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A reason to have GPS!

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Old 08-11-2006, 08:03 PM
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Default A reason to have GPS!

I was talking to a good friend that works for a (I will not mention the company name) company that assists vessels! And was shocked at how bad can turn to worse and how often it happens to boaters without a GPS.

He works the night shift in a little office with lots of computers, maps and antenna’s as a dispatcher. I guess when you radio in for help anywhere in the U.S, you get him. Most of his calls are lost boaters, boaters taking on water, or smoke on the vessel. Guess what 90% have in common? No idea where they are at. Now remember… he works the night shift! Most of his calls are long time overconfident boaters that may or may not have either a map or GPS on board, sometimes both. But have no idea how to use them because they know how to get from point A to point B. The issue is when an emergency arises and you have to call out your position on your way into the dark cold water.. You are fast becoming a needle in a haystack. His explanation is as fallows “With a GPS coordinate read accurately, the coast guard and assisting company can drive and fly direct to your last reported location accurately within a few inches or feet. Even in the pitch dark. With a description of “I am between Dana Point and Catalina” there is something like 30K square miles to search.”
He told me of a few stories with families sinking and others involving storms rolling in on small boats low on gas or blown engines and it made a lump in my throat from all the times Ive run without even a handheld. Some of his lake stories were the worst.
It all comes down to situational awareness. If you can radio in two numbers before getting wet, you have made the difference between a ride home and a search party. Even needing a can of gas on a lake has turned ugly. Just another reason to by a $200 cheep GPS.
Just a thought!
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: A reason to have GPS!

You can buy a handheld for less than $100 now. It is the size of a cell phone and waterproof!
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: A reason to have GPS!

and you can find out how slow your boat really is!!
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: A reason to have GPS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaRunner
and you can find out how slow your boat really is!!
Ain't that the truth
We used our GPS last weekend to find our way home in a bad rain storm. Without the GPS we would have been going in circles.
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: A reason to have GPS!

They have gps enabled VHF radios available, as soon as you transmit a distress call on channel 16 it can send your lat and Long to CG.
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: A reason to have GPS!

Good investment if you value your life.
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Old 08-12-2006, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: A reason to have GPS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychostroker
Good investment if you value your life.




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Old 08-12-2006, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: A reason to have GPS!

"Take this with and get your feelings hurt!"
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Old 08-13-2006, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: A reason to have GPS!

A few yrs ago when I was stranded on Erie, we had to just key our VHF mic a few seconds till the US Tow boat could get a location of us by use some type of antenna he could hold and point until it picked up my signal.. Pretty cool. He didn't need me giving any long/lat info.
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: A reason to have GPS!

Our chart plotter usually fails in storms when you need it the most. A little ETREX has saved our butts more than once! Have fun taking compass bearings when all you can see is blowing white spray.
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