Posts Tagged ‘121.5 MHz EPIRB’

Make sure you have the right distress beacon

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

With the amount of publicity over the last 12 months or so, you would have thought that no one would risk going boating or sailing offshore, relying on a 121.5 MHz EPIRB in case of emergency. Worldwide this frequency has not been monitored since 1 February 2009. And yet I read that maritime officials in NSW have picked up many skippers who were in breach of the regulation that makes it compulsory to carry a 406 MHz EPIRB if going two or more nautical miles offshore.

The new 406 MHz EPIRBs give rescuers a much more accurate location when activated. And, as they have to be registered, rescuers also have access to quite a bit of helpful information about the vessel and its owner.

I find it mind-bogglingly stupid that anyone is prepared to take such a risk and use obsolete technology.

Your 121.5 MHz EPIRB is out of date

Friday, January 30th, 2009

If you still own a 121.5 MHz EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) and plan to rely on it in the event of an emergency, you are putting the lives of your crew and yourself in grave danger.

From 1 February 2009 monitoring of the 121.5 MHz beacons will cease.

Buy and register a 406 MHz EPIRB before setting out to sea. Remember, you must register your EPIRB with the appropriate authorities (see below). Failure to register may slow the rescue and lead to loss of life. The good news is that registration is free.

Australian Marine Safety Authority (AMSA)

New Zealand
Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ)

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
Registration is a legal requirement.

NOAA SARSAT Beacon Registration
Failure to register leads to a fine.

Other Countries
The COSPAS-SARSAT website has an alphabetical listing of countries and their registration authorities.

Disposal of old EPIRBs and batteries
In Australia 121.5 EPIRBs and old batteries may be taken to Battery World for recycling or safe disposal.
Battery World