Everglades Backcountry Emergency Communication Ideas

Seeking a little input from you skiff owners as to what you have use for emergency communications (outside of an EPIRB and cell etc.) I don't have a radio mounted in my skiff, but always carry a cheap hand held radio. I know that it isn't 100% sufficient, and want to upgrade. I fish alone quite a bit, and push pretty deep into the park at times (most of the time).

I've been researching some better hand helds, and would like to solicit some ideas from some of you salty dogs. I am an electronics technician by trade, and have access/ability to modify a radio antenna in a pinch. Do some of you have hand helds with a detachable antenna you can run up on a push pole or stakeout pole to extend your range?

Replies

  • P.cliffordP.clifford Posts: 226 Officer
    You can get a 6 W namebrand unit. Standard or ICOM are both good ones, I would get a water resistant if not a waterproof floating unit.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • BD27BD27 Posts: 1,179 Officer
    I am lucky to have a very good neighbor, I leave a float plan with him, where I am going and when I plan to be back. I have never had to use him , but you never no. I also have STS and cell phones, but you never know with electronics. I call him if plans change and let him know if I changed my plans. I also keep plenty of water on board (just in case)
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,166 Captain
    rent a satphone- cheap and lo rates=talk anywhere on planet. hint: have solar charger
    28' SEA VEE BRAND NEW 200 SUZUKI's- LIVE BAIT OFFSHORE WRECKS DEEP DROP REEFS BACKCOUNTRY
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    305.394.7400
    BIG WAHOO
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Allegiance-Charters/708182519302079[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Chewdog2121Chewdog2121 Posts: 469 Officer
    I appreciate the responses. I don't think I want to commit to another bill (renting a Sat Phone). I think I am going to end up upgrading my hand held radio to a 6W floating handheld (haven't quite decided on a brand) with a detachable antenna. I am going to have a spare antenna I can attach and run up my push/stakeout pole if necessary for better coverage. Just wanted to poll those out there that may have a similar setup and assess their performance.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    I used to keep a VHF in my skiff under my seat where I sat, so it never took salt spray. The antenna was one of those 4 foot numbers where the co-ax was in a pod at the bottom and just a short solid wire whip. The cable ran up inside my poling platform tube to the top of the tower. I kept the antenna folded down parallel to the platform, so it was always out of the way.

    Like most people, I never had to use it, but if necessary, this radio will reach out a lot further than a hand-held. I have talked to my marina on Stock Island, from the Marquesas, at least 20 miles away.
    .......Rick
  • Chewdog2121Chewdog2121 Posts: 469 Officer
    Permit Rat wrote: »
    I used to keep a VHF in my skiff under my seat where I sat, so it never took salt spray. The antenna was one of those 4 foot numbers where the co-ax was in a pod at the bottom and just a short solid wire whip. The cable ran up inside my poling platform tube to the top of the tower. I kept the antenna folded down parallel to the platform, so it was always out of the way.

    Like most people, I never had to use it, but if necessary, this radio will reach out a lot further than a hand-held. I have talked to my marina on Stock Island, from the Marquesas, at least 20 miles away.

    That's exactly what I was looking for, Thanks Rat!
  • 91tiger91tiger Posts: 540 Officer
    I had a major boat motor electrical fire fishing out of Flamingo in 2003. We were 100% dead in the water other than the trolling motor. I had a vhf with a antenna under the poling platform. I also had a 25 foot antenna cable and spare antenna that I could attach to the push pole and in theory vasty extend the range...just like you describe. We tried for several hours and were never able to raise anybody on the radio. And yes, we did have power to the radio after the fire. It's not like offshore where everybody is listening to their radios. Down there unless you can hail a larger boat running up the coast, very few have their radios turned on.

    After that I went through several communication options. I started with a cell phone signal booster. I figured I could trolling motor and pole my way back to Oyster Bay and have a shot of making a call with the booster's antenna attached to the pole, just like the VHF antenna. I think that is still in the boat somewhere. I then got a SPOT locator that allowed me to send an emergency signal or predesignated text with GPS coordinates. That actually provided me a good bit of piece of mind. I still keep it in my boat too. Then last year I saw that satellite phones had come down a good bit in price and more importantly had started offering prepaid plans. That's the route I went. I buy the hardware, load the minutes I think I would need for an emergency and no monthly bills. It works great down there and it is a massive piece of mind knowing I can have a real conversation if I need to call for sea tow or an emergency.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Tiger.....don't they monitor a VHF frequency at the Flamingo marina or at the lodge? Or did you not have the range?

    In either case, if that's how it is, then the Sat-phone would be the way to go. I'm glad to see you found an affordable plan. I agree with you.....almost nobody monitors a radio from a skiff. I was thinking that with decent height off the water, you'd be able to reach the marina from say, Hell's Bay, no problem.
    .......Rick
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,166 Captain
    if you had a REAL emergency (nothoney, pick up some chicken for dinner on way home) , you would pay $1million for a sat phone and rescue. take a registered epirb if u got one.
    28' SEA VEE BRAND NEW 200 SUZUKI's- LIVE BAIT OFFSHORE WRECKS DEEP DROP REEFS BACKCOUNTRY
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    305.394.7400
    BIG WAHOO
    checkout our new website- http://www.american-allegiance-charters.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Allegiance-Charters/708182519302079[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • 91tiger91tiger Posts: 540 Officer
    When I first started fishing Flamingo I know they had a VHF going all the time in the office or fuel sales kiosk. Since hurricane Wilma, I really don't think that is the case. A different group has the concession on the marina now and I haven't heard the radio going at all. With no lodging they don't get near the visitation they did prior to Wilma and it seems they run a much slimmer staff to make ends meet. It's a good question though. Next time I'm down I will ask the folks in the store about it.
Sign In or Register to comment.