Earlier this week, the U.S. Navy rescued two Americans and their dogs. Authorities say they were stranded on the Pacific Ocean for five months! The full news story can be read here.

Whether you’re planning on a long voyage over the Pacific ocean or any trip that distance, you should make sure you’re prepared for a range of events. There are three key items you should have when going on that far of a trip.

  1. Satellite telephone is crucial since a VHF radio does not have much range.
  2. A handheld GPS for navigation with plenty of batteries.
  3. An EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). These devices are fairly inexpensive.

These three items were very helpful when my son, on a delivery from the Virgin Islands north, got caught in a tropical storm and had to abandon ship to be rescued by the USCG 70 miles off the coast of Charleston, SC.  He communicated with the USCG via satellite telephone. The USCG then located his crew and knew where they were because of the handheld GPS, as they too lost power.

If you’re planning a boating trip at a far range, make sure to be prepared. You can also contact our marine department for tips to stay safe at sea.