This is an antique Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB.

It uses pre-satellite technology to broadcast a homing signal on 121.5 MHtz (VHF line-of-sight).  Modern EPIRB’s use GPS positioning and satellite communication to broadcast a distress signal containing your exact latitude and longitude, so rescue personnel can be directed from a central command to your location.

This one came with the boat, and it never occurred to me that it still worked.  Apparently we set it off yesterday, somehow (tipping it, maybe) and over-flying airplanes have been detecting the signal all day.  A very nice man from Search and Rescue followed the beacon and came to the house to see what the hell was going on here.

Pender had to deal with him because Nancy and I were out on the boat, motoring around.  On our boat.  In the water.  Putting the sails up.  Playing with the GPS and autopilot.  On our boat.  In the water.

But we forgot to take the camera.  So it’s like it never happened.  Pictures, eventually.

And we’re sorry.  Really.

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