Water proof radio or phone for safety

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abitwindy
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Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by abitwindy » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:40 pm

Hi

Ive been sailing a few times on my own this year and just wanted to know if anyone can recommend a way of calling for help if i ever get caught out?
I like the idea of having a waterproof radio but wouldn't really know what to get etc, i think a cheap phone and sim would be a p.i.t.a, or is there a watch /gadget that would do the job?

Thanks

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TwoFish
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Re: Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by TwoFish » Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:13 pm

I'm also interested to learn if anyone has found a suitable solution.

Whilst it's obviously a much lesser form of security, I normally sail with a SOLAS distress whistle on a cord under my wetsuit. They cost about a Quid; or free if you bump into me at the beach, I bought spares.

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FKPhil
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Re: Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by FKPhil » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:21 pm

I’m a bit out of date but marine VHF radios aren’t small. And you’ll need a dry bag to keep them in because they are not reliably waterproof… so ends up very bulky.
Also you need a VHF license to legally operate it; not difficult to pass but still a few quid and a day’s course. Really you need to do this anyway as the conventions you need to get a successful conversation with the emergency services are not intuitive. And you need a license for the radio itself although I think that’s free and available online.

Maybe a burner phone isn’t now looking like such a PITA

Many years ago it became fashionable for divers to carry a pack of miniflares. I don’t think you can get them now. There seems to be similar
https://www.painswessex.com/products/no ... ess-signal
but I doubt they are waterproof enough.

So I’ve just decided to have something to wave. I’m still carrying the aquapro clipped to the back of my harness that I bought donkeys years ago; anyone else still have theirs? There’s a long thin sausage buoy you can inflate to make yourself more visible … among other things.
Aqua Pro UK.jpg
Aqua Pro UK.jpg (262.45 KiB) Viewed 463 times
I also (mostly) don’t go where I couldn’t paddle my board back to shore. Not ideal, if something in you rather than your kit breaks or you get incapacitated in a Dave White sort of way then being able to call someone would be extremely handy.

abitwindy
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Re: Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by abitwindy » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:22 pm

Thanks for the replies , ok that's the radio idea out the window i thought it might work as i sail right next to a harbour entrance i could just tune into a passing boat! :lol:

Ive just bought a pack of plastic hi vis whistles from amazon for 8 quid , thanks two fish i should of thought of that really...
All i would really need to do is send a text , I'm guessing you can't do that with a smart watch and your phone on land?

Sailrepair
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Re: Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by Sailrepair » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:38 pm

Have a look at the RYA Safetrx app.

I sail on my own most of the time and I just try to be sensible plus I use what I think are the very strongest mast base, extensions, booms etc. I am very wary when people start asking about safety equipment. I feel if you think you need it then you should probably sail somewhere else.

I have been RNLI lifeboat crew for 22 years now and have a radio license and radio but I wouldn't take it windsurfing.

If in doubt don't go out.

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TwoFish
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Re: Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by TwoFish » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:24 pm

FKPhil wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:21 pm
Maybe a burner phone isn’t now looking like such a PITA
That could, quite literally, be the case. There is now, it seems, a market in particularly small phones which the criminal classes can (ahem) 'conceal about their person' (note the rounded ends). I don't know if that means they might be 'water'proofed and I certainly wouldn't recommend transporting them in the manner apparently favoured by convicts. Might just fit in an Aquapac though.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=beat+the+boss+mobile+phone

PK1111
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Re: Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by PK1111 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:12 pm

If you’re that worried, or undertaking a significant journey then you can invest in a personal locator beacon.
They are now quite small, very rugged, highly warrantied and reasonably priced (£250)
Available online from chandlerys.

But I’m with the others here. Nothing beats being ready to sail and if in doubt, don’t go out!
Any electronics is a last and usually worst line of defence.

abitwindy
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Re: Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by abitwindy » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:43 pm

I would only sail if i felt fully confident in the conditions going out in regardless of if there was anyone else there or not.
Having some sort of device is more of a precaution really , i would rather have it and not need it.

Would you not have to carry some sort of device on any other water vessel?

PK1111
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Re: Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by PK1111 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:56 pm

It depends how far offshore you plan on going.
If you could not realistically get back to shore under your own power, then a PLB is a great tool.

Personally, swimming is my thing and a 1 or even 2km swim back in, even without a board, doesn’t worry me.
So most standard sailing, it just isn’t an issue.

A couple of curve balls however:
Fast gear and a long blast offshore can very quickly get you a long way offshore. Assume an average of 30 knots and you’re doing a mile in 2 minutes!
Secondly, injury can seriously impact your ability to self rescue. This is thankfully very rare in windsurfing, but we never expect it eh?

DaveMac
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Re: Water proof radio or phone for safety

Post by DaveMac » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:55 pm

Interesting subject. Depends what sailing you do and where. I think what you really want is a PLB. If you cannot get back to shore that is the only pretty much fool proof way of getting help. I have a mate whose boom broke a long way out, fortunately someone spotted he had not returned and called the RNLI who eventually located him, I stress eventually. He was very lucky. That is what a PLB is for. A waterproof handheld VHF has a lot of merit and if kept in a drybag in a small rucksack could be good.....to give your position it needs to have DSC, or you need to describe your position pretty well, which might not be easy. But the key problem is range and if you are low down in the water you might easily not get heard with a mayday. The only other precaution I would take would be to carry a spare UJ deckplate if I was sailing in offshore winds with no mates. Beyond that it is simply tell someone what you are doing and make sure your kit is in good condition. I know phones have their uses but I wouldn't take mine as the only serious piece of safety kit to be relied on if there was a life or death problem.

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