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September 15, 2013 was a picture perfect day for spearfishing off the coast of Treasure Island. As we were headed in and approximately 12 miles off the coast we ran directly into the path of a developing storm. Conditions immediately deteriorated so the four of us put on our foul weather gear and life jackets. Because the storm had become so intense and the water so rough, and assuming the boat might capsize we tied ourselves together with dock line. For easy access and in the event of capsizing we removed the EPIRB from its bracket and placed it in the cup holder of the console. Shortly thereafter the winds picked up to over 35 mph sustained and 50 mph gusts. Waves were 10 feet and mixed and going over the bow, the gunnels, and T-top. The boat was pitching so badly it was all we could do to hang on. We took on so much water that we had to turn with the seas and ride out the storm while under power.
The EPIRB was activated at approximately 4:45 p.m. from the amount of water we took on. At this time we did not know that the radio mike was waterlogged. The Coast Guard received the EPIRB signal and contacted my wife shortly thereafter to verify that I was out on the water. About two hours later the Coast Guard contacted my wife again stating they had located the source of the signal but saw nothing in the water. You can only imagine the stress that my wife and family were under at this point. A short while later the Coast Guard tried hailing us on the radio and instructed us on how to clear the mike of water. We were then able to let them know that all four of us were onboard and okay. Because of the EPIRB activation the Coast Guard was alerted to our situation and in turn was able to keep in touch with us and our families until we were safe in port. Thanks to the ACR EPIRB and the Coast Guard we had the confidence to know that if conditions had worsened we would have been rescued.
Thank you ACR!
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