Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) are worthwhile safety gear for those headed offshore. Since they are self-contained and do not depend on the boat’s battery, they will work even if the boat’s electrical system is impaired.
EPIRBs work with satellites, not ground-based receivers, so they are not limited by line-of-sight reception. When activated, your beacon broadcasts a distress signal to the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system. Your location is forwarded to the ground station Local User Terminal, the Mission Control Center, and then the closest Rescue Coordination Center (RCC). The RCC uses your beacon’s registration file to call your emergency contacts, and notifies Search and Rescue (SAR). Local SAR forces use the homing signal to pinpoint your location.
In other words, they are completely complimentary to a DSC VHF Radio.
Category 1 EPIRBs are fully automatic,they are automatically released from their housing and activated when submerged in water.
Category 2 EPIRBs are manually activated, they must be removed from their bracket and either switched on or placed in water.
EPIRBs are self-contained. Simply mount them in a convenient location.
Choosing Your EPIRB
- Decide if your want a Cat 1 or Cat 2 version.
- Select one from the Comparison Guide.
- Register it on-line.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for battery and bracket replacement.
Available features include:
- Small size units available
- Built in strobe
- LED status indicators
- Rugged, waterproof, UV resistant enclosures
- Long operation time- typically 24 - 48 hours