Own up to your sins...
By David Atkins Two years ago we bought three AIS personal locator beacons, which transmit your GPS position to be picked up by an AIS receiver. We wanted to see how they appeared on our chartplotter so we arranged with London VTS to walk about a mile from the yacht and activate them. One by one they were activated and we picked them up on our screen. Even more impressive was that they were also received by London VTS, 25 miles away.
The trial ended and we said our thankyous. One of our number took two of the PLBs home with him, packed inside a kit bag in the boot of his car for safe keeping. When I got home later, I received a phone call from London VTS to tell me that, while my PLBs worked perfectly, they were continuting to do so.
I was instructed, very clearly, that unless there was a genuine maritime emergency currently occurring in the car park of West Thurrock Asda supermarket, I was to switch them off immediately. I apologised profusely and promptly got in touch with my errant crewman.