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ELECTRONIC LIFESAVERS

EMERGENCY BEACONS IMPROVE THE ODDS FOR SEARCH-AND-RESCUE.

Dennis Clements’ trip to an island off the coast of Puerto Rico had turned into something you would normally see only in the movies, and now, he thought he was going to die. After surviving four days of gale-force winds in the North Atlantic, his 34- foot sailboat capsized, trapping him below his vessel in the icy waters.

When he made his way to the surface, he watched with joy as his boat righted itself, although it was partially filled with water. But joy quickly turned to horror as he watched what was left of his mainsail catch the storm’s wind, causing his boat to start sailing slowly but steadily away from him.

He found himself cold, wet, alone and 250 miles from land in the middle of a dark night with nothing to help him except his personal flotation device and its contents.

Although his sailboat was slowly abandoning him to the frigid water, it was also saving his life. The vessel-mounted emergency beacon onboard had started broadcasting its distress signal to the search-and-rescue satellites (SARSAT) orbiting overhead as soon as the boat started to go down.

Without a PLB or EPIRB, it is virtually impossible to find victims of storms at sea.
© GETTY IMAGES
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American Survival Guide March 2019, How-to : Reload like a Pro, Dogs of SAR, Handcuff Hacks, Pick the Perfect Pistol, When Less is more, And More.....