 05:02:47 PM »
Right on HG good write up.I got the model C2Y was looking at, good to know it works. Did you ever find out if false alarms happen often with PLBs ? My bro accidentally set off our boat EPIRB a few years back and the Coasties were on it, they even knew we weren't fishing and the signal was coming from on land.

Offline HG

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Re: EPIRB false alarm
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 01:00:51 PM »
Here's an update on the thread-  I mailed it manufacturer, then got it back about 5 weeks later.  Same epirb, new antenna, new face plate.  They said they fixed a few parts.  They didn't give details as to why it malfunctioned though.  Oh well, it's back up and running. 

Screamaz- From talking to the coast guard that day, it did sound like false alarms happen more often than one would think. 

Offline Boogie-D

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Re: EPIRB false alarm
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 09:45:17 PM »
Screamaz- From talking to the coast guard that day, it did sound like false alarms happen more often than one would think. 

that would be a bummer if there was a falsie and an emergancy at the same time... thanks for the read and the info

Wind is the fuel for my Hobie. Aloha Boogie-D www.coastalkayaktours.com

 

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