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johnd

Ditch Bag

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Going on friends boat, so pulled my bag out of skiff. With recent incidents & discussion of safety.. I'm listing here my bag as I open it. ( after, please suggest what I'm missing)

Outside pocket in ziplock: boat registration, Capt Lic,

Outside pocket (side). Epirb. Strobe ( attached to pocket)

Handle: teather line coiled with Velcro

Inside: 2 Tupperware containers with First aid items. 1 OTC meds: eye drops, ear drops, Asprin, baby Asprin, ibprofin, tums, anti sting stuff. Etc

Other: various sizes bandages, tweezers, blade, sports tape, antibiotic, antiseptic wipes, various size gauze pads

Inside: hand held radio, GPS, flashlight, orange day flag, hand flares, gun w/ flares, 50 ft cord, waterproof bag with batteries ( fit both GPS & radio), large waterproof bag ( empty)

Ok: that's what's in my bag... Fortunately the only items I often use are first aid & handheld radio...

What would you add?

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That's way better than my bag, but I always keep a magnesium fire starter close by. Sounds silly, but the only time I got stuck for a long period of time, I was high and dry and within walking distance of an island.

Thank you for posting, I need to re-visit my bag and build on it.

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quick off the top of my head.

single mirror

whistle

water pure tablets

list of next of kin w/numbers

list of med. you take

compression bandage

reflective type blanket. pkg. is about 6x6

lighter

water, amount up to you

fishing hooks/line

I feel most important, a REAL ditch bag that is watertight and floats, not just a grab n go style bag.

check dates and replace as needed.

think this is a topic that needs to be discussed.

design bag for the type of boating you do. inshore/offshore/both

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about 'water'

in my first bag, years ago, I added water... was very heavy, in fact broke the velcro/snaps on the ACR bag.

Please keep the ideas coming folks...AND take a few minutes to check YOUR bag (dates on flares, stuff you used and didn't replace).

Thanks - keep the ideas coming.

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In the winter I go way up into whitewater bay or up north on the west coast of Everglades National Park. No radio or phone signal. I ended up getting a sat phone. It puts my wife at ease and it's reasonable as far as cost as long as you don't spend a the day on it

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Not sure about the meds or bandages of any kind unless they are required to survive on a daily basis. The chance of getting to them,retrieving them while a drift isn't really all that good. Keep in mind this reference ain't no camping trip. I'm talking going in the water.

Your only chance to survive is being found quick.

If you ditch and have to float you ain't rubbing *** on a wound or anything else.

I'm speaking offshore with no chance of your feet touching dry land.

Epirb PLB and and a water proof hand held VHF.

Maybe I will get beat down for this one by the MODS.

Lots of folks on here talk about boom boxes, amps and underwater lights and so on.

More money spent on being cool than being saved in many threads on this forum. And plenty of you guys push the limits of your flats and bay boats.

Turn turtle scalloping, spear fishing or just shallow water grouper fishing off this coast over here or the east coast in the stream and not a single one of you can swim to hard ground.

I will put up this debate for all of you.

PLB or EPIRB.

The cl*** 1 EPIRB will self right itself and see the SKY. The PLB units I know of must be held or secured up to see the sky.

Do yourself a favor. Put on your PFD and get in the water in 2 to 4 foot seas for 1 hour and tell me WTF you can hang on to.

Nothing wrong to have both but the Epirb attached with its tether will float up right and transmit with it's strobe going up facing the sky with out you using what not be a spare hand to hold on to the device.

Take most PLB's today and activate and throw it in the water without deploying the antenna and it lands upside down and floats along without seeing the sky. :(

Funny I have asked the experts to chime in here as I'm not and not much has been said. Maybe there is more out there but I'm sure there are reasons not even the USCG will tell you which one is best.

One thing, the folks that will be coming looking for ya will say is that a registered unit being a PLB or EPIRB will greatly increase your chance of survival.

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no were not talking about camping trips. were not only talking about offshore either. yes, many of us could swim to shore depending where we are fishing or boating. I feel all suggestions that have been made are valid ones. ditch bags are also used if you are stranded upon your boat dead in the water or end up one land, not for only being in the water. yes I have been there and done it.

