Ditch bags...

1) Do you guys always carry one when heading offshore, or only when running to the islands?
2) Any particular brand you like more than others?
3) Other than the obvious food/water/lighter/change of clothes/flares, what else do you put in there that would be important for survival?

I've seen too many reports of accidents lately and with fishing this sketchy winter weather, I can't afford to put a ditch bag off any longer. I have seatow, but no epirb yet either.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Keeping busy while away from Florida

https://www.youtube.com/user/UFpwrLifter/videos?view_as=public

Replies

  • ShoelessShoeless Posts: 2,108 Captain
    Hey Long,

    Here is a great link to Ocean Motion's post from some time back. Very informative and will give you some ideas you are sure to forget. At a minimum I would recommend starting with a nice epirb, I'll send you a PM on this.

    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?5983-I-UPDATED-MY-DITCH-BAG-2001-07-11
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    Thanks Sean. That link is awesome. I'm going to start gathering the stuff now.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Keeping busy while away from Florida

    https://www.youtube.com/user/UFpwrLifter/videos?view_as=public
  • Go MongoGo Mongo Posts: 2,107 Captain
    X 2 on the EPIRB.
    I'll check the link, but off hand I carry in my ditch bag the following:
    my wallet;
    phone in zip lock bag;
    an extra hat;
    a backup GPS;
    EPIRB w/int gps;
    a couple small bottles of water;
    small first aid kit;
    knife;
    rags;
    emergency tape (works on fish bites as well);
    copies of boat docs and Boats US contact info;
    water proof flashlight;
    whistle, flares, and,
    note pad and pen (not sure why).

    If running across, I'll include the float plan, the passports and applicable customs docs.

    I dont have one of the fancy "ditch" bags. Just a nylon bag that holds everything.

    Edit: After checking the link Sean posted, I suppose its time to add to the bag.
    “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • Plane Fish nPlane Fish n Posts: 6,439 Admiral
    Long, I also endorse Ocean Motion's ditch bag.

    It is truly the most concise list I have ever seen.

    Hank is a true professional who as a former LEO, knows what his ditch bag needs.

    Good luck and if I can be of any help, just ask.

    Cheers

    Eric
    PLANE FISH N
  • PairadoxPairadox Posts: 323 Officer
    Ocean motions list is very comprehensive! And I will be updating my ACR ditch bag as well with many of the items recommended. It's great to share this information bc a simple oversight can make a bad situation much worse!
    Other ideas that I currently have in place are:
    1. Cash (cash is king)
    2. 2 handheld VHFs
    3. While I have an epirb in a hydrostatic I like the idea of also having a PLB available as well.
    4. Handheld GPS (as mentioned above)
    5. Personal rescue strobe
    6. Hand held rescue mirror
    7. Zip ties
    8. More duct tape....
    Good luck long! It'll make your holiday shopping list grow!
  • VenturesomeVenturesome Posts: 1,743 Officer
    all the above, plus one of those big smoke bomb canisters... sorry if it was already mentioned.
    2392.jpg
  • Danny33486Danny33486 Posts: 158 Officer
    I have my PLB and GPS enabled VHF tethered to mine.. It also has whistles, mirror, strobes, dye packs....tape first aide flares, knife all that kind of stuff. It is in a Scotts Tbag attached to my personal type 1 off shore vest .... Go to the beach one day in heavy surf and practice taking stuff out with out it dumping everywhere......or even in the pool... My bag was free with my PLB it is a ACR and i floats.
  • DeepBlueDeepBlue Posts: 41 Deckhand
    All good info but does your ditch bag float? Most bags I have seen have no floatation and are not water proof. Drop it overboard in bad weather while trying to get into a raft and it sinks - then what?
    We use the Engel Cooler/Dry Box. Peace of mind. It floats and keep the salt water out until you are ready to open it. http://www.engel-usa.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=vmj_genx.tpl&product_id=49&category_id=3&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=61
  • Captain DaveCaptain Dave Posts: 3,388 Captain
    I had the good fortune of taking over Ocean Motion's ditch bag (the bigger brother of this one pictured), and it's the most thought-out that I've found. Regardless of the ditch bag itself having floatation or not, something I always do when making crossings to the Bahamas or long runs elsewhere is to attach an anchor ball to the ditch bag and leave both accessable right on the deck during the crossings. I never understand the folks who keep their ditch bags stored in a hatch or in the console. If you run into an emergency situation and need it fast, even getting to the console or hatch may not be an option depending on what has happened (hitting a submerged object, etc.). Doing this, even if the boat sank in 10 seconds, the ditch bag and anchor ball will float right off the deck. Obviously, the anchor ball is also another nifty object to hang onto and the orange color makes you an easier target to spot if a Coast Guard Helicoptor is looking for you.

    The ACR ditch bags are the best IMHO, and a 406hz EPIRB, a handheld VHF, and a personal locator beacon, and parachute flares with a long burn time are all a no-brainer to have with the bag.

    598401_4541400705458_970507240_n.jpg
    72262-albums10528-picture94957.jpg

    Your Southeast Florida Real Estate Resource !
    www.HomesOfTreasureCoast.com

    Search for homes on any mobile device with my FREE MLS SEARCH App !
    http://app.kw.com/KW2GYNJDM
  • Go MongoGo Mongo Posts: 2,107 Captain
    Great idea on the float.
    Add some beef jerky and a bottle of decent rum and you should be good to go. Might take the CG a while to find you, but you wont care.
    :rotflmao
    “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    All great ideas... Keep them coming, it can only help us as a whole.

