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    Re: lifeboat navigation
    From: Dan Allen
    Date: 2002 Oct 23, 11:59 -0700

    On Wednesday, October 23, 2002, at 11:08 AM, Cliff Sojourner wrote:
    > so I guess this begs the question, what navigational items are
    > appropriate to pack in the ditch bag?
    Probably the most important thing is to have a registered EPIRB.
    After that a VHF handheld radio with lithium long-life batteries, and
    water. THEN traditional navigation items like a sextant, tables, etc.
    I've read many of these "Survive the Savage Sea" and "Adrift"
    books and the common theme from so many is not so much that you
    can find help as that they can find you.  In many cases ships are
    visible to the stranded but the stranded are just so unobservable that
    they are passed unknowingly.  Perhaps a small object that opens into a
    huge radar reflector would be wise to carry.
    The EPIRB lets somebody know to start looking, and the newer
    Inmarsat-E EPIRBs (see http://www.navtec.de/english/epirb1.htm) have a
    GPS in them that will lead people right to you.
    A VHF handheld radio would have saved many of these people if they
    could have called to a passing ship on it.  Don't take one with
    a built-in rechargable pack because it will die, but get one that
    can take AA lithium batteries.  These have a long shelf life and
    a couple of sets of these in with the radio would be the way to go.

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