Here are the modern tools that sailors use to signal distress at sea
Last November, when the 57-foot cruising catamaran Leopard flipped over in a violent micro-storm 400 miles north of the Dominican Republic, the crew was able to swim free of the boat with their life raft and EPIRB. They climbed onto the upturned hull and switched on the EPIRB. The distress signal was broadcast on 406 Kh frequency to a satellite high overhead, where it was routed to a shore station and then to the closest rescue services. Within two hours, a Coast Guard C-130 had found them by homing in on the 121 Kh beacon that EPIRB also broadcast just for that purpose. Two hours after the C-130 arrived, a ship had been diverted from its course and was able to come alongside the cat to rescue the three crew. Read more.