REGISTER AND MANAGING YOUR EPIRB ONLINE
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 slows down this process, which might result in a delayed response.
Once an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) is registered a confirmation will be issued via SMS, email or letter so that you can prove registration when inspected by authorities. Beacon registration is valid for two years and renewal can be done online on the beacon registration system or by contacting 1800 406 406.
Whenever your contact details or beacon details change, please update them online. Don't wait for your registration to expire before doing this because incorrect contact details can also delay the response.
A note on how to handle expiring or expired EPIRB's.
GME charge nearly as much refurbishing your old unit than a new unit. Given in 6 to 10 years electronics improve exponentially and the EPIRB's case has been subject to the elements, I would recommend always opting for a new one, especially if they have an inbuilt GPS transmitter. This reduces the search area to less than 100 meters and around 10 meters,
- Deregister your expiring or expired EPIRB via the AMSA website link above (in blue). Otherwise if the EPIRB accidentally activates they will come looking for you. This happened recently in Sydney and a rescue helicopter crew circled a rubbish tip until the EPIRB was found.
- Remove the battery according to the manufacturer's instructions. If these are unavailable or an enquiry to the manufacturer remains unanswered, then carefully remove the battery yourself. It is a little like diffusing a bomb on the movies. You will need a thin bladed Phillips head screwdriver and small wire cutters. Remove screws, open the case carefully and disconnect the battery from the motherboard via the connecting clip. If you can't do this quickly then cut the wires. If you do this within 15 seconds, there is little chance of an activation.
- Take the battery and EPIRB to an approved recycler and pay a small fee. Here in the Whitsundays, AutoPro take care of disposal for you. For further information on recycling contact your local maritime authority, Coast Guard or VMR.
Interview with AMSA Response Centre Manager Kevin McEvoy
Distress beacons like EPIRBs (emergency position-indicating radio beacons) and PLBs (personal locator beacons) can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.
What happens if your beacon has inadvertently activated?