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Hi-tech beacon saves fishermen's lives

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  • Hi-tech beacon saves fishermen's lives

    Two prawn fishermen were rescued today after their boat capsized and sank in the Irish Sea.

    A full-scale air and sea search was mounted after the alarm was raised when the men, fishing out of Portavogie, Co Down, Northern Ireland, went down.

    Their lives were saved by new equipment offered free to the crews of small fishing boats by the North's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in Northern Ireland this month, coastguards said.

    An emergency positioning beacon linked to a satellite automatically raised the alarm when the boat sank while trawling for prawns four miles north east of Ballywalter.

    Richard Newell of the Coastguard service said the Donaghadee lifeboat was launched, and RAF Nimrod and naval rescue helicopter from Prestwick sent to the search area.

    Within an hour the men were found floating in a liferaft.

    He said the sunken fishing boat was less than 10 metres long and both the positioning device and liferaft were among the equipment offered to the crews of small fishing vessels by DARD.

    “It obviously saved the lives of these two guys,” said Mr Newell.

    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  • #2
    Well done to all the rescue crews!

    The same equipment should be supplied (be mandatory?) here in the Republic.
    IRISH AIR CORPS - Serving the Nation.


    • #3
      If you are talking about EPIRBs - then it is the law here..

      "Radio equipment to be provided for all sea areas.
      6. (1) Every vessel shall be provided with:
      (a) a VHF radio installation capable of transmitting and receiving :
      (i) DSC on the frequency 156.525 MHz (channel 70). It shall be possible to initiate the transmission of distress alerts on channel 70 from the position from which the vessel is normally navigated; and
      (ii) radiotelephony on the frequencies 156.300 MHz (channel 6), 156.650 MHz (channel 13) and 156.800 MHz (channel 16);
      (b) a radio installation capable of maintaining a continuous DSC watch on VHF channel 70 which may be separate from, or combined with, that required by subparagraph (a)(i);
      (c) a radar transponder capable of operating in the 9 GHz band, which:
      (i) shall be so stowed that it can be easily utilized.
      (d) a receiver capable of receiving International NAVTEX service broadcasts if the vessel is engaged on voyages in any area in which an International NAVTEX service is provided;
      (e) a radio facility for reception of maritime safety information by the INMARSAT enhanced group calling system1 if the vessel is engaged on voyages in any area of INMARSAT coverage in which an international NAVTEX service is not provided. The Minister may exempt a vessel from this requirement if he is satisfied that the vessel shall be engaged on voyages exclusively in areas where an HF direct-printing telegraphy maritime safety information service is provided and that the vessel is fitted with equipment capable of receiving such service.
      1 See "Carriage of Inmarsat Enhanced Group Call SafetyNET recievers under the Global Marine° Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)" adopted by the International Maritime Organisation by resolution A. 701 (17)
      (f) subject to the provisions of regulation 7(3), a satellite emergency position-indicating radio beacon (satellite EPIRB) which shall be:
      (i) capable of transmitting a distress alert either through the polar orbiting satellite service operating in the 406 MHz and 121.5 MHz bands or, in Sea Areas A1, A2 and A3 only, through the INMARSAT geostationary satellite service operating in the 1.6 GHz band;
      (ii) installed in an easily accessible position;
      (iii) ready to be manually released and capable of being carried by one person into a survival craft;
      (iv) capable of floating free if the vessel sinks and of being automatically activated when afloat; and
      (v) capable of being activated manually."


      • #4
        The new satnav system being devloped by the EU (GALILEO) has specfic services for SAR stuff as well. We should see a big push towards satellite EPIRB's adopting it when it becomes avalable. The EU will be pusing it hard so id say any one who dosn't have one will be getting one at that stage.


        • #5
          There are endless amounts of legislation stating what every craft should have when it comes to safety equipment,but there is little in the way of resources when it comes to enforcing such acts. In most cases it is left to the Coastguard,made up of mostly shore based volunteers,to enforce such legislation.
          The Government gives little more than lipservice to the maritime sector,because it knows the average taxpayer (apart from those in coastal areas,which makes up a tiny minority) cares little for what happens in a world that to them is only inhabited by millionares in their yachts,or ferries.

          Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.