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06 April 2016

E Is For EPIRB | Nancy Drew Investigates {A To Z Challenge}


During April, we're participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day (except Sundays), we'll be doing an alphabet themed post starting with "A is for Anchor" and ending with "Z is for Zodiac." Each post is an installment of "Nancy Drew Investigates the Case of the Missing Anchor" - so you may want to read the posts from the beginning, in order to follow along with the story (click here for the first post and here for an index of all the posts). At the end of each post, you'll also find some random thoughts on the day's particular topic. So, if Nancy isn't your thing, feel free to skip the story and go straight to the end.   

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When we last left you, Marvin and Shelley had just taken the girls through a safety briefing aboard The Scarlet Slipper. Bess had gone down below to get some more cookies when the others heard her scream.

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Shelley poked her head down the companionway way and asked, “Bess, are you okay? What happened?” Bess looked up and stammered, "Um…it just…it just…it just slipped out of my hand and into the sink and then this flashing light went off!” Bess started to sob. “I’m so sorry! I’m already doing things wrong and we haven’t even left the dock.”

Shelley climbed down below, took one look at the sink full of soapy dishwater which Bess was pointing at and shouted out, “Marvin, quick get your cell phone! Our EPIRB got wet and was accidentally set off. We need to call the Coast Guard and let them know that it’s a false alert.”

While Marvin was calling the Coast Guard and Shelley was drying the EPIRB off, Nancy and George came down below to comfort Bess. Nancy passed Bess the plate of chocolate chip cookies. “Why don’t you sit down Bess, have a cookie and tell us what happened.” Bess set on the settee and quickly ate several cookies, while wiping the tears from her face.

George grabbed the plate from Bess and said, “That’s probably enough cookies. No wonder you’re always on a diet. Now, tell us what happened. How did you set the EPIRB off?”

“What’s an EPIRB?” Bess asked, while eyeing the plate of cookies. George sighed, while moving the plate away from Bess. “The thing you dropped in the water, silly. It’s an emergency position-indicating radio beacon. It transmits a signal if you’re in distress and need to be rescued. Shelley and Marvin told us all about it during the safety briefing. Weren’t you paying attention?”

“They talked about so many thing that I just couldn’t keep track of everything. And then, those two guys walked by and said hi. I guess I must have gotten a little distracted,” said Bess as her eyes started to well up with tears again.

Nancy sat down next to Bess and put her arm around her shoulder. “It’s okay Bess, accidents happened. But, how did you end up dropping the EPIRB in the sink?”

Bess wiped her eyes and said, “Well, as I was coming down the companionway, I saw it lying on the chart table. I thought I would bring it up to ask Marvin and Shelley what it was. I had it in my hand when I went into the galley to get the cookies. Then I stumbled and the EPIRB fell out of my hand and into the sink. Was it the water in the sink that set it off?”

“Yes, being immersed in water is what caused it to go off,” said Nancy. “It’s what would happen if the boat started to sink. The EPIRB would go off and let the Coast Guard know that we were in trouble.”

“Oh my goodness Nancy! What are the chances that this boat will sink while we’re racing in the Grande Isle Regatta this weekend?”

“Don’t worry. We’ll be fine. Here, why don’t you have another cookie.”

Marvin poked his head down the companionway and said, “It’s all okay. I’ve alerted the authorities that it was a false alarm.” Bess breathed a sign of relief. “Oh, that’s good. I’m so sorry about this Marvin.”
“It’s okay dear. It was just an accident,” said Marvin. “Why don’t you girls come back on up into the cockpit and we’ll finish covering off a few things.”

As they started to make their way up the ladder, they heard a hissing noise and saw a bright light through the port lights. “What the heck is that?!” Marvin exclaimed as he dashed out of the cockpit and onto the deck.

Tune in on Thursday for the next installment of Nancy Drew Investigates – F is for Flares.

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The box our EPIRB came in has details of the Survivor Club, which you can join if you use your EPIRB in a life-saving emergency. Doesn't really sound like a club I want to be part of. There's also a reassuring picture of a helicopter rescuing folks off of a sinking ship. I hope I never have to experience anything like this.

Poor Bess. If I set off our EPIRB accidentally, there wouldn’t be enough cookies in the world to make me feel better. A couple of things went wrong here. First of all, Bess picked up a piece of equipment she knew nothing about. That’s a no-no. Don’t touch stuff on boats if you don’t know what they are or how they work. Also, don’t flush a ton of toilet paper down a marine toilet. Let’s hope Bess doesn’t make that mistake. {Hmm...maybe T should be for toilet?}

Second, Bess shouldn't have been carrying it around while daydreaming about chocolate chip cookies and the two guys who said hi to her earlier. Lastly, the EPIRB shouldn’t have been left out on the chart table. It should have been tucked into a compartment in the ditch bag or secured in a bracket where it is readily accessible. Bess probably shouldn’t have eaten too many cookies either.

An EPIRB is an important piece of safety equipment. When Scott and I made up our list of things we needed to get for our new boat, an EPIRB was one of the top priorities. We purchased an ACR Global Fix Pro from Defender last year. It cost a pretty penny (over $400 on sale), but they threw in a free ditch bag to ease the pain a bit. We’re really hoping this is one of those things we “wasted” our money on and never have to use.

