A recent search-and-rescue case by the Coast Guard provides another example of the value of EPIRBs.
Last week, three fishermen adrift for 30 hours without food and water were rescued because of their EPIRB.
Coast Guard rescue coordinators were first alerted to the distress when they received a report of an activated beacon 16 miles east of Crooked Islands, Bahamas. The vessel was headed to Long Island, Bahamas, from Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, when the boat became disabled in stormy weather.
The crew of the 6009 – an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater – was forward deployed and took flight. Lt. Michael Feltovic was the aircraft commander and recalled the rough conditions that night, including thunderstorms the crew had to navigate around using radar.
“Launching off in poor weather was not ideal to search for hours for somebody,” said Feltovic. “Because they had an EPIRB, their general position was transmitted directly to the district command center and then passed to us.”