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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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November 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 37, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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When You're Adrift in the Sea

a personal locator beacon will save your bacon

from the November, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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On May 9, when the Pacific Fleet's Vortex, with no one at the helm, ran aground on one of Mexico's isolated Revillagigedo Islands, passenger Peter Mesley, an expert tech diver from New Zealand, triggered his Personal Locator Beacon. Nearly 6000 miles away, the New Zealand Rescue Services picked up its signal via satellite. They contacted Mexican authorities and initiated an emergency rescue plan with the Mexican Navy.

A PLB is an essential device for diving in remote locations and should be in every liveaboard diver's kit. Depending upon where they are headed, land-based divers ought to give them a thought as well. There are two devices useful for divers.

Iridium satellite-based beacons, like the Garmin Inreach, allow rudimentary two-way conversation with a friend or rescuer by SMS text. It's a good device for people going to remote locations. Divers need a good holster to get it on a web belt. The Garmin is waterproof, but not to diving depths, and requires a $34.95 annual subscription.

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