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SOS for single boater


LadyG

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15 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

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[snip]

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Because the law requires it to be registered in your home country. You cannot register an American one in the UK because their Hexadecimal system is different to the UK, or Europe, or Canada etc etc

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I think you'll find it goes from 0 to F in steps of 1 (0000 to FFFF for 16 bits) just like all the others... πŸ˜‰

Edited by IanD
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21 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Because the law requires it to be registered in your home country. You cannot register an American one in the UK because their Hexadecimal system is different to the UK, or Europe, or Canada etc etc

Thanks, that answers it perfectly, nothing to do with frequency or call signs not working, but a legal requirement.

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14 minutes ago, David Mack said:

While theyΒ canΒ make international calls to connect you to the nearest emergency service wherever you are, its a damn site more efficient to work with the local services they are more familiar with.

There is (or should be) only one international call, "hello, is that Australian Search and Rescue? Falmouth CG here - we have a record of a UK beacon activated at 25.3444Β° S, 131.0369Β° E, registered to a 59-year-old male. They are not answering their phone. Over to you" - the rest is carried out as though Australia had been notified by the device

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I have an iphone 14 and an apple watch.Β  The latest iphone, in addition to the emergency calling feature, now has satellite connectivity.Β  This means I can signal for help, and give details of what the emergency is even when there's no phone signal.Β  I can also use it to update my location to friends/family via the 'find my' app, even when there's no phone signal.Β  The Apple Watch includes both fall detection and crash detection, so if something happens which knocks me unconcious my watch will start an alarm to try and wake me up.Β  If I don't repond it will automatically send my location to the emergency services.

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I'm not aware of anything else which can provide this level of peace of mind.

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Alternatives to this would be the PLBs etc discussed above, or satellite phones, or satellite communicators.Β  But none of these have the fall detection system.Β  If I'm on my own and fall and knock myself out, they're no use to me.

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https://9to5mac.com/2023/01/27/emergency-sos-satellite-game-changer-canada/

Edited by doratheexplorer
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1 minute ago, ditchcrawler said:

Thanks, that answers it perfectly, nothing to do with frequency or call signs not working, but a legal requirement.

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Only in as much as when I bought a USA one (because it was half the price of a UK one) when I tried to register it Falmouth said they couldn't do it because the numbering system was incompatible with the UK numbering system. (Compute say NO !)

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They did say that if you send it back to the manufacturer it can be re-programmed with whatever country code you want.

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

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Only in as much as when I bought a USA one (because it was half the price of a UK one) when I tried to register it Falmouth said they couldn't do it because the numbering system was incompatible with the UK numbering system. (Compute say NO !)

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They did say that if you send it back to the manufacturer it can be re-programmed with whatever country code you want.

OK, well say you buy a boat like you did from another country and it has one onboard as part of its inventory like radio, flares etc. When you bring the boat to the UK do you have to have it reprogramed or can you leave it on the old registration? or is that just unlikely to happen and the previous owner would keep it.

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Just now, doratheexplorer said:

Β The Apple Watch includes both fall detection and crash detection, so if something happens which knocks me unconcious my watch will start an alarm to try and wake me up.Β  If I don't repond it will automatically send my location to the emergency services.

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I'm not aware of anything else which can provide this level of peace of mind.

Just steer clear of roller coasters. The high acceleration/deceleration can set off the crash detection feature and people didn't realise it had activated.

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4 minutes ago, BilgePump said:

Just steer clear of roller coasters. The high acceleration/deceleration can set off the crash detection feature and people didn't realise it had activated.

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This video at 1 min 45 sec in with an Iphone falling in the waterΒ Β https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=524740369725412h

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3 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

OK, well say you buy a boat like you did from another country and it has one onboard as part of its inventory like radio, flares etc. When you bring the boat to the UK do you have to have it reprogramed or can you leave it on the old registration? or is that just unlikely to happen and the previous owner would keep it.

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We are discussing PLBs which are registered to a 'person', vessels use EPIRBs which are similar but much larger and transmit for a minimum of 3 days (a PLB is only 24 hours) They are registered to a specific vessel.

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I have no idea if, or how, an EPIRB is transferred, but I'd have thought that a personal PLB would stay with its registered owner until they decide to sell it on ebay - that is when it becomes important to ensure it is a UK compatible on (American post theirs on ebay because they are much cheaper in the US and, unknowing UKΒ  ebayers see a bargain)

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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

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We are discussing PLBs which are registered to a 'person', vessels use EPIRBs which are similar but much larger and transmit for a minimum of 3 days (a PLB is only 24 hours) They are registered to a specific vessel.

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I have no idea if, or how, an EPIRB is transferred, but I'd have thought that a personal PLB would stay with its registered owner until they decide to sell it on ebay - that is when it becomes important to ensure it is a UK compatible on (American post theirs on ebay because they are much cheaper in the US and, unknowing UKΒ  ebayers see a bargain)

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OK thank, its been interesting how these international thing s work in real life.