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In the winter I go way up into whitewater bay or up north on the west coast of Everglades National Park. No radio or phone signal. I ended up getting a sat phone. It puts my wife at ease and it's reasonable as far as cost as long as you don't spend a the day on it

Another option is to get an old-school 36" Metz whip antenna and 30' of coax with the appropriate connectors for your handheld. Tape/zip-tie the antenna to your push pole and you have a 30'-ish VHF antenna.

I also plan to spend the night every time I leave Flamingo (or any other ramp) Space blanket, mosquito net, food, water, bug spray, fire starter, lighter, Pocket Rocket camp stove (Google it, they're awesome) all vacuum sealed in a Food Saver bag. My First Aid Kit is in another Food Saver bag.

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When I was in the Coast Guard many, many moons ago I saw something that was so simple yet so effective. We had a fish call on a reef that popped up out of 1,000 feet of water. Some of the crew were divers and asked if they could dive the reef, and they did. The small boat brought them out and after about a 1/2 hour they did not surface, or so we thought. Well the underwater current was so swift it brought them almost 500 yards from where they went under. The bridge spotted them in less than a minute. One of the divers kept a folded up 55 gallon trash bag in his dive vest. When he realized they had drifted away he simply took it out, scooped it full of air and made a big ballon, spotted imediatly! Cheap, simple and effective.

Another issue I would like to point out, when did fashionability win out over simple life safety? I mean did we forget why life jackets are orange? If I had my choice of an orange life jacket versus a blue, green or brown one, I'll take the orange!

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Capt Troy: you are correct, I keep the first aid stuff because too often on others boats they have a dumb little kit with 286 items (285 little band aids).. Just easy for me to keep stuff in one bag.

Great idea about trash bag!

Already starting my "stuff to add list". Thx

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Fin I was referencing the ditch bag as ditching, going in the water.

It is always a good idea to keep most of the stuff mentioned stored on the boat. I like using the food saver vacuum baggies for stuff that never comes off the boat. They will keep things dry and usable which is tough in this climate.

The reason I am such an advocate of locator beacons is simple. When I am out for the day and something goes bad wrong and I go in the water first thing in the morning I don't want to be floating around for 6 to 8 hrs before someone starts looking for me. 2 reasons for that. 1, I don't like bobbing around in a PFD. 2 In many cases search efforts don't get started until someone realizes it's getting dark and their loved ones aren't home yet.

A properly used and registered beacon will more than likely have help coming in less than 2 hrs and probably sooner.

The hand held VHF may help you some, but 5 watts at the water level is not going let you talk very far if your in the water.

The USCG upon a verified beacon alert will issue a pon pon to be on the look out and ***ist to your signal location.

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PLBs and EPIRBs are almost the same. One is small and they both transmit on 406Mhz. The main difference is endurance PLBs typically transmit 24hrs and EPIRBs go at least 48. PLBs are meant to be worn on person and EPIRBs are for the boat. If a PLB or EPIRB transmit for 24 hours, rest ***ured somebody is coming to get you. I'm not going to tell you which one is better. Both are the same for the most part and It all boils down to your needs and wants.

Ditch Bag Items:

Whistle- Audible up to 1000m

Signal Mirror- visible up to great distances

Day/night flares. Smoke/Fire

Strobe Light- Firefly with Velcro

Food and water

Dye patches- people are hard to see from the air but a blob of colored water isn't

Type I PFD. You'll float face up.

PLB/EPIRB

Water proof phone case.

Handheld VHF radio

Distress signals are listed in NAVRULs.

http://navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=DistressSignals

If you ditch, stay with the boat and tether everyone together. If the boat sinks stay in a tight, tethered group.

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Something else which I personally carry while diving or just to have in my bail box is a Reflective Surface Marker.

Not everybody out there listens to their radios like they are suppose to.

If a p***ing boats goes to blow by your vicinity and you have one of these inflated you have a decent chance of somebody noticing.

http://www.amazon.com/Scuba-Choice-Visibility-Reflective-Standard/dp/B00VWBUA92/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438696284&sr=8-1&keywords=Scuba+Choice+Scuba+Diving+6%27+Surface+Marker+Signal+Tube+Oral+and+Standard+BC+Hose+Inflator

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Does anyone have a recommendation for a lifejacket they truly love and regularly use in the Florida climate. I would love a picture if you have some.

