Everyone should be aware that government regulations in most forms do not set a ceiling – they set a floor.

So, “must have’s” in my mind are, first, a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). While I used to say that I never went on a boat without a light and a knife on my person (the light to signal for help after I’ve fallen overboard and the knife to cut myself free from the line I was fouled on prior to going over side and was now drowning me as I was being dragged along by the boat), the PLB enables me to send a signal, just like a boat’s EPIRB (Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon), to USCG crews exactly where I am. Second, I think that the boat should have an EPIRB aboard and a Class-1 version – if the boat capsizes or otherwise sinks, the Class 1 EPIRB is designed to float free and start sending signals to the satellites and radio towers that start the rescue process going. (see attached.)

Of course, all this assumes you have a life-jacket on. Most likely, if you don’t, after you’ve turned your boots upside down and tried to turn them into floatation, (maybe trying the same thing with your trouser legs (knotted), and you’ve treaded water till exhaustion, you’ll become a recovery rather than a rescue. All for the want of a life-jacket.

R21 Diagram

Commodore Vin Pica

BTW, if you are interested in being part of USCG Forces, email me at JoinUSCGAux@aol.com or go direct to the D1SR Human Resources department, who are in charge of new members matters, at DSO-HR and we will help you “get in this thing…”

We’d appreciate it!