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23 minutes ago, 1st ade said:

hello, is that Australian Search and Rescue? Falmouth CG here - we have a record of a UK beacon activated at 25.3444Β° S, 131.0369Β° E, registered to a 59-year-old male.

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"Bloke called Noah, his vessel is stuck on a mountain and he's got a lot of animals with him"

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11 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

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We are discussing PLBs which are registered to a 'person', vessels use EPIRBs which are similar but much larger and transmit for a minimum of 3 days (a PLB is only 24 hours) They are registered to a specific vessel.

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I have no idea if, or how, an EPIRB is transferred, but I'd have thought that a personal PLB would stay with its registered owner until they decide to sell it on ebay - that is when it becomes important to ensure it is a UK compatible on (American post theirs on ebay because they are much cheaper in the US and, unknowing UKΒ  ebayers see a bargain)

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Although a PLB has to have an β€œowner”, that can be an organisation not necessarily a specific person. They can be associated with a specific vessel or aircraft. For example at the gliding club, parachutes have a PLB hooked onto them. For club aircraft the PLBs are β€œowned” by the club but the details of the specific aircraft and its registration are on the registration. Same applies to a vessel if you so choose.

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1 hour ago, 1st ade said:

Don't get me started on the number of Blue Light operators that then start a "Do you have What-3-Words" type discussion - If it wasn't an emergency, I'd scream down the phone at them "look at your console"...

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I used what3words on an ambulance call for myself and it worked very nicely. Sometimes (for example if you are inside a metal boat) your phone may not have the location exactly correct. Also not everyone keeps their GPS on the phone switched on at all times. I know I don't and suspect others also turn it off.

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Does this iphone system also work with android phones and does it automatically turn on the GPS if it had been previously switched off to conserve battery power?
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I don't use apple products

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8 minutes ago, magnetman said:

Does this iphone system also work with android phones and does it automatically turn on the GPS if it had been previously switched off to conserve battery power?

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See earlier in the thread (the post you gave a 'greeny' to)

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Calling 999 from an Android

If you need to call the emergency services (999) from an Android device,Β Google automatically provides your GPS location.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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55 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

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We are discussing PLBs which are registered to a 'person', vessels use EPIRBs which are similar but much larger and transmit for a minimum of 3 days (a PLB is only 24 hours) They are registered to a specific vessel.

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I have no idea if, or how, an EPIRB is transferred, but I'd have thought that a personal PLB would stay with its registered owner until they decide to sell it on ebay - that is when it becomes important to ensure it is a UK compatible on (American post theirs on ebay because they are much cheaper in the US and, unknowing UKΒ  ebayers see a bargain)

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Will the PLB Itself actually work even if it isn't registered? I know it is a legal requirement but at the end of the day if you have a serious accident and are going to die soon unless someone comes to find you it seems to me that legal requirements are going to be a lot further down the list of priorities than 'does the hardware work'.

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4 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

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See earlier in the thread :

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Calling 999 from an Android

If you need to call the emergency services (999) from an Android device,Β Google automatically provides your GPS location.

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This could cause some confusion. When I needed an ambulance for myself I was aware that they would not be able to get to my location and I was fit enough to remove myself to a location with road access. I used the what3words system with location of closest road layby but I must admit I did not realise the phone was telling them where I was when I actually made the call.

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Does the location function of a 999 call also happen if you are asking for fire service? I called the fire brigade the other night as someone had petrol bombed the royal mail delivery vans close by but I never thought they would reference it and think my location was where the event was occurring.

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Similarly I have called police out before for assaults on the towpath which is within sight but not actually where my boat is.

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I suppose it is sensible for the emergency services to get this sort of data. It adds up.

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Edited by magnetman
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8 minutes ago, magnetman said:

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Will the PLB Itself actually work even if it isn't registered? I know it is a legal requirement but at the end of the day if you have a serious accident and are going to die soon unless someone comes to find you it seems to me that legal requirements are going to be a lot further down the list of priorities than 'does the hardware work'.

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I GUESS it will work, but the information stored on it will relate to another individual - if they call "you" and ask if you are in danger "you" may say no. If they call your relatives and ask if "you" are expected to be in the middle of the North Sea as "your" PLB has been activated, and the registration shows normal operating area as the GU Canal and the answer is "no, he is sat next to me". Questions may be asked.

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Whilst you lie bleeding to death, they may just file it away as a false alarm.

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I do not understand why, having bought one, you would not register it - it is free of any charges, and takes just a few minutes either on-line or via a paper application form (but then you have the cost of a stamp)

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Would you buy a mobile phone but then not buy a SIM so you could use it ?

Is it just a case of not wanting officialdom knowing where you are ?

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

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I GUESS it will work, but the information stored on it will relate to another individual - if they call "you" and ask if you are in danger "you" may say no. If they call your relatives and ask if "you" are expected to be in the middle of the North Sea as "your" PLB has been activated and the answer is "no, he is sat next to me". Questions may be asked.