Full disclosure, I have never owned anything other than the orange basic ones that generally stay in the forward compartment for safety inspections. Trying to be more responsible, not promising I am going to wear it all the time on the water but want something better that you can wear and actually fish and operate the boat when prudent. I have been in rough conditions where we made the call for everyone to wear them. I think that's part of boating to be prepared for those contingencies.

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I wear this one listed here. My wife wears one from Cabela's, but the same basic idea.

A few years ago, during the 4th of July, while heading in from the fireworks show one of the girls had to pee. No problem, right? While one girl was peeing off the back, another pee'd off the starboard side. When she was done, she stood up, tripped and fell into the helm slamming the throttle down. This threw the girl peeing off the back into the water. I immediately slung the throttle back into neutral, the boat probably didn't travel 2', and the girl that fell in is a life guard...her husband, my nephew, is a combat experienced Air Force PJ. The girl who jumped in for the "rescue", my sister in law, is otherwise afraid of water (the critters in it). All involved were wearing auto-inflates and the two that got wet deployed, but we had the ladies back in the boat by the time they went off. I'd guess the whole episode lasted less than 10 seconds.

Sure it was a mess, sure it wasn't that cool and of course we all learned something. The fact is we were all wearing PFD's and while we didn't test their ability to float anyone, we did find out they work when submerged. They're pretty loud and fill up REALLY quick.

My PFD is fluorescent green with silver reflective tape. The only issue: I have to wear a buff on my neck to keep it from chaffing on my neck. My old one didn't do that.

http://www.mustangsurvival.com/recreational/md2017-02?country=25

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have a yellow/blue inflate from WM for wife and I. only problem being, must be worn to be considered a PFD by law. keep orange ones in locker to be legal. put inflates on when conditions warrant.

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have a yellow/blue inflate from WM for wife and I. only problem being, must be worn to be considered a PFD by law. keep orange ones in locker to be legal. put inflates on when conditions warrant.

Write you registration numbers on everything on board that may float. Boat name means nothing unless the vessel is documented by name.

Your registration numbers are in the data base for most of all of our vessels. Found items which may lead to your rescue are nothing more than Debris without them.

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Auto inflate PFDs have to be worn while underway in order to be considered sufficient. Get one with a hydro static release. Rain and sea spray will pop the ones with pills

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Do the auto inflate PFD's have to be kept completely dry like getting rained on or will they inflate with just a little water?

Depends on the manufacturer and style.

The best PFD is the one you wear and comfort usually dictates if you will wear it at all times.

Inflatables meet some requirements but IMHO should never replace the standard PFD. The buoyancy of an inflatable is dependent on it inflating and staying inflated. " and Maintenance"

I think they are great for near shore activities and most of the LEO use them around here as they don't plan on any lengthy submersion times.

If it were me with the kids back in the day I would have them wearing the inflatable packs. The few times I run charters with children who are required to wear a vest while underway I strongly ask the parents to provide their vests.

"kinda of a personal item for me in respect to that"

Anyhow, I prefer this as my on board gear.

Type I Off-Shore Life Jacket

Designed for extended survival in rough, open water. It usually will turn an unconscious person face up, and has more than 22 pounds of buoyancy. This is the best PFD to keep you a float in remote regions where rescue may be slow in coming.

As a side not this discussion about gear and what not can only have 1 positive I hope. Get folks thinking about what they can do better to prepare for the unthinkable. We can all argue this till the cows come home about specifics and what is best for each. Hopefully after the dust settles everyone reading this will rethink their needs, how they use their boat and what will best prevent a needless tragedy.

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For the most part, I believe the majority of the active members here on the forum are safety minded individuals.

Safety is #1 rule & like anything else has to be practiced on a regular basis.

But, there's more to it than just safety out there.

When common sense evades us,

some times we need to be reminded once in a while we shouldn't be doing something.

Unless I missed it above,

nobody mentioned a comp***.

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Why Type I ? Arent those the most basic vests? Would the IIs or IIIs offer more protection or comvort over longer periods and/or in rougher seas?

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