Did you Know ? There are three main types of Distress Beacons approved for use in Australia. - EPIRB, PLB & ELT. An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon - EPIRB, is an electronic device that, when activated in a life threatening situation, assists rescue authorities in their search to locate those in distress. A Personal Locator Beacon - PLB, is generally smaller and easier to transport than other beacons, and are designed to be worn or carried by an individuals primarily on Land and at Sea rather than being fitted as parts of the vessel or vehicles whilst an ELT - Emergency Locator Transmitter, is designed to be fitted to aircraft. Please note that under some circumstances some countries consider the carriage and use of locator beacons within their Territory illegal. For information on use and storage of distress beacons both within and outside of Australia, we recommend you first consult the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
121.5 MHz distress beacons are no longer detected. 406 MHz compliant distress beacons land and can be purchased from Don Morton Marine and aviation, bushwalking and camping stores across Australia. If you buy a distress beacon overseas, it will be programmed to that country and cannot be registered in Australia unless it is re-programmed by the manufacturer with the Australian country code. With limited exclusions, mariners in South Australian waters must carry an approved distress beacon. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) recommends beacons with Global Positioning System (GPS). A registered beacon allows AMSA Search and Rescue to phone your emergency contacts and look up important information to initiate a response as soon as possible. An unregistered beacon can cause a delay in the response. Registration is free and in some cases it is Mandatory by Law. Beacon registration is valid for two years and renewal can be done online at Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
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