· Safety knife
· Mobile phone
· Waterproof, floating handheld ICOM VHF (not DSC enabled)
· Flashing lifejacket laser light
· Safety mirror and whistle
· Hand held Garmin etrex GPS
· Lip salve and tiny 30ml sun cream bottle
2. Carry VHF DSC and mobile phone – not flares – too dangerous. (Have phone in waterproof case)
3. Carry VHF radio (DSC or not), mobile phone and PLB with 406 technology – preferably non subscription (and that can be used on land-based activities worldwide as well)
4. Carry VHF DSC radio, PLB, smokes, flares, whistle. (No mobile phone as it can be unreliable in isolated areas like Scottish Islands or under high cliff line).
5. 2 x VHF DSC, mobile phone, smokes and flares, and full EPIRB attached to boat (because swimming and trying to hold a PLB in correct orientation in a wavy sea could be very difficult. Losing contact with the boat would result in you dying before rescue services got to you in most cases; things hanging off PFD’s can hamper you getting back into a swamped righted boat and having a EPIRB attached to the boat would remind you to stay with the boat even if it was lying on its side, using it as a life raft. They also float free on a cord attached to the boat in the correct orientation, allowing you to get on with sorting out the boat).
6. Carry only orange smokes and a VHF radio
· PLBs are good for those who do multiple land and water-based activities; EPIRBs are normally only used on boats.
· PLBs require manual activation by the individual whilst the EPIRB can be manual or automatic activation but only on submergence.
· PLBs will transmit for a minimum of around 24 hrs continuously whilst an EPIRB normally transmits for at last 48 hrs.
· Finally, not all PLBs float – an EPIRB definitely does!
Use in any country
If you use it in a real emergency ACR will give you a free replacement if you share your rescue story with them
· Larger than some of the other PLBs available
If you have a PLB which you would recommend, please do get in touch. In the meantime, in the difficult circumstances we all face wherever we are in the world, please, please take care, stay safe and stay in touch.