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At 2.04 am yesterday, Falmouth Coastguard received a distress signal from a British registered EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) with a position in the Japanese search and rescue region.
Falmouth Coastguard was able to check the registered details of the EPIRB on their database and passed the information to the Japanese Coastguard.
This information is invaluable in the early stages of any search and rescue mission as it aids the search and rescue coordinators in knowing what type of vessel or craft they will be looking for and also in obtaining further information as to how many people are involved.
This EPIRB is registered to Sarah Outen who has been undertaking a challenge to row the Pacific Ocean from Japan to San Francisco in an ocean rowing boat called Gulliver.
Further to that distress alert, at 9.07 yesterday morning, Falmouth Coastguard received a call from the shore contact of Charlie Martell, who is also attempting to row the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Washington in an ocean rowing boat called Blossom. He had also activated his EPIRB.
Falmouth Coastguard are communicating with the Japanese Coastguard and assisting in the rescue of these two British Citizens
Both these adventurers have been caught in a tropical typhoon and have declared a distress situation and called Mayday by the activation of their EPIRBs.
The Japanese Coastguard is now undertaking a search and a rescue mission to rescue both the rowers. They have sent a Coastguard rescue vessel and are also over-flying the area in long range fixed wing aircraft.
Terry Collins, Watch Manager, Falmouth Coastguard said:
The Global Maritime and Distress Safety System (GMDSS) is a maritime communications system for all vessels.
There are several elements that make up this system dependent on what type of craft you are and where you are traveling.
One of the key elements of an EPIRB is the correct and up to date registration of this device.