gCaptain has reported that the Coast Guard will recommend that all lifejackets on ocean-going vessels be equipped with Personal Locator Beacons.
“In the United States Coast Guard’s upcoming El Faro investigation report, Captain Jason Neubauer USCG, Chairman of the Marine Board of Investigation, will recommend that all Personal Flotation Devices on oceangoing commercial vessels be outfitted with a Personal Locator Beacon.”
“The investigation report does not call for a second EPIRB equipped with GPS, as some marine safety experts have called for, but takes the additional step of recommending that PLB’s be attached to all lifejackets aboard oceangoing commercial vessels.”
Apparently the Coast Guard is taking the lesson to heart. Intelligent-Aerospace reports the Coast Guard has let a $3 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with options for up to 16,000 McMurdo Fast Find 220 Personal Locator beacons.
According to the manufacturer,
The McMurdo FastFind 220 is small and light enough for you to carry on your person at all times. Using advanced technology, the FastFind 220 transmits a unique ID and your current GPS co-ordinates via the Cospas-Sarsat global search and rescue satellite network, alerting the rescue services within minutes. Once within the area, the search and rescue services can quickly home in on your location using the unit’s 121.5Mhz homing beacon and flashing LED SOS light.
These PLBs are available from a variety of sources including on-line for $190-$300. 16,000 PLBs for $3M would average $187.50 each.
Considering what we do, this looks like a good investment. Presumably every aircraft, boat, and cutter crewman will have one of these on their lifejacket or perhaps their work uniform.