A great Thank You letter to ACR Electronics

ObsessionObsession Posts: 228 Deckhand
We received this note from a GlobalFix iPRO owner. It sure feels good to play a part in a happy return.



Four of us were out of Cedar Key FL fishing at 10nm out on Saturday 8/24/2013. We were anchored off fishing and saw the electronics die and lost all power to start the engine. The engine would not start so we called for assistance from sea tow. We could not get hold of sea tow so contacted the coast guard at Yankee Town Fl and they contacted sea tow for us. While waiting on sea tow we saw a storm brewing so we let out 250ft of anchor line in 30ft depth and tied to the lower eye on the bow. We got prepared and pulled out life jackets and a dock line just in case and I'm glad we did because the storm overtook us with waves becoming approximately 8-12ft. We got out 1 mayday without coordinates due to the boat capsizing so fast and grabbed the EPIRB in the process of the boat overturning. The wind was blowing approximately 45-50knts sustained we all had our PFDs on at this point and tied together with the dock line. Drifting away from the boat I can't explain in words the fear and thoughts going through each one of our heads but we felt as secure as you could feel in these circumstances with the EPIRB telling us the signal was sent. We drifted into the night. Approximately 10pm we were assisted by a rescue swimmer dropped from the coast guard helicopter. He stayed with us until the sea tow boat came to us and helped us up onto the boat. When we got onto the sea tow boat that's when we realized that we had drifted approximately 6 miles from where the boat overturned in approximately 2.5 hrs. Coast guard rescue swimmer said they probably would not have found us that night if at all if it wasn't for the EPIRB signal. We returned to Cedar Key shaken up but everyone was ok without any injuries. Basically the price of the EPIRB is a small price to pay for your life that and the coast guard saved 4 of us. Words cannot explain our gratitude and appreciation toward the US Coast Guard, Sea Tow, and ACR Electronics for saving our lives. With many years experience on the ocean we never thought we would be in this situation but we were and I'm glad we spent the money for the EPIRB and were well prepared because if not we would probably not be writing this letter today. Thank you to ACR employees for manufacturing a beacon to save our lives. We cannot thank you enough.


Karson Keith


Stay safe
Chris

Stay Safe

Chris

Entry Point Decorative Door Glass. Stuart FL (Family Business) 772-463-6500

Replies

  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    Chris,

    Amazing story. Sent chills and reminded me of just how easily it can happen to anyone. What size boat were you in?

    I find it equally amazing that people venture offshore all the time without a $400 Eprirb and $40 Type I PFD. I know of people with very expensive boats that have neither. Many cant afford to spend $3-6k on a raft, but everyone can afford and Epirb and Type I PFD. Perhaps your story will encourage others to take safety more seriously.

    IMO - EPRIB and Offshore Lifejackets (Amongst other things) should be a State/Federal Requirement for any boat navigating in excess of say 8 miles.
  • ObsessionObsession Posts: 228 Deckhand
    Cape,

    I work at ACR Electronics and was on the receiving end of the letter from Karson. Judging from the picture of his boat it was a 23' to 25' CC with a single O/B.

    Stay Safe
    Chris

    Stay Safe

    Chris

    Entry Point Decorative Door Glass. Stuart FL (Family Business) 772-463-6500

  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    Obsession wrote: »
    Cape,

    I work at ACR Electronics and was on the receiving end of the letter from Karson. Judging from the picture of his boat it was a 23' to 25' CC with a single O/B.

    Stay Safe
    Chris

    First, thanks for sharing this story. So many people on this forum can use a sense of reality.

    Wow. That's a good size boat for 10NM on our coast. It must have been real bad for a squall line to swamp a 23-35 footer only 10 from shore. It takes sustained winds for a very very very long time to brew 8-10 footers in the gulf, let alone 10NM from shore; and from a westerly direction. Other than maybe better maintenance or an understanding of their boat's electrical systems, I don't think they could have done anything differently. I'm just glad to hear that they all made it.

    I once got stuck 20 Miles off the coast of Anclote Key, limping in on one motor. A huge, black as coal squall line from one end of the horizon to the other was approaching from the west. We got hammered with easy 40-50MPH gusts, and seas went from glass calm to 5-6 footers with some 8's mixed in. We had side ways torrential rain for what seemed like an hour and lightning popping everywhere. Scary as chit in a 27 foot CC, but still safe (Other than lightning) nonetheless.

    IMO the items below are far more important for anyone venturing offshore, then thier first fishing rod or even first bag of ice for a boat:


    1. EPRIB
    2. Enough Quality Offshore PFDs for everyone on board
    3. Fixed VHF
    4. Throw A Away Cushion/Device
    5. Flares/Whistle/Strobes
    6. Fire Extinguisher (I would suggest two)
    7. Ditch Bag with handheld VHF, GPS, Rope/Dock Lines with Snaps, Food & Water Provisions, Knife, etc
    8. Portable High Capacity Bilge Bump with long hose & wires with clips
    9. Sea Anchor
    10. Access to Real Time Weather (XM/Sirius, Radar, etc.)
    11. Personally I also make certain I have other floating devices that people can hang on to, plus it makes spotting a little easier (Boat Fenders, Coolers, etc.). Also not a bad idea to invest in a backup VHF and GPS on a separate electrical system
    12. Good common sense understanding of weather patterns, especially in July & August
  • Mig888Mig888 Posts: 80 Greenhorn
    I love ACR. I own two EPIRBS and one PLB. One EPIRB is mounted in my console with a hydrostatic trigger and I keep a manual one in my ditch bag. I bring the PLB whenever I go on someone else's boat. I know it is overkill, but it is a small price to pay when you really need it. Stories like this confirm my decision. Thanks for posting.
  • deepseaman81deepseaman81 Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Just happened to run across these threads late, sorry for the delay. Karson Keith is my brother and I was onboard when this happened. Everyone should have an EPIRB or PLB venturing offshore! Just for the record, this storm came from east to west. I agree with the gentleman about how it takes sustained winds for a while to generate large seas in the Gulf, but if it gets bad enough, it can still build fairly quickly. We have many years of experience of offshore fishing and learned a lot from our father who was a Coast Guard certified Master Captain. So, just think of East winds in 30-35 feet of water generating this sea state. I've been in worse on larger boats, but this storm was nasty! Karson's boat was 23 feet in length and took on too much water through the back compartment covers and cable holes as the bow rose and the stern dipped. Everything failed us that day but the EPIRB. Nobody saw any flares when we were stranded, cell phones were out of range, vhf radio communication was horrible and unreliable, etc. If you don't have an EPIRB or PLB, get one! ACR Electronics is an excellent company with great products and staff.

    Kevin Keith
  • deepseaman81deepseaman81 Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    I would like to add that there are a few other threads that relate to this story. One is titled "rescue off cedar key", and the other I believe is titled "cedar key storm". What was very eerie is that when we were brought back to the dock by Sea Tow, another boat was capsized at the dock - same model just a few feet longer with twins!
  • sterlingxs22sterlingxs22 Posts: 158 Officer
    Glad you are all ok , I have a small (22) boat and I keep a battery booster box on board , it can be a good thing to have with all these big screen bottom machines drawing all the current they require .
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