Each year, many boaters’ lives are saved because they have a registered EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) onboard when a real emergency happens out on the water. However, there are many instances where unnecessary time and resources are used to track down EPIRBs that have been inadvertently activated.
EPIRBs can be activated if they haven’t been properly stowed, or if they fall or are knocked over. Another major cause for callouts is people throwing old EPIRBs out in the rubbish!
So, please think about how you store your EPIRBs and dispose of old ones appropriately. Many marine equipment retailers will recycle them for you or you can drop them off at your local Battery World store. The AMSA website has some very good advice on everything EPIRB and you can also register your EPIRB for free if you haven’t already done so at http://beacons.amsa.gov.au/.
At a recent EPIRB callout, the ACMA’s Andrew Brachmanis provided some impromptu training to VicPol Water Police members in the art of locating beacons.