Product Safety Recall: Garmin® BlueChart g2 and g2 Vision v2009

Product Safety Recall: Garmin® BlueChart g2 and g2 Vision v2009

Posted June 4, 2009 | 09:17 AM in Marine | Permalink
CAYMAN ISLANDS/June 4, 2009/Business Wire – Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, announced today that the company is conducting a voluntary product safety recall of the 2009 version of its marine cartography data card known as BlueChart® g2 and g2 Vision. The affected data cards have been sold between April 8, 2009 and June 3, 2009.
In certain waters, the data card provides inaccurate indications of the depth of the water. This creates a risk of boats going aground, which could result in damage to the boat and/or personal injury.

While Garmin has only received reports of data cards giving inaccurate depth indications in the waters along the coast of Sweden and Denmark, out of an abundance of caution, Garmin has voluntarily chosen to globally recall all 2009 versions of the BlueChart g2 and g2 Vision cards. Garmin has notified relevant authorities about this issue and is working closely with them. No other products are affected by this recall.
Affected products are the 2009 version of the BlueChart g2 in Garmin proprietary card format, BlueChart g2 in microSD/SD card format and BlueChart g2 Vision in microSD/SD card format. Customers are being advised not to use these data cards for navigation.
Affected customers will be provided with a free replacement BlueChart or BlueChart g2 Vision v2008.5. When the 2009 version has been corrected Garmin intends to make it available free of charge to those customers. For more information on the recall and to determine if their cards are affected and eligible for a free replacement, go to www.garmin.com/bluechartrecall.

Check Your EPIRB Registartion

We posted earlier about what happens when you activate your EPIRB. Now comes a notice that perhaps there is a problem with the EPIRB registration at NOAA.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - APRIL 23, 2009 - Cobham Life Support, ACR Products, the world's leader in safety and survival technologies, is urging all EPIRB and PLB owners to double check their 15-character identification code registration.

According to a recent Marine Board of Investigation inquiry, which is looking into the sinking of the scallop boat Lady Mary on March 24th, there was a discrepancy in the EPIRB's identification number, marked on a decal that the boat's owner had received from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after he registered the EPIRB.

In the case of the Lady Mary, the emergency signal initially received by authorities was regarded as unregistered which may have led to delays in response time while emergency center controllers waited for additional satellite passes to fix a location. Had the controllers been able to pull the Lady Mary's registration data, they could have contacted emergency contacts to confirm the status of the boat and its general location prior to a satellite fix.

"Because this situation came to light, we are urging all beacon owners to compare their 15-character identification code printed on the beacon with the registration sticker they receive from NOAA just to ensure they both match," said Chris Wahler, Marketing Manager for Cobham Life Support, ACR Products. "If there is a discrepancy, we urge the owner to contact NOAA immediately to correct the information."

An EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) or PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) is a satellite-signaling device of last resort, for use when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted and where the situation is deemed to be grave and imminent, and the loss of life, limb, eyesight or valuable property will occur without assistance. All US beacons must be registered with NOAA following purchase. Registration, including the beacon's unique 15-character identification code, often is made online at www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov.

Despite the requirement to register all EPIRBs and PLBs, some reports show that up to 40 percent of EPIRB activations are from unregistered beacons, a possible deadly mistake when minutes can make the difference between life and death.

In an emergency, the EPIRBs and PLBs transmit on 406 MHz via the Cospas-Sarsat satellite system with the sender's unique, registered, digitally coded distress signal. The code allows emergency officials monitoring the system to tell who is sending the signal (thanks to the coding and registration data). Once the emergency is confirmed and location data is received from the satellites, a search can be authorized.

Wahler said proper registration is vital in the early minutes of an emergency so rescue center officials can obtain critical data about a boat's owner, home port, emergency contacts and other information to begin a search even before a satellite gets a fix on a beacon's location.

See our previous post at http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/search/label/You%20activated%20your%20EPIRB...%20now%20what%3F