Ocean Signal: Ocean Signal Backs Lia Ditton in Bid to Become First Woman to Row Solo Across North Pacific

UK survival equipment specialist provides essential safety devices for ground-breaking YO! Row expedition from Japan to San Francisco

Ocean rower Lia Ditton with the Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1, one of several Ocean Signal devices she will be equipped with during her ambitious North Pacific solo crossing attempt. Photo credit: Jenn Heflin

Ocean Signal is supporting rower Lia Ditton in her attempt to become the first woman and only the third person to successfully row solo across the North Pacific Ocean.
The communication and safety at sea specialist is supplying the 36-year-old professional sailor and writer with two Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 Personal Locator Beacons, a SafeSea® EPIRB Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, a SafeSeaV100 VHF and a rescueME EDF1 Electronic Distress Flare for the ‘YO! Row’ expedition in 2018.
The safety equipment will be essential for Lia as she embarks alone in her 21ft boat on the daunting 5,000 nautical mile crossing from Japan to San Francisco which could take up to six months. Providing the reassurance that assistance is at hand, the Ocean Signal devices can be easily activated in an emergency to alert the search and rescue services quickly via the designated 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat satellite system with position provided by a 66-channel GPS and a 121.5MHz homing beacon.
Lia said: “The route of this expedition will take me miles away from potential rescuers. My EPIRB will therefore be my lifeline to the search and rescue authorities in case of emergency – serious injury or damage to my boat. The Ocean Signal SafeSea® EPIRB is well designed and well constructed, lightweight and compact – a product I feel I can rely on with my life. I like to prepare for every eventuality and, in case I become separated from my boat, I will be wearing my rescueME PLB on my lifejacket at all times. I am really grateful to Ocean Signal for supporting me on this expedition and helping to keep me safe.”
Licensed captain Lia has more than 150,000 nautical miles of experience and has competed in some of the world’s most challenging ocean races. She was the only woman to complete the OSTAR 2005 single-handed transatlantic race; finished second in the Route du Rhum, France’s most-prestigious, single-handed transatlantic race; captained the boat from the film Waterworld; become the 53rd woman to row the Atlantic and the 64th woman to row any ocean, and project managed the largest solar-powered boat in the world.
The Pacific Ocean, arguably the wildest stretch of ocean in the world, could be Lia’s greatest challenge yet as she prepares to encounter 40-foot seas, 60-knot winds, whales, dolphins and sharks. With less than one year until the scheduled departure, Lia is raising money through her crowd-funding initiative by inviting people to buy a mile and nominate each mile to an inspirational woman.
Ocean Signal Sales and Marketing Manager James Hewitt said: “We know how important it is for Lia to have exceptionally light and easy to use safety products due to the weight limitations on her boat, so we are really pleased to be able to offer her our compact PLB, EPIRB, VHF and flare. They will give her the reassurance she needs when she is thousands of miles from land that she can reach the rescue authorities at the press of a button. We wish her good luck with all her preparations.”
Suitable for use on land or at sea, Ocean Signal’s rescueME PLB1 is the world’s smallest personal locator beacon and is specifically designed to be small and light enough to carry or attach to clothing for instant access to emergency services at the press of a button. The Ocean Signal SafeSea EPIRB will be attached to the boat and also communicates a survivor’s location to the rescue authorities. It has the longest quoted operational battery life in the industry with enough capacity to operate the EPIRB continuously, typically for four whole days (96 hours). The rugged and fully waterproof SafeSeaV100 VHF features ergonomic design, durable laser etched keypad, high contrast backlit LCD and backlit keys and is supplied with all the 21 international simplex channels required.A highly efficient transmitter helps to maximise the battery life. The lightweight rescueME EDF1 is 40% smaller than similar devices and burns for six hours whereas a traditional flare burns for about 30 seconds.
Lia’s book, ‘50 Water Adventures To Do Before You Die!’ was commissioned by Bloomsbury to inspire others and is now available in both English and German.
For more information go to www.yorow.org, follow Lia on Twitter @LiaDitton or Facebook at www.facebook.com/yorow2018/
For further information about Ocean Signal’s products, visit www.oceansignal.com.