A Portland fisherman who was rescued after activating his ACR Electronics ResQLink PLB is urging all boaters to carry a personal locator beacon when they go out to sea.
Simon Jones is one of more than 100 members of ACR’s ground-breaking initiative SurvivorClub which features first-hand tales of survival from people across the world who have used an ACR PLB or EPIRB to alert the rescue services.
The UK commercial fisherman was with a friend putting a new engine through sea trials for the first time on his 19-foot Fast Worker 19, Sole Trader B11, when he could not restart it. They had already covered about 25 miles out from Weymouth and it was getting late with no one else around. After several unsuccessful attempts to call for help using the radio and their phones, they knew that their only chance to avoid being left to drift as darkness fell was to use Simon’s ACR ResQLink PLB. The device was activated to contact the rescue authorities and they were soon located and successfully towed to safety by the RNLI.
“I always have my PLB when I go out in the boat and encourage everyone to do the same,” said Simon. “It is a very small cost for a device which can make such a big difference. When our engine failed, we had no radio signal, it was late and there was no one around, so the only option was the PLB. Luckily the boat itself was in fine shape, it was the engine that did not work, so we were towed to safety upon the RNLI and UK Coast Guard's response to my beacon call. We were very grateful that our PLB worked.
“I am usually out on my own, which makes it even more important that I carry a PLB, even though I am mostly just operating between Weymouth and St Alban’s Head. I am often in the Portland races which can be challenging. The ACR PLB is very small so you can attach it to clothing or a life jacket and barely notice it. I think making it mandatory to carry a PLB is a very good idea.”
Survivors from across the world who activated ACR Electronics beacons in a life-threatening emergency have joined the ACR SurvivorClub to share their stories and help raise awareness about the best practices to ensure safety, both on land and at sea.
Relating first-hand tales of survival when lost, injured or facing extreme weather conditions while boating, fishing, hiking and hunting, the outdoor enthusiasts came forward to demonstrate the effectiveness of carrying an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) or ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) to alert the rescue authorities.
The 100 survivor mark is celebrated during ACR Electronics’ diamond anniversary year. Available at this year’s Southampton Boat Show on the FORCE 4 CHANDLERY Stand (B017/J247), new products include its compact Firefly PRO SOLAS rescue lights, as well as its C-Strobes and C-Lights waterproof LED personnel distress lights. Additional products by ACR Electronics at this year’s show include the new GlobalFix V4 EPIRB and the ResQLink PLB, plus the AISLink CA1 and CB1 AIS transceivers.
For more information, go to www.acrartex.com/products/marine