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  1. #1

    Who rides solo and GPS safety devices carried?

    I am curious people's thoughts on riding solo? I ride often solo in the ocean and head out pretty far from shore. I carry the basics and have my flares and whistle etc... but curious if anyone carries any stress like GPS beacons for rescue? This may sound like overkill to some that lake and pond ride but out at sea I can say there have been a few times when I have been out for a long ride and wonder, "man if anything happened here I good be gonzo"

    Recently attended the boat show and saw some cool safety devices on the market.... these were running in the $600 range so they were not cheap but again in time of need $600 is nothing.....

    any input greatly apprecaited
    Last edited by 2006 RXT; 09-20-2007 at 03:47 PM.


  2. #2
    My new toys at work bruinsrme's Avatar
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    I ride solo only on small lakes and ocean inlets/bays. Any open ocean regardless of how far I go out there is always at least one other person with me.

    Any type of distress signaling device would be beneficial to you. Something else I was thinking while reading this post. If you loose your ski (sinking) your flares may be in the ski, have you considered marking devices? any plane will be able to see it and if the CG sends out a plane or helo that would assist them as well.

    other things I would have strapped to my body
    water proof VHF radio
    water proof cell hone with GPS capability
    Spot markers (dye markers)


    Damn I just think riding solo like that is extremely risky.

  3. #3

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    I was out riding on a huge lake (relative to the area) at sunset and noticed a 12 to 14 foot alligator crossing my path. I cut the throttle, and after a few seconds he darted in another direction, leaving an unreal wake behind. I go to gun the throttle again and noticed I was in a large field of Hydrilla (nastiest of all underwater weeds), and the wind was pushing me deeper into it. It was too late, the intake was so jammed, it felt like the prop fell off. I'm not dumb/crazy enough to jump in the water, the same water that a 12 foot alligator ate someone a few months ago, so I'M STUCK!

    And my only survival gear is a mini paddle, whistle and, thank God, a cell phone. The whistle was WORTHLESS. It starts raining and lightning, and gets very dark. Called the wife (that took as much guts as jumping in with the gator), who called the neighbor, who eventually towed me in, but I was stuck out there for a good (or bad) two hours. That taught me a valuable lesson to work on my emergency gear.

    The first thing I added? Bug repellent! Also flashlight, airhorn, lighter, poncho, screwdriver, knife, etc. I like the idea of water marking dye too, for ocean trips.

    When I got home, I realized there was no way I could have cleared the intake from under water, it was stuffed as solid as concrete:
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by VX1 View Post
    I was out riding on a huge lake (relative to the area) at sunset and noticed a 12 to 14 foot alligator crossing my path. I cut the throttle, and after a few seconds he darted in another direction, leaving an unreal wake behind. I go to gun the throttle again and noticed I was in a large field of Hydrilla (nastiest of all underwater weeds), and the wind was pushing me deeper into it. It was too late, the intake was so jammed, it felt like the prop fell off. I'm not dumb/crazy enough to jump in the water, the same water that a 12 foot alligator ate someone a few months ago, so I'M STUCK!

    And my only survival gear is a mini paddle, whistle and, thank God, a cell phone. The whistle was WORTHLESS. It starts raining and lightning, and gets very dark. Called the wife (that took as much guts as jumping in with the gator), who called the neighbor, who eventually towed me in, but I was stuck out there for a good (or bad) two hours. That taught me a valuable lesson to work on my emergency gear.

    The first thing I added? Bug repellent! Also flashlight, airhorn, lighter, poncho, screwdriver, knife, etc. I like the idea of water marking dye too, for ocean trips.

    When I got home, I realized there was no way I could have cleared the intake from under water, it was stuffed as solid as concrete:
    Damn, thats alot of Hydrilla!!!!

  5. #5
    ramnj's Avatar
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    I've done it in the past. Won't do it again. Its too much of a risk.

  6. #6
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
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    I personally never ride alone. And i always carry a cell phone and all my safety equipment required by the coast guard. I keep a whistle on my kill cord & life vest . I have been thrown off my ski before running 71+mph and i was grateful i was not alone, my wife was with me on her ski. I was in severe pain.

  7. #7
    I ride solo all over Puget Sound here in WA. Its not true "offshore" as in open ocean but there are large remote areas, very cold water that can get very rough, and very little traffic from other boats. I think you are referring to an EPIRB. You push the button and your exact location and emergency signal is instantly transmitted to USGC and others. No question that the EPIRB is the gold standard on the water, in the mountains or anywhere else. The problem (and the only reason I don't have one) is the $600 to $700 price tag. Ive waited for 3 years for the size and price of these units to come down. They have gotten smaller and lighter but not cheaper. My cell phone also works all over the Sound so I feel much safer without an EPIRB than I would otherwise. No question though that if you can afford the EPIRB and want best protection, that is the way to go.

    I also recently picked up some of the dye markers mentioned in other psts. I like the idea of strapping gear to the PFD for exactly the reason mentioned--if craft capsizes or sinks quick.

    I do wear very warm gear which gives me confidence I could survive in the 48 deg water for an extended period of time. I frequently swim from the craft so I have tested it. I would not consider riding solo if I was not confident I could comfortably float for an extended period.

    The one item not yet mentioned are waterproof strobe lights. Absolutely essential for most salt water riders, in my opinion.

  8. #8
    eclipsecleaning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RX951 View Post
    I personally never ride alone. And i always carry a cell phone and all my safety equipment required by the coast guard. I keep a whistle on my kill cord & life vest . I have been thrown off my ski before running 71+mph and i was grateful i was not alone, my wife was with me on her ski. I was in severe pain.
    Just wondering how did you fall at 71, wana know so I don't make the same mistake.

  9. #9
    Yeah, I would definately think on a strobe.

    Once upon a time I got one issued to me for marking the lz for a medivac. No sht...you could see that light for miles.

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