If we do have to use it, the EPIRB sends out an emergency message with your unique identifying number to magical satellites in the sky. The satellites then send an emergency message, along with your details to a Rescue Coordination Center, who then coordinates with the nearest Search & Rescue operation. If all goes well, Search & Rescue hones in on your homing signal and saves the day. (If you want to know more, check this out on the ACR site. If you want to know more about EPIRBs, you can find more information on the Coast Guard site.)

What about you - have you ever done something accidentally that went horribly wrong, like poor Bess with the EPIRB?
 
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32 comments:

  1. I can't wait for what other equipment needs to be mistreated before the boat leaves the dock or if the boat will be destroyed with G - gas-bottles to be followed by H - Homeless.

    This is the most entertaining A-Z I've read recently.

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    1. I love your ideas for G and H! Now, I'm going to have to completely rewrite the story.

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  2. Poor Bess, she really needs to start paying attention.
    I tend to over think things, so I don't usually do anything accidentally like that. :) No disasters spring to mind, anyway. Of course a lot of the time it takes me way longer to do things than it should.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. I think Bess is going to have a nervous breakdown long before we get to Z.

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  3. I think doing something accidentally that goes horribly wrong is pretty much my life story! Bess could be me!

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    1. I definitely have a lot of inner Bess in me :-)

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  4. It must be something about the name (Stephanie, not Bess) because I felt the same way while I was reading your post. I've gotten a lot better over the years but the saying around here is, "if it ain't broke, don't let Stephanie touch it (because it soon will be if you do)."

    Cheers!

    http://www.svcambria.com/2016/04/the-to-z-challenge-e-is-for-evolution.html

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    1. I'm the same way. Klutzy beyond belief. That's why I like to buy used stuff, then I don't feel so bad when I break it.

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  5. ...and here I was waiting for the punch line to be the amount of water wasted to make a sinkful of suds, just to wash a few dishes, LOL. I'm in awe of the way this series is unfolding, to make a coherent story, with a cliffhanger at the end of each post, AND to do it in alphabetical order.

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    1. I was tempted by the water idea, but dropping the EPIRB just seemed so much more dramatic. It's still early days, things might not be coherent as we get closer to the letter Z :-)

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  6. Oh nooo! That will teach Bess to focus on her cookie lust rather than the task at hand. I do hope the Coast Guard will not be paying the boat a visit! Sheesh! I do hope F is not for Fine for setting off the EPIRB accidentally!

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    1. Do they fine people if it's an accident and you report it right away? I have no idea. I'll have to investigate, because knowing me, it could happen.

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  7. I think it's safe to say I've donr things that have gone horribly wrong on a regular basis!!!

    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge http://www.kathleenvalentineblog.com/

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  8. Gladly, we never had to use our EPIRB while sailing eight years on our sailboat. It was safely secured near the nav station, but easily removable when needed. We also put it in our ditch bag before long passages. As for stupid things I have done accidentally... where do I start? :-)

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. I thought about keeping ours in a bracket, but there isn't any really good place to mount it, so I think we'll keep it in the bag.

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  9. Perhaps she's doing all this for more cookies. Okay, probably not.

    I'm enjoying the adventure.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Actually, with Bess you never know. I think she might be doing it for the cookies.

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  10. In other words, she set it off by accident? Yeah, that would be a bummer...

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    1. Poor Bess - things just don't seem to be going well for her.

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  11. Not only is your story progressing nicely, but the section at the end, giving us real info on sailing, is quite engaging. I've been on rowboats and motor boats. And of course big cruise ships and naval battleships in dry dock. BUT--I'm actually getting an idea what goes into sailing on the ocean in a ship that gets you up close and personal. I related to Bess. I'd be the clumsy one dropping a vital piece of equipment into the drink.

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    1. Thanks Sharon! That's good to know that the sailing stuff is engaging.

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  12. Does my one and only car accident count?

    Yikes! Fun story.

    Crystal Collier

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    1. Definitely - I had one of those once too.

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  13. Marvin and Shelley are so patient! I would say doing things accidently and going horribly wrong is a daily, if not hourly occurrence for me. Luckily it's usually good for a laugh, although I would not laugh if I set off the EPIRB accidently.
    These cliff-hangers every day are amazing!- Lucy

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    1. I think Marvin drinks a lot and Shelley takes valium. That's the only way they could cope with having Bess on board.

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    2. HAHAHA! I hope we'll get more insights into this - V for Valium sounds good to me!

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  14. Ooo, cool theme. I so loved Nancy as a youngster and I still do. I was always rooting for Bess.

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    1. I'm definitely in the Bess fan club too!

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  15. Yikes! I think Bess would be finding another line of entertainment if it were me... ;-) Loving the serial arrangement of the story!

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    1. I'm not sure how much longer Bess is going to be able to cope. They haven't even left the dock yet. Imagine how much worse it will be once they get out on the water.

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  16. Bess is quite the comfort eater and her friends are encouraging it! Poor thing, she really is a bit of an anxious mess isn't she. :-)

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