GME Emergency Beacons

Testing your Beacon

GME EPIRBs have saved literally hundreds of lives over the past 30 years. Hopefully, you will never be in the situation that calls for EPIRB activation, however if you are, you will need to be certain your EPIRB is ready for action.

We recommend 3 simple checks on a monthly basis or prior to any extended voyage.

1. Ensure battery expiry date has not been reached.

2. Select 'Test' mode and verify the indicator light is flashing and audible 'beep' is present.

3. Confirm there is no physical damage and that safety seal is in place and unbroken.

For a more comprehensive testing routine download an EPIRB Inspection Proforma.

What is an EPIRB Inspection Proforma?

Where required by legislation, this formalised inspection routine is recommended by the manufacturer. It is to be carried out only by suitably authorised and competent personnel. The routine may also serve as a useful guide for those owners wishing to establish a more detailed and regular voluntary assessment of their beacon product. A yearly inspection interval is suggested for typical installations.

 

The Benefits of GPS

Faster detection by the Geostationary Satellites, typically less than 10 minutes anywhere in Australia or New Zealand.

Accuracy of the beacon’s position as it transmits the latitude and longitude coordinates as part of the emergency message. The search area is about a 100 meter radius.

Faster response time from Search and Rescue authorities, which means you are found faster. See the benefits of GPS here

 

Emergency Beacon Useful Life Policy

Safety electronics may be called upon to make an important contribution in an emergency. Appropriate handling and care, complimented with the recommended regular inspection and self-test play an important part in maximising the product's life. However like all electrical products reliability reduces with age.

GME Emergency Beacons employ some of the latest materials and technologies making a 12 year useful life* achievable in the case of a correctly maintained beacon.

In fulfilling a duty of care to its customers, products that are over 12 years old will not be serviced by GME or any of it's agents.

GME emergency beacons are required to be serviced at intervals not exceeding 6 years for EPIRBs and 7 years for PLBs, products that are not serviced within this period may not perform to specification when needed.

Effective immediately, this policy applies to all new products sold and those already purchased.

*From date of manufacture.

 

Approval Certificates

To download Approval Certificates and the RoHS Compliance Statement, please click here and select Emergency Beacons.

 

GME Cat II EPIRBs in Life Rafts

GME EPIRBs should only be packed in life rafts by appropriately authorised, factory trained and qualified personnel, using only the manufacturers approved packing methods.

Special attention must be paid to the amount of space available in or on the equipment pack, inside the life raft. DO NOT compress the EPIRB in any way during packing of the raft; as serious mechanical and/or electrical damage could occur. 

Any damage caused to a GME EPIRB by incorrect placement or packing in a life raft will NOT be covered by warranty. 

Particular attention must also be given to securing the EPIRB’s antenna. It is recommended, within the scope of individual manufacturer packing instructions and manuals, that the EPIRB be secured in a protective heat sealed plastic bag as used in stowing food and water in the equipment pack. If space allows, cover with packing foam inside the plastic bag. Evacuate as much air as possible before sealing the plastic bag. 

Individual life raft manufacturers may have issued precise instructions for the stowage of EPIRBs in their rafts, so it is important to study the manufacturers’ instructions before packing an EPIRB into any raft. 

If in any doubt contact the life raft manufacturer for specific advice.

 

PLB Use in Life Rafts 

GME PLBs should only be packed in life rafts by appropriately authorised, factory trained and qualified personnel, using only the manufacturers approved packing methods.

Special attention must be paid to the amount of space available in or on the equipment pack, inside the life raft. DO NOT compress the PLB in any way during packing of the raft; as serious mechanical and/or electrical damage could occur. The PLB should always be stowed in its protective carry case.

Any damage caused to a GME PLB by incorrect placement or packing in a life raft will NOT be covered by warranty. It is recommended, within the scope of individual manufacturer packing instructions and manuals, that the PLB be secured in a protective heat sealed plastic bag as used in stowing food and water in the equipment pack. If space allows, cover with packing foam inside the plastic bag. Evacuate as much air as possible before sealing the plastic bag.

Individual life raft manufacturers may have issued precise instructions for the stowage of PLBs in their rafts, so it is important to study the manufacturers’ instructions before packing a PLB into any raft.

If in any doubt contact the life raft manufacturer for specific advice. 

 

Handling Procedures

EPIRBs, in common with other high performance electronic equipment, are powered by Lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are used because they provide the best available battery performance and reliability which is required for extreme operating conditions such as varying temperatures, long operating life and long storage life. Because of their high energy content, particular care must be taken in their handling, transport and disposal. When assembled in an EPIRB they have a high degree of protection from their environment, but care must be taken if the EPIRB is dismantled or damaged.

It is important not to short circuit, physically destroy or to dispose of Lithium batteries in a fire as an explosion could result. Transport restrictions may apply to the carriage of Lithium batteries in some environments where they are classified as hazardous goods.

 

Battery Refurbishment

GME’s MT400/MT406G EPIRBs are fitted with a long life lithium battery pack. The EPIRB should be refurbished or replaced by the date stamped on the side of your EPIRB. More info...

**Warning - Unauthorised Battery replacements on EPIRBs** - It has come to our attention that a number of non-certified beacon service centres are offering a low cost EPIRB and PLB battery replacement service. Whilst such offers and operations are not technically breaking the law in replacing beacon batteries, they are certainly exposing themselves for liability particularly if the beacon owner is unaware they are non-compliant and the beacon may not function correctly in an emergency. For more information click here