UPDATE: The fine people at Datrex sent me a Rescue PLB1 to try for myself. I loved it. It handled well – even in some pretty chilly water. Full report up soon; but in this case, I consider smaller – very, very good. Ocean Signal and Datrex recently introduced the world’s smallest Personal Locator Beacon, the rescueME PLB1. Almost immediately, reviews of the product have been positive. How could smaller not be better? The miniaturization of electronics has made lots of safety equipment easier to carry and use. However, this particular product is making me think about the diminishing returns of “small.” […]
There is simply no way to imagine that the Sunderland's decision to allow their sixteen-year-old daughter (and seventeen-year-old son before her) to venture out to sea alone was not influenced by the modern EPIRB. She was carrying two of them aboard. "Radio's - check; SATCOM - check; Way to pinpoint your location and call for help if things go wrong? - check and check." The electronic "Time-Out" button provides a LOT of comfort to all of us who go to sea and I'm certainly not complaining; again, I love the things. However, mariners need to address the growing and unspoken trend to rely on these devices as a replacement for an abundance of caution and judgment.