EPIRBs. What are they? And why do I need one?

Time is critical in emergency situations. Whether on land or at sea, having the means to receive alerts from people in distress as quickly as possible and being able to locate those people without delay, could be the difference between life and death.

What is an EPIRB?

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is a type of locator beacon that operates on the 406MHz frequency. EPIRBs are compact in size (approximately the size of a household brick) and are designed for use on marine vessels to alert search and rescue authorities in the event of an emergency.

How does an EPIRB work?

EPIRBs operate on the 406MHz signal and rely on the COSPAS-SARSAT network of satellites. Each EPIRB has a 406MHz transmitter inside it. When activated, the EPIRB sends a coded distress signal to satellites orbiting the earth, which in turn relay the location to the countries/areas Mission Control Centre (MCC) via a Local User Terminal (LUT), before being passed to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC). From here the JRCC will task authorities that are closest to the EPIRBs distress location to coordinate a rescue response.

Why do I need one?

Australian regulations require mandatory EPIRB carriage if your vessel is to go more than two nautical miles off-shore and Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) encourages all boaters to carry a registered EPIRB on their vessel.

On the water, things can change rapidly and being able to get assistance may be more challenging than on land, meaning time is critical when an emergency arises especially when panic begins to set in. Having an EPIRB on board will help alleviate the pressure of the situation as with the flick of a switch you know that help is on its way, giving you peace of mind when you are out enjoying the water.

To find out more information on our range of EPIRBs and to find out which model is right for you click here.