    P.S, I'm going to go broke before my ditch bag is complete.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Keeping busy while away from Florida

    https://www.youtube.com/user/UFpwrLifter/videos?view_as=public
  • Go MongoGo Mongo Posts: 2,107 Captain
    All great ideas... Keep them coming, it can only help us as a whole.

    P.S, I'm going to go broke before my ditch bag is complete.

    No doubt.

    Also, if you guys have not already considered this, think about adding an Autotether. I purchased one a couple years back. It is a great idea for you guys that go solo (especially if trolling).

    if you do use one be sure to test it after each trip. I did notice that the spring which triggers the kill switch can corrode/stick over time.

    I test it by placing the remote in the water over the gunnel as soon as I get to the dock. It should only take a few inches of water dept to trigger it and take the pressure off the spring.

    They are good about repairs and replacements free of charge and regardless of warranty terms with quick turn around time.
    “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • skinneejskinneej Posts: 358 Officer
    Man, most of you guys don't even fish out of the sight of land!!! That means, all you need in your ditch bag is a pair of fins, a mask, and a snorkel!!! :rotflmao
    skinnej.jpg
  • Go MongoGo Mongo Posts: 2,107 Captain
    skinneej wrote: »
    Man, most of you guys don't even fish out of the sight of land!!! That means, all you need in your ditch bag is a pair of fins, a mask, and a snorkel!!! :rotflmao

    I have personally seen nearly everyone of these guys well out of the site of land. However, I do agree the fins mask and snorkel should be on board at all times.

    Good thinking Skinneej!
    “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • snooknreds2snooknreds2 Posts: 514 Officer
    All great ideas, some I will need to add to my bag.

    In my bag I also have te following which has not been mentioned:

    - mask and snorkel
    - wetsuit so I don't get hypothermia waiting in them to find me. Sounds silly but the water here even in sunny Florida is enough to kill you.
    - a "dry bag" that is unopened and empty. Plan is to open it up, and seal it shut full of air. Now there is something to use as a float rather than treading water, but takes up minimal space until "opened"


    Question:.... Someone said a change of clothes. Why good does that do you while floating in the water? Unless you have a life raft to get in?
    A lazy fisherman is a boater!!
  • Go MongoGo Mongo Posts: 2,107 Captain
    Question:.... Someone said a change of clothes. Why good does that do you while floating in the water? Unless you have a life raft to get in?

    In case your 3 hour tour turns into an extended stay on a deserted island with Mary Ann and Ginger.

    Need to look your best.:grin
    “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • DemonDemon Posts: 218 Deckhand
    Add a tether that is already attached to the ditch bag with a clasp at the end that can easily attach to you person or vest. Any kind of breeze or current & your safety gear will float away from you pretty fast (especially with a big float attached).
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    Question:.... Someone said a change of clothes. Why good does that do you while floating in the water? Unless you have a life raft to get in?

    LOL... That was me. My brain was thinking two things at once.

    1) was thinking about the castaway movie with Tom hanks... Would be nice to wash up on shore and change into dry clothes.
    2) here's me embarrassing myself: had bass tournament in Kissimmee several weeks ago. Morning of day 1 was in the low 50s with strong wind. Within the first 2hrs of safelight, my brother in law deployed the twin power poles on the aluminum Jon boat (only 20hp motor so stern is light) and it lifted the stern a good 8 inches as it stuck into the hard bottom rocking the boat. That mixed with strong wind threw me over the side of the boat into that cold cold water. If he didn't have a change of clothes on board, we would've had to waste time running in to get some (much easier to do in a lake than offshore without land in sight). I guess the change of clothes doesnt have to be in the bag, but on the boat would be nice.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Keeping busy while away from Florida

    https://www.youtube.com/user/UFpwrLifter/videos?view_as=public
  • Go MongoGo Mongo Posts: 2,107 Captain
    LOL... That was me. My brain was thinking two things at once.

    1) was thinking about the castaway movie with Tom hanks... Would be nice to wash up on shore and change into dry clothes.
    2) here's me embarrassing myself: had bass tournament in Kissimmee several weeks ago. Morning of day 1 was in the low 50s with strong wind. Within the first 2hrs of safelight, my brother in law deployed the twin power poles on the aluminum Jon boat (only 20hp motor so stern is light) and it lifted the stern a good 8 inches as it stuck into the hard bottom rocking the boat. That mixed with strong wind threw me over the side of the boat into that cold cold water. If he didn't have a change of clothes on board, we would've had to waste time running in to get some (much easier to do in a lake than offshore without land in sight). I guess the change of clothes doesnt have to be in the bag, but on the boat would be nice.

    You forgot to mention that when I asked how the tourny went!
    “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • Fi$h2nguyenFi$h2nguyen Posts: 7,782 Moderator
    Go Mongo wrote: »
    You forgot to mention that when I asked how the tourny went!

    Can't give away all my fish catching tactics!! :banana
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Keeping busy while away from Florida

    https://www.youtube.com/user/UFpwrLifter/videos?view_as=public
  • ShoelessShoeless Posts: 2,108 Captain
    Long,

    You will definitely go broke if u run out and start filling up the shopping cart with everything in one day. Remember to use some creative thinking while putting all of this together. For example, I dug into some of my old Army gear and found my hand help GPS that I used while in Iraq. Loaded it with fresh batteries and then sealed it in a vacuum bag. Check that item off the list for the cost of batteries.

    Set some priorities in what you think will work for you and start shopping.

    BTW - I didn't hear about the story of u swimming with the bass either:grin
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Sign In or Register to comment.