BoatU.S. beacon program saves three lives

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon from the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water’s EPIRB Rental Program helped save the lives of three sailors off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C, according to a recent press release from BoatU.S.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew from Elizabeth City, N.C. safely rescued the vessel’s owner and captain, Bob Seay and crewmembers Bruce Serinis and Brad Howard on June 28 at about 9:30 p.m., after the three abandoned their disabled 30-foot sloop 120 miles off the coast.

Their rescue capped a tumultuous two days of vessel and engine failures in increasingly dangerous seas.

“I can’t thank BoatU.S. enough for having a great rental EPIRB program when I needed it,” Seay said. “I will never go offshore without an EPIRB – it worked flawlessly. The combination of EPIRB and satellite phone saved our lives, but the satphone didn’t always work reliably.”

The BoatU.S. Foundation makes the $900 EPIRBs available for $50 a week as a public service, according to Ruth Wood, president of the BoatU.S. Foundation, who was quoted in the release. The program is funded by the voluntary contributions of 575,000 BoatU.S. members. For more information, call 888-663-7472 or visit

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