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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's in your ditch bag?

I carry the following:

Handheld VHF, waterproof / 5 watts
8-12 bottles of water
jar of Peanut Butter
pack of asprin
1-3 rolls of flourescent "flagging" surveyors tape *see note at end
Blaze orange hunting vest (light weight, very bright)
pair of flippers, mask & snorkle
PFD

What else do y'all carry for a "ditch" offshore?

*The flagging tape is great. All you have to do is wrap it around your torso 1-2 times & tie a knot. It will unwind on it's own, roll is aprox 100yards x 1". This provides an excellent visual indicator of your location that can be seen by ship / air in the event of a search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
gostomskij said:
medical kit

MOST IMPORTANT ---- EPIRB!!!!

handheld gps (boat 2nd backup)

you can live long enough without the other stuff if you have the epirb
Sorry, good points.

EPIRB & Medical Kits are separate. I don't have a personal EPIRB, but rely instead on the one mounted to the vessel. The medical kit is a separate pack, but I do also keep gauze, scissors, clamps (4 pair), 10' of 4#test mono, pack of super glu (great for sealing a wound).
 

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I keep the epirb in my bag, allows for a quick grab and go. In my saftey briefing for all new guys I tell them the MOST important thing to get out of the boat is that bag (along with PFD's) if we are going down. I thought about mounting it on the boat but wanted to consolidate, which is way the med kit is in there also. I like the roll of tape idea, light and a no brainer in a high stress situation. I believe waterproof flashlight should be there also. It is real easy to overload the bag though.


Victor
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sidenote - this is my "I'm a guest on your boat" ditch bag. I no longer own anything larger than a kayak, so this is just what I bring with me when I go on someone else's boat...

I'd also say that after sinking a jon-boat at SLP while baiting out some lines, the single best item I've found was the flippers. They made a HUGE difference when fighting the currents. I'll give up alot of other items before I leave the fins at home.
 

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Here's mine:

1. EPIRB
2. VHF w/spare batteries
3. GPS w/spare batteries
4. Flares, rockets, smoke, dye marker, mirror, whistle
5. Tootsie Roll Pops (considered better when water is an issue)
6. Parachute cord
7. Knife
8. Dive light w/spare batteries
9. 1st Aid Kit w/prescription meds, sunblock, chapstik, large bandages, tape, gauze, Bactroban, pain killers (good ones), hemostats, suture packs, etc.
10. Duct tape

Hopefully the EPIRB is all that will be needed. ACR now has them on sale at Boater's World for $474.00 after a $75.00 rebate. That's a big difference from a couple of years ago when they cost over a grand. The peronal type is best because if the boat goes down and you drift a few miles they may never find you.
 

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Does your "ditch bag" float? I've been wondering this about mine. With 6 bottles of water and all the other gear, it feels pretty heavy.

I haven't spent the money to buy the ACR ditch bag that is filled with foam. I guess I could put a PFD in the bag and accomplish the same thing.
 

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Hey Rick, How's it going?

My ditch bag reads like Team Sponge's

1) PLB-EPIRB
2) HH VHF and GPS are on boat dash (spare batteries for both ziplocked or vac-sealed)
3) Orion Offshore 12 Ga flare kit w/extra flares, smoke
4) Bottled Water 24 oz per person min.
5) 100' 3/16 rope
6) Leatherman tool
7) 2 Pelican AA lights w/spare batteries (ziplocked)
8) 8 light sticks
9) AL foil
10) Roll of compression wrap
11) 2 ACR strobes (I already have one on my PFD)

All in a zippered boat bag, strapped to a PFD

The safety lecture before leaving the dock includes assign each passenger a PFD, how to operate the controls to the boat (including the kill switch and the location of a the spare lanyard), the location of the sea anchor and how to deploy it, how to operate the DSC feature on the VHF and to make sure that if we have to leave the boat, do not forget the ditch bag and the handhelds.
 

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may sound crazy,but tampons/pantie liners and glow sticks are a good ideal. put them in your first aid kit. good for large wounds. and everything the rest of you guys said.i need to set myself up a ditch bag. i never really thought about one. thanks for bring this up.
 

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HYPOTHERMIA!! In the Winter YOU WON'T SURVIVE 1-2 days of floating in the Gulf - YOU'LL lose your core temperature and drown or die from hypothermia. A wet suit is vital. The other items except for the EBIRP and flotation become secondary considerations. I keep a 2 pc. wet suit, mask, fins and snorkle in the ditch bag.
45 Second Rule- I had a bad experience last year just 15 Miles S/SE of Port Mansfield. Forecasted 2-3' seas from the Southeast turned to 14' seas from the North in 45 minutes, sustained winds over 70 MPH. Everyone aboard a Newbie but me.
Couldn't go North back to the Jetty due to high wind and seas (see above). Had to go South to Port Isabel (I could only go down sea) and set a course manually while in huge seas and wind complicated by lightning. End result, narrowly avoided death, treacherous 34 Mile ride between two narrow 14' tall walls of water and a brown stain in my shorts.
One of the many lessons learned was the 45 second rule: You must be able to abandon the ship within 45 seconds with your flotation, ditch bag and water. Other than death, that may be the only option in certain circumstances. Keep the ditch bag out! not buried in the console.
LESSON #2: 2 Sea Anchors totally rigged and ready to deploy within 1 minute.
LESSON #3: Have a overall safety program that integrates the following:
1. Flotation
2. Ditch bag/ EPIRB
3. Medic/ First Aid Kit
4. Fresh water to carry after abandoning the ship
LESSON #4: NONE OF THE ABOVE PRECAUTIONS MATTER IF YOU CAN'T GET TO NEEDED MATERIALS QUICKLY/ ABANDON SHIP QUICKLY (45 SECONDS). PREPARE FOR THE WORST/HOPE FOR THE BEST.
 

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With a functioning EPIRB, VHF and GPS you should not need the wetsuit, even in the winter here. Besides...ever try to put on a wetsuit while in the water? In 22 years as a dive instructor I never figured out how to do that without holding onto something. The mask is not a bad idea though. I keep one on the boat but not in my ditch bag.
 
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