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After a great day of fishing and beautiful skies and water the "Pass Time" was heading in from the edge SW of Destin at 4 pm with a box of fish, trimmed up at 38 mph and without a warning of any sort the lower unit on my single 225 Yamaha thumped and then quit turning. Dead in the water 20 miles out...what a helpless feeling.A hail to the coast guard recieved no response but the Captain of the "Plumb Wet" going into Pensacola did respond. Thank you! He was kind enough to relay our coordinates and situation to the CG for us until they managed to home in to our position and pick us up. ThanksCG formaking that phone call to my son to let him know I was ok.I don't know what the problem with my radio was as we had a good radio check earlier in the day.CG relayed our request for tow to Tow Boat US out of Bluewater bay and at 8:45 pm we were hooked up and it tow. Tired and beat up and a little chilly but on the way Home! Made it safely to the boatramp at cinco at 12:45am this morning. MANY MANY THANKS TO PLUMB WET FOR THE RELAY, THANKS COAST GUARD DESTIN FOR A GREAT JOB, AND THANK YOU ELMOS TOW BOAT US! Thinking how much differently the outcome of this situation could have been if the sea conditions and weather would have changed...we are all very Thankfull.
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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Glad everything worked out well. It is nice to know for us on the outside looking in that the system works well. Again glad you made it home safe and sound.
 

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FishinFool (1/20/2010)Glad you guys made it in safe. What did you catch!
Kept a 3man limit of football mingos, 2 nice lane and 2 nice white snapper. Now we caught at least 40 short ajs, a dozen 5-8# red snapper,12-15 short fat red grouper, half a dozen short gags and 3 short blacks. Several short scamp and a dozen short triggers. We fished hard. The fish were tight lipped but when we found small isolated marks the bite seemed better for some reason. had several huge mystery bites and fights again but lost all of them.
 

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Yep, the system worked. Glad it did. At least you got some dinner. I hope I never have that stranded feeling. But I try to make sure that I can get back if needed. Never leave home without a tow service, radio, and other gear.

My wife recently got me the SPOT messenger. More for hercomfort level than mine.:letsdrink It adds a little more safety factor.(Not as reliable as a EPIRB). But it I can let family know that I am ok with it and send for help if my radio is down.
 

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Sounds like you didn't do too bad fishing. Bummer about the trip back but good to hear it worked out OK for you. Fishermen looking out for fishermen!!
 

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Bummer David, glad to hear you made it back safe. Let us know when you find out what went wrong with the motor or lower unit.

My lower unit locked up on my Suzuki two summers ago and sheared the drive shaft in half! Luckily we were inshore returning from the Air Show in Pcola after a storm from hell canceled it and when it locked up and snapped we were in the Sound near the Navarre Bridge. I just need to wave somebody down and got a tow to the ramp near Juanas. You would be amazed at how many dickheads blew by me sitting sideways in the channel nearly swamping my boat and offering no help. Glad you found help fast. Made me think though about being out in the Gulf and having that happen, signed up for Sea Tow shortly after that!
 

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Thanks everyone for the concern...believe me ...I was very concerned. One of my crew is diabetic and his sugar level should be about 120. When he finally got home he was a 38...about 18 to 20 pts shy of a coma.

Thank you also Kenny and I am sure I will be talking to you soon. I spoke with Bill at SOS and he told me to be sure and check the prop hub out real good first to see if we hit something and spun it. I remeber the rpm's comming up after the thump so hopefully thats all it is.

This whole thing brings up the question. It is my understanding that an epirb is for notifying position if the boat is going down or in danger of going down (which would not have helped me yesterday). A spot is to contact a pre-determinedperson or agency? My biggest problem yesterday was getting in contact with tow boat us and waiting 2 hrs for them to find a captain. They never found the stanby captain but did find one that would come...which took another 2.5 hrs. FYI for those of you that do not have Towing insurance...it costs 200(tow boat)-250(sea tow)per hr from dock to dock for nightime towing. 8 hrs for me last night = $1600. My $152 a year subscription saved my butt last night.

Granted, I will solve my radio problem but how can a boater improve his communication capabilities 20 to 40 miles out in the gulf? I would love to hear ideas from some of the veterans out there. I can tell you this...I do not want to feel that helpless again and I don't want my family and friends crewto have to go thru it either.
 

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Pass Time (1/20/2010)

Granted, I will solve my radio problem but how can a boater improve his communication capabilities 20 to 40 miles out in the gulf? I would love to hear ideas from some of the veterans out there. I can tell you this...I do not want to feel that helpless again and I don't want my family and friends crewto have to go thru it either.
My SPOT has three buttons. OK sends a message that I set up to a designated email address, cell phone text, or other SMS message service. I have my message say "I am checking in OK at these coordinates".You can set it up to go to up to 10 places. It also has a help button. This is also just a message to pre-determined locations/people etc... I can set that button to say, "Send Boat US to these coordinates" or something of that nature. It then has a 911 button that goes to the SPOT service center. They look at your location and contact the appropiate authorities. If you are on the water, they will contact the coast guard and let them know of the message they recieved. They will then contact the POC listed as your emergency contact to get some more info on the situation.For example, my wife is the emergency contact. They will contact her and try to find out my float plan and come up with a plan of action. If they can not hail you on the radio etc... They will send the search party. Same thing on land/in the woods as well. Except they call someone else other than the coast guard. Such as local law enforcement or FWC or something of the sort.

Now a new feature that they recently added was the ability to directly link the spot service to Tow Boat US with the press of your help button. If you link your help button directly to Boat US, it does not go to a person. It goes to them and they come get you. I think it's an additional $10 per year to link it. Or something like that.

An epirb is for those real emergencies. And nothing should replace it if in fact you go out there on a regular basis like that. But in cases like yours when you just want to get in contact with Tow Boat, it may be a little overkill to imediately set the epirb off. That's why I like the spot for that little added safety. I plan to get an EPIRB sometime soon. I would love to have both an epirb and spot to cover the basis.
 

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Thank good people and GOD you made it back safely. I would much rather send prayers of thanks than prayers of hope.:angel
 

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I noticed a satellite phone has not been mentioned. Every time we go out in our boat we take it with us. We rent ours online for only around $20 per day. I don't have the money to buy a new one so renting is our best option.

We always call when we get out around 20 to 30 miles to give our family updates on the fishing trip.

The phone gives me a very reassuring feeling when I have direct contact with family members and seatow.

Just my two cents.
 
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