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Whilst you lie bleeding to death, they may just file it away as a false alarm.

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I do not understand why, having bought one, you would not register it - it is free of any charges, and takes just a few minutes either on-line or via a paper application form (but then you have the cost of a stamp)

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Would you buy a mobile phone but then not buy a SIM so you could use it ?

Is it just a case of not wanting officialdom knowing where you are ?

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Not at all. I was just thinking about what would happen if tou were in possession of a US type and it was technically not possible to register it. Whether it would work or not.

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If you are on land say camping or doing something which takes time it seems likely you would also have a cell phone but it may not be a GPS enabled type.Β 

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So my question would be could you call the emergency services and tell them you have an unregistered PLB and your approximate location which they could then cross reference?
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The false alarm point is a good one.

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10 minutes ago, magnetman said:

Does the location function of a 999 call also happen if you are asking for fire service?

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It goes to the 999 operator, who gets the location SMS whilst asking you 'which service do you require'.

They can also use it to ensure that the location you give is the one where you are calling from (Hoax calls !)

2 minutes ago, magnetman said:

So my question would be could you call the emergency services and tell them you have an unregistered PLB and your approximate location which they could then cross reference?

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I have no idea.

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I simply buy what is usable in the UK and register it as is required.

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If anyone does something else it is their problem as to how to make it work.

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38 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

I simply buy what is usable in the UK and register it as is required.

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If anyone does something else it is their problem as to how to make it work.

That's a bit like having marine radio but no licence. If I don't have one and still call them will they come.

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13 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

That's a bit like having marine radio but no licence. If I don't have one and still call them will they come.

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It is slightly different with a PLB because there would be no way of finding out if it actually works or not. Presumably by registering it one can carry out a controlled test to ensure the hardware is functioning. Same goes for a marine VHF. Regardless of whether you have a radio license you can request a radio test from VTS and find out if anything actually works.

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Argument for buying new PLBs I think.

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Edited by magnetman
typo
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9 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

That's a bit like having marine radio but no licence. If I don't have one and still call them will they come.

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But in that case, they don't know whether you have a licence or not.

For an unregistered or mis-registered beacon I think it will depend on the false alarm rate, which is probably quite high. Are they really going to launch a search when the beacon is obviously out of its remit - eg registered to a yacht in america but pinging from the centre of birmingham? And if they do, they can prosecute you for not having it registered correctly whereas they would be unlikely to ask to see your radio licence unless you made a fool of yourself on the radio.

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50 minutes ago, magnetman said:

Does this iphone system also work with android phones and does it automatically turn on the GPS if it had been previously switched off to conserve battery power?

Advanced Mobile Location (AML - https://eena.org/our-work/eena-special-focus/advanced-mobile-location/) works on all smartphones from the last decade or so - yes, there will be a small number of devices (Magpie the Elder had one such) where it won't work, but they don't do W3W or any other mapping tool either...

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In the background, when you dial 999 / 112 / 911 or equivalent: -

  • Check the battery level - if below a certain percentage do nothing, keep the voice call open as long as possible
  • If there is sufficient battery, enable GPS and Wi-Fi (if not already enabled)
  • Wait 20 seconds
  • Get location using whatever the handset would normally use for Google Maps, W3W etc*
  • Send a silent text with lat, long, altitude, expected error (in three dimensions), time since last update and more
  • BT (in the UK) or whoever compare the text with what the cell towers are saying - reject any obvious massive errors
  • BT (in the UK) or whoever pass on the revised position to Blue Light, probably while the call is still in progress

Trials when it was BT / One Network / one handset manufacturer showed: -

  • Rural went from ~2km to ~6m ("somewhere in this field" to "somewhere near this hedge")
  • Suburban went from ~500m to ~ 2m (on this estate to in this driveway)
  • City centre went from ~300m to ~100m (not as impressive but worth having)
  • Motorway went from "Somewhere near J15" to "Northbound, just passing the services"

Two last points

  1. (for most people) if your phone doesn't know where you are - it doesn't matter what platform you use; AML, W3W, Google Maps - they all take the same feed of "where am I?"
  2. W3W does have a use - where you have the location of where help is needed, but you are not at that location yourself - if you get W3W from a mooring and then have to walk 1/2 mile to get a signal - that's when it works. But if you are bending over a casualty who's bleeding and the operator says "give me W3W" tell them to look at their screen...
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I used W3W via browser on the phone to pinpoint location using their google maps overlay then spoke the location to the call handler. They were happy with this but I now realise that I was at the time about 400m away. I suppose it is handy because if I had not made it to the road access they would have been able to work out where I was.

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Does the location of the phone continue to be transmitted for any length of time or is it just during the call?

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Not an app or automated system

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https://what3words.com/senses.only.sizes

Edited by magnetman
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