La Jolla: Tracking device saves kayaker's life - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

La Jolla: Tracking device saves kayaker's life

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Sometimes during emergencies the small things can make the biggest difference - even as small as an emergency radio device. 

On Thursday, a man who was separated from his kayak was found floating nearly two miles off the coast. Thanks to a device called Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, EPIRB, rescuers were able to make the discovery that otherwise would have been nearly impossible. 

Coast Guard Captain Joe Buzzella took part in the multi-agency rescue operation and said thanks to EPIRB the man is lucky to be alive. 

John Iamarino, general manager at Oceans West Marine, said an EPIRB uses GPS and starts working the moment it hits the water. It can also be activated manually. 

Personal EPIRB cost between $200 and $300. EPIRBs come in larger sizes for double the price - they are usually kept on boats or yachts. 

When an EPIRB sends out a signal, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, contacts the Coast Guard. 

During Thursday's rescue operation, the Coast Guard in San Francisco received the first call and transferred it to San Diego. The Coast Guard in San Diego then proceeded to deploy a boat and helicopter. 

A Customs and Border Protection boat in the area joined the search, located the kayaker and brought him on board. 

The kayaker did have a radio so while his EPIRB pointed his location, he was able to talk to rescuers and give them an exact location. 

The man was treated for hypothermia but is expected to make a full recovery.  

The EPIRB can be purchased online or at specialty stores like Oceans West Marine. 

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