• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Safety equipment - PLB?

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by billt4sf, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. billt4sf

    billt4sf Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Fayetteville GA, Wash DC, NY, Toronto, SF
    2,547
    1,124
    113
    I am asking this question in this forum because this is where we will be diving for the next year or so.

    We both have SMBs, whistles, and mirrors, I am wondering if we should look into a PLB. (You read these stories...it does happen...)

    First off, I wonder if a "lost at sea" situation is remotely possible for us. We'd always be diving with a dive op, I'm sure in known dive locations...OK, I guess something could go wrong...the boat could sink, drift off, weather issues, maybe they don't have the safety equipment or procedures that we would expect in the US, add to that language barriers, ...so maybe...

    Do PLBs work in these waters? If you are out there drifting, will there be a search team, a la the Coast Guard?

    What do you guys (that dive Indo waters frequently) use?

    Thanks,

    Bill & Emily
     
  2. anenomefishman

    anenomefishman Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    236
    56
    28
    i guess it depends where you are diving at. they gave us all PLBs when were diving from a liveaboard in the galapagos recently. we were just in raja ampat and just had SMBs and whistles. there are some very wicked currents in RA. sometimes we would wind up miles away from where we started.
     
  3. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: United States
    3,392
    3,817
    113
    Yes, you should dive with a PLB. The beauty of having a PLB is that it calls up whatever rescue resources are available, whether that's a fisherman with his radio on 121.5 or the US Navy launching an SH-60 because they happen to be the closest. It may take a long time for rescue to reach you, but a PLB transmitting gives you the fastest notification time, so the ball gets rolling as soon as possible, as opposed to floating around until someone notices the boat didn't come back.
     
  4. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,025
    7,798
    113
    I always dive with a 6' DSMB, a dive alert, a flashlight, and a strobe. Most of my diving is off SE FL but I do travel. On a recent 2 week trip to the Red Sea, the Aggressor loaned us Nautilus Lifelines, mainly to be able to contact the main boat and zodiacs, but also for use in emergency. As usual, it was not needed, but it could have been. For my local diving, I think I'm going to get a Lifeline. For more remote diving, I'm seriously considering an ACR ResQLink+ in a Custom Divers canister. I wish the PLB was available in a case like the Lifeline and did not require a separate waterproof canister.

    I've been separated from my boat on drift dives in FL a few times, especially in summer squalls. Three years ago I was hit by a boat rushing in for a fish weigh in, not that anything would have helped then. For me, Lifeline 1st, then PLB. The Lifeline can be used casually to talk to your own boat or others in the area. The PLB is for real emergency use only, and then may save you life
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
    billt4sf likes this.
  5. giffenk

    giffenk Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: toronto
    4,924
    2,404
    113
  6. seeker242

    seeker242 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    1,275
    779
    113
    PLBs work in any waters anywhere. They also work anywhere on land. The only real problem with them is the competency, or lack thereof, of the local search and rescue authorities. First world countries are no problem. Places like Indonesia may not be as reliable.
     
    Searcaigh and billt4sf like this.
  7. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,790
    17,405
    113
    I have seen in other posts that a PLB is preferable to a Nautilus Lifeline in this area. Can anyone comment on this?
     
  8. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: United States
    3,392
    3,817
    113
    A Nautilus is just a radio pre-tuned to 121.5 "guard" channel plus some other selectable channels, and a GPS that allows you mark waypoints. If a boat is around and has their radio on, you can talk to them.

    A PLB sends a signal to the COSPAS/SARSAT network that triggers a search and rescue response through official SAR agencies. That signal includes GPS data pinpointing your location, and transmits for at least 24 hours continuously. It also transmits a mayday signal on the 121.5 MHz channel for the "last mile" part of the rescue operation as it is easily triangulated by direction finding.

    Basically, the Nautilus is a radio, it only works if someone is listening. In a third world country, no guarantee that anyone is home. A PLB ALWAYS gets someone's attention. Prudence says you should probably have both to maximize the probability of rescue.
     
    billt4sf, scubadada and boulderjohn like this.
  9. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    12,025
    7,798
    113
    Absolutely correct. You can use a Lifeline to casually contact your own boat or other boats in the area. You can also use it to initiate an emergency. You activate the PLB and it's a life threatening emergency, no turning back. Both have an important role in dive safety. I'll take the PLB in the middle of nowhere.
     
    billt4sf likes this.
  10. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,459
    6,096
    113
    How diligent are the Indonesian authorities in responding to a PLB/EPIRB activation? You'd have to register it with them, I suppose.
     

Share This Page