Posts Tagged ‘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.

Have you registered your new EPIRB?

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Recently I wrote about EPIRBs and where they should be located on your boat.

However, there’s no point having an EPIRB unless it’s one of the 406 frequency beacons. Monitoring of the 121.5 MHz beacons will be discontinued worldwide from February 1, 2009. So it wouldn’t really matter where you put it if you didn’t have the right kind of EPIRB.

One of the key advantages of the new EPIRBs is that they have to be registered. When you have done this, you and your yacht will be immediately identified by the signal from your beacon, speeding up the search and rescue.

They are also more accurate in their location of a signal from a distressed yacht. Where the previous unit took two passes of the satellite to get a position, the new ones get a position from the first pass.

For more information on safety equipment, see:

EPIRBs – where do you put them?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

I have been thinking about EPIRBs and where best to stow them. Some people favour putting them in a grab bag. Others believe close to the companionway is better. I think there is a good argument that they should be outside the boat so that they can be activated by water pressure in the case of a really quick emergency.

Then I thought the best bet of all would be to have one packed in the liferaft itself. After all, you cannot then forget it. And now that they are so much cheaper than they used to be, why not have two? One in the raft and another wherever you like.