The plan seemed simple: have one of the kids onboard test the Safety Turtle by jumping into the water and seeing how long it takes until the alarm goes off. But like most of my plans, it didn't work out quite like that. A busy travel schedule pushed our boating trip into early fall and I found myself unable to talk any of the kids with us into jumping into the cold water. And once I jumped in I could see why: the river felt borderline icy on this overcast day. So I took one for the team and to prove it, check out the video of me in the digital version of this issue.
Using the accessory tool that comes with each wristband sensor, I fastened it to my lifejacket for the test. I jumped in the water several times for both the video and for photos and I also tried to time the alarm response with a stopwatch, which proved to be nearly impossible. The alarm reacts faster than I could manually operate a stopwatch. I was very impressed to say the least.
The Safety Turtle system includes a mobile bracelet in the shape of a turtle that the child wears, as well as a Base Station. With the optional adapter, the station plugged right into my 12-volt outlet onboard the pontoon. A loud alarm instantly sounds on the base station if the "turtle" is immersed in water. The alarm continues until it is reset, and the battery life on the bracelet is three to four years, giving you an additional layer of protection for your children for multiple boating seasons.
The Safety Turtle works in any body of fresh water and use in salt water requires additional precautions. The Base Station is $182 with each turtle wristband costing $88.40. Basically the total cost for the system depends on the number of sensors you need and other key accessories available include the waterproof carrying bag/battery pack for $156 and the 12-volt adapter for $31.75.
The price can quickly add up, but the peace of mind this system offers is something most of us can't put a price on.