Ditch Bag; Who Has Them And What's Inside? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 08-06-2018, 12:08 PM   #1
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Default Ditch Bag; Who Has Them And What's Inside?

What if your boat goes down, what emergency survival gear besides PFDs and flares do you have? I was just wondering if most fishermen carry one, what's included in your bags and if you have a plan if things go bad.
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:55 PM   #2
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PLB on my waist, handheld floating VHF w/GPS and distress button, flare gun, signal flag, 2 floppy hats, floating LED distress signal flashing light, couple ziplock bags. I keep it all in a RED leakproof softside cooler, keep it at the helm of boat.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:52 PM   #3
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I've got neck/face gaiters, hadn't thought of the floppy hats. Good idea. Does anyone carry fresh water?
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:47 PM   #4
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I have a couple bottles of water and granola bars in mine. I throw my wallet and cell phone inside and strobe light. With the Personal Locator Beacon on my jacket, I hope to never stay in the water long.
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:39 AM   #5
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I just started putting one together. I bought a bright orange dry bag on amazon, I plan on putting the flares, a 25' piece of paracord (tie people together), 2-4 water bottles, a hand held VHF radio, a signaling mirror, some power bars, whistle or maybe an air horn inside. I was thinking of tying a throwable PFD to it or maybe stuffing an adult life jacket in there too. Maybe just a child's life jacket to help give it more buoyancy. I'm not sure if we will put our one PLB in there or leave it attached to a life jacket. I plan on keeping the bag on the leaning post rod holders where it would be easily accessible in seconds unless we roll the boat over at speed.

Floppy hats would be a great idea especially if you could find them in a bright color.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:10 PM   #6
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:34 PM   #7
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I would like to add a few items, speaking from personal experience:

1) Electronic flare (made by Weems & Plath $99) Although these are meant to be turned on manually, should you need a continuous (24hr) lighted SOS signal marker, this should be in your bag. Especially at nite, these will be easily seem by rescue personnel using binoculars or NVG's at great distances.

2) Commercial flares. These are the parachute flares that will reach a height of 800' and have an enormous hang time. Yes the standard flares will work and fire 150-200', however if you want a greater chance for someone to see you, the commercial grade flares are the way to go.

3) Handheld VHF. You should consider a floating, waterproof handheld VHF that is capable of showing/sending your GPS location. In the event that you don't have time to push the red button on your fixed VHF radio, this will be your next bet. You may need to communicate with rescue personnel, especially if you have drifted from your original location.

4) Handheld GPS. In case the only thing working in your event is your handheld VHF radio and it doesn's have GPS capability, you will want this in your bag to be able to tell rescuer's your exact location.

4) EPIRB. I know that this has been mentioned, especially when inside your ditch bag or on your person. One note about EPIRB's. If you decide to mount one inside a water pressure activated canister, say mounted to the center console, note that for this device to be deployed from it's canister it must be underwater from 3-9 meters, according to the manufacturer. In most cases, unless you have a major hull breach event, your vessel will probably roll over and stay afloat, just at or below the water line, well above where the EPIRB canister must be in order to automatically open. My suggestion, keep it in your ditch bag or on your person.

I travel alot offshore 100+ miles and have redundant safety backup systems, dual VHF radio's, extra PLB's strobe lit PFD's, satellite phone, six person life raft, etc.. and an external 12v emergency bilge pump kit. All of these items and more have been put together over a period of time from real life scenario's. You can never have enough safety equipment because when it starts to go bad, it can cascade in a hurry.

Stay Safe!
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:19 PM   #8
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I placed bubble wrap along the inside bottom of my bag to add flotation and insulate the contents from bumps. Within the ditch bag I also carry a lightweight hand sized lithium jumper battery with attachable jumper cables for backup power, not something to get wet, but great thing to have for some scenarios in the boat.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady J View Post
I travel alot offshore 100+ miles and have redundant safety backup systems, dual VHF radio's, extra PLB's strobe lit PFD's, satellite phone etc.. and an external emergency bilge pump kit. All of these items and more have been put together over a period of time from real life scenario's. You can never have enough safety equipment because when it starts to go bad, it can cascade in a hurry.

Stay Safe!
Roger that. Manual and electric back up bilge pumps too.
Whistles and personal flares in all type I jackets with pockets too.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:07 PM   #10
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thru hole plugs and as seen on tv tape? something to slow down the whole sinking process.plus all the above.
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