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Nautilus Lifeline Radio

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by TheHuth, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Dan

    Dan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    That’s another reason I didn’t get the old Nautilus Lifeline with radio. It doesn’t send alert to AIS.

    I’d give the LOB’s captain my MRG’s MMSI, prior to go on a diving trip with the LOB. Later on during one of those high voltage current dive, I get blown away and don’t see any skiff at the surface, I could just launch the MRG’s SOS. The boat AIS would receive an SOS from MMSI 972-69-6005. The captain will then know that there is a Man-Over-Board (972) and that person is me (6005).
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  2. loady

    loady Angel Fish

    On the new or old model, for anyone that knows, what has been the result of pushing the red distress button in a real emergency? Did help arrive and how long did it take? All the posts and reviews I've read have not used it as a distress signal to summon help. The one that did was not rescued (in America).
    Schwob likes this.
  3. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
    Good question. Interested too.
  4. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, Washington State
    Entirely dependent on line of site to a digital radio receiver, which for a tiny antenna at water level ends up being dependent almost entirely on the receiver (again)... So if any successes or failures end up being a function of everything but the actual nautilus itself (assuming it doesn't flood, has working batteries etc).
  5. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    Double post
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  6. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    anyone with real emergency experience with the new lifeline?
  7. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    Not me personally, but I did hear one half of the conversation where the old style was used in an emergency. I could only hear the coast guard end of the conversation, as the diver was too far away.

    Apparently, divers surfaced and boat was not there. I can't remember the name of the boat, but I remember it was an appropriate name for a boat that left divers in the water. Divers tried reaching them, but couldn't, so they hit the red button. Coast guard picked up the signal, communicated with the divers, and sent a boat to their location. After much hailing, they finally got ahold of the boat. CG was able to get position of the boat, and determined the heading they should follow to find the divers. They had to recorrect many times, as it appeared that the operators of the boat did not know how to follow a compass heading. Despite being much closer than CG boat, 1 mile vs. 15 or so miles away, the CG boat found the divers first, and returned them to the boat.

    Just remembered the name of the boat. "Lowlife"
    Here's a story in the local newspaper website. Lacking a bunch of information, since it had a happy ending.

    Coast Guard rescues two divers off of Tarpon Springs
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    Dan likes this.
  8. Kevrumbo

    Kevrumbo Banned

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Santa Monica Bay/Los Angeles California, USA
    Tarpon Springs USCG land based Marine VHF receiving station range based on distress transmitting unit antenna two meters above the surface of the water (Nautilus VHF Marine Unit when diver activated in the water is right at surface level for a limted range of 2.6nm (5km), in clear weather/calm sea state conditions:

    Point is that 406MHz PLB direct to satellite technology is your last best chance of being discovered and tracked anywhere on the globe, if you're beyond VHF transmission & reception range of a Nautilus VHF unit (both first generation Marine radio transceiver unit and their latest Marine Rescue GPS product which use VHF carrier frequencies).
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  9. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    I can't say for certain how far offshore the diver was. But knowing the area, he was farther than 2.6nm out. There isn't a whole lot worth diving in closer than that. Water is just too shallow. There is structure and artificial reefs once you get into water that's 30' or deeper. That's around 5-7 miles out. Maybe conditions were just right, but CG was able to hear the divers. There was a lot of back and forth and requests to repeat the response. But it worked in this case.

    In some cases, range is much greater than reported. On some days, I've heard Coast Guard Station Mobile (AL) on my boat off of Clearwater, FL.

    No argument there. An EPIRB or PLB is definitely your best chance. However, the Nautilus units do have their place. When used in an area with a good amount of boat traffic, they can increase your chances of being rescued. In remote areas, they are not nearly as effective.
  10. divinh

    divinh ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    I recently returned from Komodo, where I diligently carried the Nautilus Lifeline on every dive. On one particular dive, we weren't able to complete the dive plan as planned. We were to round a corner and enter a mangrove bay after a drift dive, but there was current at the corner, which meant too much air being consumed to make it into the mangrove bay. We surfaced earlier than expected and in a spot where we weren't expected. The tenders, small boats, didn't spot us upon surfacing, even after the SMB was waved overhead and a few of us blew our whistles, with me using a Dive Alert horn attached to my inflator hose. We could see them, but they didn't see us.

    The guide saw that I had a Nautilus Lifeline and asked if he could use it. The idea was to use the Chat mode to contact the boat, which would inform the tenders we were up. Every time the Chat mode was activated, the Nautilus Lifeline would just turn off. Luckily for us, it was just a matter of time before the tenders would look around more and find us.

    What went wrong?

    I noticed that the Nautilus Lifeline had less than 50% power when it would just turn off. In the manual, it says that the Nautilus Lifeline would prevent Chat mode to save power for distress transmissions if the power went below a certain percentage, set by the user. It's unclear to me why it would shut off instead of displaying some message to say Chat mode is disabled.

    Prior to the trip, I tested the drain on the Nautilus and it was only a couple percent per day. I made sure it was fully charged on the first day of the trip. The trip was only eight days, so it was quite a surprise to me that it was less than 50% when we tried to use Chat mode.

    What to do to correct the problem?

    Make sure the Nautilus Lifeline is fully charged prior to every dive, or at least at the beginning of the day of diving.

    Once I fully charged the Nautilus, we went about testing it, using Chat mode with the boat's radio, channel 16. It worked. I can't say if the quality of the transmission was clear or not, but it did work.

    In the future, I would probably show and tell the boat I had a Nautilus Lifeline, test it with their radio, and make sure the battery was fully charged, at the very least, each day of diving, if not prior to every dive.
    Snoweman and Dan like this.

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