Nautilus Life Line from a divers and Captains view

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Can't Talk ... Diving

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I used to have a Nautilus radio but it flooded. I now carry a LIfeline. When teaching in California, it's the best dive-friendly device I am aware of for summoning emergency assistance short of a cell phone in a canister. All commercial boats and police/fire/lifeguard boats in the US have AIS so I trust my distress call will be quickly dispatched to local first responders.

Couple of anecdotes -- a foreign LOB crew told me one of their Lifelines went missing and about a year later it was activated by the new owner (no further details on location or situation etc). The boat got a call from the US Navy asking for details of the incident. AIS distress signals get noticed.

I was recently drifting for 30 minutes in a remote spot in 3 foot swells waiting for a boat to pick me up. The Nautilus in my pocket gave me a lot of peace of mind, though I didn't have to activate it. The boat driver told me he didn't see my 6' SMB but he saw my 1200 lumen light.
 

tursiops

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All commercial boats and police/fire/lifeguard boats have AIS so I trust my distress call will be quickly dispatched to local first responders.
I'm guessing you don't do a lot of diving in Indonesia or the Philippines?
 

Dan

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I'm guessing you don't do a lot of diving in Indonesia or the Philippines?
I tested my Lifeline Marine Rescue GPS (MRG, the new Lifeline without radio) before embarking to Banda Sea (Indonesia) on Blue Manta. I gave the cruise director my MRG and let him turned it on while he was walking around in the harbor area. Then I saw the MOB (Man Over Board) alert signal in the Blue Manta AIS system display in the wheelhouse with the captain. I saw my MRG wandering around the harbor then. So, it works!
 

tursiops

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I tested my Lifeline Marine Rescue GPS (MRG, the new Lifeline without radio) before embarking to Banda Sea (Indonesia) on Blue Manta. I gave the cruise director my MRG and let him turned it on while he was walking around in the harbor area. Then I see the MOB (Man Over Board) alert signal in the Blue Manta AIS system display in the wheelhouse with the captain. I saw my MRG wandering around the harbor then. So, it works!
I have no doubt it works with the Blue Manta, or other upscale liveaboards.
I was questioning this statement:
All commercial boats and police/fire/lifeguard boats have AIS so I trust my distress call will be quickly dispatched to local first responders.
 

Divin'Papaw

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Given how well this puppy seems to work here off of the US coast, which is the only place that I dive, I just may have to pull the trigger and pick one up.
 

Belzelbub

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I used to have a Nautilus radio but it flooded. I now carry a LIfeline. When teaching in California, it's the best dive-friendly device I am aware of for summoning emergency assistance short of a cell phone in a canister.
I’d say it’s better than a cell phone in a canister. With a cell phone, you are reliant on a signal from a tower. Where I normally dive, it’s not unusual for me to see “No Network “ on my phone. Even if you do have coverage, you are only connected to one contact at a time. With either Nautilus, you can be connected to any vessel or shore station in range.

I was offshore a while back and heard part of an exchange between USCG and a diver who surfaced away from their boat. The boat had people on board, but they weren’t too competent. CG finally got ahold of the boat and gave them a bearing to pick up the divers over 3/4 mile away. The boat began heading in the wrong direction. CG sent a boat to pick them up and transfer to the boat. I was too far away, or I could have tried to help. I also didn’t see a DSC location come through, so I don’t believe the divers pushed the red button.

Pretty sure those divers have a story to tell due to being prepared that day.
 

MaxE

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I have an older Lifeline with the radio. I may be mistaken so if I am please someone correct me. It is my understanding that if I activate the alert the DSC that signal is broadcast and any boat with an equipped radio who is in range (this will depend on line of sight and their antenna height...) will pick up the signal and location. The MMSI number is my registration and will indicate it is me. It is my understanding that I do not need to program it for each boat I am going to be on. It may be possible to do so and that if it is possible it may only transmit to that boat (for a period of time?). I would rather it transmit to every boat possible if I deploy it. There is a lot of boat traffic where I mostly dive, Coast guard station not too far, Navy, Airforce facilities close by as well. I don't think I will be at sea too long even if it feels like forever. If I think it has been too long I will then deploy a PLB. I like the Idea I can send a voice request and hear back that someone hears me and is headed my way. I hope these devices continue to just take up space in a pocket and are never used
 

Belzelbub

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I have an older Lifeline with the radio. I may be mistaken so if I am please someone correct me. It is my understanding that if I activate the alert the DSC that signal is broadcast and any boat with an equipped radio who is in range (this will depend on line of sight and their antenna height...) will pick up the signal and location.
This is essentially correct. If the DSC equipped VHF is properly connected to the vessel’s chartplotter, the location info from the distress call will also appear on a capable chartplotter. Usually they are connected via NMEA 0183. NMEA 0183 is a frustrating standard as each manufacturer chooses the colors they want to use for each of the functions. NMEA 2000 is much better, but not avai on a lot of VHFs. So, what you end up with is lots of boats (I’ve seen estimates of at least 90%) don’t have VHF and chartplotter connected properly.
The MMSI number is my registration and will indicate it is me. It is my understanding that I do not need to program it for each boat I am going to be on. It may be possible to do so and that if it is possible it may only transmit to that boat (for a period of time?).
This part isn’t exactly right. First, the MMSI is supposed to be assigned to a vessel, not an individual, though the vessel owner is normally included. Changing MMSI once set is usually not permitted by the user. All capable radios allow MMSIto be set by the user once, but generally don’t allow it to be changed. Idea is that it stays with the boat. The MMSI registrar should have a means to update the contact information for a particular MMSI number, but you won’t be able to change from it to whichever boat you happen to be on. I suspect this is why Nautilus discontinued the original model, as they were using an interpretation of the MMSI rules that may not have been entirely correct. I’m not quite sure how the new version handles that.

Also, if you press the red button, it won’t just transmit to the boat you are diving from.
I would rather it transmit to every boat possible if I deploy it. There is a lot of boat traffic where I mostly dive, Coast guard station not too far, Navy, Airforce facilities close by as well. I don't think I will be at sea too long even if it feels like forever. If I think it has been too long I will then deploy a PLB. I like the Idea I can send a voice request and hear back that someone.
That’s closer to what happens. When you press the green button and talk, any vessel tuned to the same chat channel will hear and be able to talk to you. It’s a good idea to have this be the same chat channel that the boat you are using listens to.

When you press the orange button, every vessel and shore station tuned to Channel 16 receives the transmission. This is an emergency channel, so is monitored by USCG in the US.

When you press the red button, a signal is sent to all DSC equipped radios (and the CG) that contains MMSI and location. This comes through a different channel that all DSC equipped radios listen for.

Essentially each button on the original Lifeline has different uses.

Green: You surface a little farther from the boat and want a pick up, but no emergency.
Orange: Your boat didn’t respond on Green, but you need to get their attention. And/or there may be an emergency.
Red: You surface, can’t see your dive boat, conditions deteriorating, help needed.
 

DandyDon

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I used to have a Nautilus radio but it flooded. I now carry a LIfeline.
I'm staying out of this dicussion for the most part as I trust my PLB so much more than a Nautilus. I see the benefit of calling your boat instead of Search & Rescue, but I am not going to carry both. So what is this Lifeline? There are many alert systems by that name and in hiking there is a whole like of other products.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/
https://xf2.scubaboard.com/community/forums/cave-diving.45/

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