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

Press Release   •   Jun 20, 2017 09:30 BST

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

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

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, follow Lia on Twitter @LiaDitton or Facebook at

For further information about Ocean Signal’s products, visit


Date: June 2017

For further information, please contact:

James Hewitt

Ocean Signal

Tel: +44 (0)1843 282930


Clive Bartlett or Jules Riegal

Saltwater Stone

Tel: +44(0)1202 669244


About Ocean Signal

Communication and safety at sea specialist Ocean Signal™ is dedicated to providing the technology and quality of product that will set industry standards.

Ocean Signal’s product portfolio consists of the rescueME range of products, including the rescueME PLB1, the rescueME MOB1, the rescueME EPIRB1 and the rescueME EDF1 electronic distress flare, plus the AIS Alarm Box, and the SafeSea range of GMDSS products, including the E100 and E100G EPIRB, S100 SART and V100 handheld VHF radio, as well as the M100 and M100X professional MSLD and E101V float-free EPIRB with integrated voyage data record memory capsule. They provide both recreational and commercial mariners with simple to use, compact and affordable life-saving solutions. All products are engineered by a highly experienced team of marine electronics professionals.

Ocean Signal products are trusted by high-profile sailors, rowers, surfers and powerboat racing teams. Providing some of the world’s best competitors and adventurers with vital safety and communication devices, the company has sponsored the crew of Simply Fun with rescueME MOB1s, rescueME PLBs and a rescueME EPIRB1 in the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 16-man crew of Triton with rescueME MOB1s in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,record-breaking sailor Andrea Mura in the single-handed OSTAR race, Mini Transat 2015 solo sailor Lizzy Foreman, Atlantic rowing duo Ocean Valour, Venture Cup offshore powerboat race team Cinzano, kite racer Gina Hewson and canoeist Adam Weymouth.

Safety and communication products from Ocean Signal offer exceptional value, meeting or exceeding international technical and safety standards. Careful design and innovation provides commercial shipping, fishing and recreational users the confidence that their Ocean Signal equipment will work to, and beyond, their expectations when it is needed most.

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