EPIRBs and PBs
I am pleased to say that DLA Piper is busy working on the Search and Rescue project. This project will improve the search and rescue services of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Ministry of Defence by providing new helicopters and equipment and better training.You might like to know how this affects us. We will be carrying on board one boat’s EPIRB. That stands for Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon. That one is attached to the boat. We are also carrying two personal beacons – they are in fact also EPIRBs. All EPIRBs must be licensed for use with Ofcom and also registered with the MCA. That means if any of them are ever activated, the MCA down at Falmouth will not only know our exact position, but it will also be able to look up which boat it is that has got into difficulties. They will then either send out the search and rescue teams or if we are too far away from the UK, alert other national search and rescue teams or alert ships in the area to divert to come and rescue us.We will have a rule that anyone who goes up on deck, particularly at night or when it is very rough, must put a personal beacon in their pocket as they go out on deck. This means that if they fall overboard, the MCA will be able to trace the exact position of the person in the water.Of course, we don’t really want to test out if the system works, but it is certainly nice to know that it is there.We have a life raft which fits 6 people and at all times we will have a grab bag filled with items to help us survive should we have to get into the liferaft. It has in it items such as water, flares, VHF radio, food, foil blankets and more.