Survivor Club

Rescue Map

I tried to self rescue

Name Judy Perkins
Product Name ResQLink™+ PLB
Date of Rescue 06/24/2017
Saved By USCG via SeaTow
Beacon Purchased From West Marine
Lives Saved 1 person

I was finishing a Water Tribe race off the coast of Cedar Island in North Carolina. I had heavy winds of about 25 mph. My rudder line that lowered my rudder had snapped. Eventually the excess line got tangled in the rudder so that the cables weren't able to control the rudder well. I got sideways with a wave and was out of my boat. I tried to self rescue but it became apparent that I wouldn't be able to get back in my boat and it was completely swamped due to heavy seas. I set off the PLB and it successfully sent a signal to the USCG.

Unfortunately, at this point, I made a major mistake. I decided that since I would probably have to wait a while for someone to come, I might as well keep trying to get back in my boat if only for the sake of practice. While doing this, I broke my PLB. The housing came apart and water got into the device. I could see and smell smoke. SeaTow came to my original location but by then I had blown downwind about a mile. They could not see me. I eventually blew to shore whereupon SeaTow promptly found me and insisted on "rescuing" me. I had spent about 3 hours in the water. I was very fortunate that the water was not cold and the sharks weren't biting. I also had a marine radio but really did not know how to use it. If I had, I would have easily been able to communicate with SeaTow who was actively searching for me. I learned a lot from this event. I will be much more appreciative of the fact that I can end up out of my boat at any time. I will learn to roll my kayak (but also know that might not work); I will know how to use my PLB (and I will treat it more carefully) and I will be able to use my radio and signaling devices (e.g. mirror and/or flares). Good life lessons learned, fortunately without too high a cost.

Your link sent the signal to the USCG when I needed it. Thank you for this device. I will have it with me whenever I am doing long distance kayaking.