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AN/PRC-125 Rescue Swimmer Radio

U.S. Navy Search and Rescue Swimmer YN3 Francisco J. Degollado is hoisted aboard USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) after recovering a practice dummy during a man overboard drill, East China Sea, Exercise Foal Eagle 2006, 6 April 2006.  The AN/PRC-125 Rescue Swimmer Radio fits into a pocket on the swimmer's vest and attaches to a velcro patch provided for it.
U.S. Navy Search and Rescue Swimmer YN3 Francisco J. Degollado is hoisted aboard USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) after recovering a practice dummy during a man overboard drill, East China Sea, Exercise Foal Eagle 2006, 6 April 2006. The AN/PRC-125 Rescue Swimmer Radio fits into a pocket on the swimmer's vest and attaches to a velcro patch provided for it.

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AN/PRC-125 Rescue Swimmer Radio

The U.S. Navy initiated a contract with Oklahoma Aerotronics Inc. (OAI) for the AN/PRC-125 Rescue Swimmer Radio in 1988 to provide reliable UHF/AM two-way communication between a Search and Rescue (SAR) platform (e.g. helicopter) and the Rescue Swimmer in the water. It was designed as an optional method of communication to be used as a back-up to standard Rescue Swimmer hand signals. In the event that the Rescue Swimmer becomes separated from the SAR platform, the AN/PRC-125 may be used as an emergency signalling beacon.

As of March 2000, there were 248 AN/PRC-125 radios left in the fleet, scheduled to be replaced by the AN/PRC-149 Rescue Radio by attrition.

AN/PRC-125 Rescue Swimmer Radio Operation and Characteristics

The AN/PRC-125 Rescue Swimmer Radio is composed of the Control Unit (CU) and the Receiver/Transmitter Unit (RTU), connected by a 36 inch umbilical cable. The RTU stows in a storage pouch in the LPU-28 (SAR-1) Surface Rescue Swimmer Harness with its cable exiting from the top right corner of the pouch, leading to the CU attached to an enlarged velcro patch on the right shoulder of the LPU-28. The cable jacks connect to the top of the RTU and the base of the CU.

The Control Unit is composed of a large speaker, microphone, Press to Talk (PTT) button, volume control, top connection for the rubber antenna, and an earphone connection. The RTU includes the radio electronics and the BA-5368/U Lithium Manganese Dioxide battery (or BA-1568/U Mercury battery). The RTU Function Switch can be set to Off, to 243.0 MHz Voice, to 243.0 MHz Beacon Only, or to 282.8 MHz Voice. The Press to Talk (PTT) button is designed to facilitate hands free operation by the user's chin. The optional earphone (for use in high ambient noise areas) stows into a pouch on the umbilical cable.

The AN/PRC-125 is completely waterproof, but does not float. The receiver will function completely submerged as long as approximately one inch of the antenna is above the water surface.

Effective Ranges:

  • Swimmer to Swimmer: One nautical mile
  • Swimmer to Aircraft:
    • Up to six nautical miles with 100 ft. Aircraft altitude
    • Thirty nautical miles with 5,000 ft. Aircraft altitude

The manual for the AN/PRC-125 Rescue Swimmer Radio is NAVAIR 16-35PRC125-1, Operations and Organizational Maintenance Manual with Illustrated Parts Breakdown, Radio Set, AN/PRC-125, 1 October 1992.

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