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PLBs Can Save Your Life

Discussion in 'Training, Practices and Equipment' started by letterboy, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. Joshua Young

    Joshua Young Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Japan
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    Somewhat of a dumb question. But is there a country where a PLB won’t work (ie, they don’t have a SAR team attuned to the signal it is sending). If I buy US version and register it, I assume it will still work when I go snowboarding in Japan, right?
     
  2. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
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    3,672
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    PLB's don't work like that. It's not a country thing. Read this: How Do PLBs Work - PLB Review - Personal Locator Beacon Reviews
    The reception of the signal and the local response are different things. Local authorities don't receive the emergency signal from a PLB, although they have the capability to direction find a PLB that also has a 121.5MHz guard signal.

    Yes, it will work snowboarding in Japan. You should be carrying an avalanche beacon though.
     
    rjack321 and chillyinCanada like this.
  3. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
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    First, you don't want to buy a US PLB if you live in Japan. If I took my PLB there and activated it, it'd connect with the satellite network ok, notify NOAA in the US, and they would contact local SAR units there. You would not want our NOAA handling your needs if you live there.

    There are SAR units there, sure: Japan - Search and Rescue Contacts

    You'd want to buy your PLB in Japan with localized instructions on registration. From what I read at this site tho, it's be used only at sea.

    No, I don't think so.
     
  4. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
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    Having a US registered PLB works fine in Japan. The NOAA alerts Japanese SAR assets. They have their own command center, but having it registered in the US is not a barrier. The entire idea behind a worldwide SAR network is that assets are activated from wherever. That's literally how all of these work. Registering it in Japan would simply have Japanese SAR trying to contact whoever your contact was in Japan. That may or may not be feasible depending on your immigration status, residence in Japan, your level of Japanese language proficiency, etc. For a Japanese citizen speaking Japanese, of course it makes more sense, but it's not like he's not gonna get rescued if it's a US registered PLB.

    And what do you mean no? No to an avalanche beacon? I'm not understanding, you should absolutely have an avalanche beacon if you're snowboarding in places where avalanches are possible. Japan gets legit snow, especially in Hokkaido. And a US registered PLB will absolutely get you rescued in Japan.
     
  5. Joshua Young

    Joshua Young Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Japan
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    Thanks guys. I’m military stationed in Japan, so I’ll be going back, and the most pressing use case for this would be when I’m diving anyway. But I figure if I were to buy one, might as well bring it with me when snowboarding. It doesn’t avalanche here, but there are some great backcountry options around where I live
     
  6. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
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    Agree on the avalanche beacon especially so if you are doing side or backcountry. Inbound resort avalanches are rare but they do happen. If you’re going side or back you should ideally also have an ABS pack and probe plus shovel to supplement. PLBs certainly work in Japan and for any land excursion as well, not just at sea. Hey, may as well carry that PLB too :)
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  7. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: United States
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    Hell yeah it does. They kill people every couple years in Japan, especially because it's so geologically active. Maybe not where you're stationed, but don't make that assumption if you travel elsewhere in Japan to go snowboarding.
     
  8. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    48,649
    4,389
    113
    Ok, that's different than being a citizen there. Yeah, your US PLB would work. Register it at the US site, but they'll pass the word if a need arises.

    I do not know anything about avalanche beacons.
     
  9. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    Depending on where one is skiing, yes, an avalanche beacon is very important. But let's not get down in the weeds about that since this thread is about lost at sea.
     
  10. Joshua Young

    Joshua Young Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Japan
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    4
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    Hehehe.. I agree. I was mainly interested with the potential dual nature of these PLB’s. What do you guys like to use / have for your PLB?
     

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