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Three 406 MHz beacon awareness day tips

by BoatUS on 1 Apr 2016
A Personal Locator Beacon is designed to be worn by a crewmember and can summon help far offshore BoatUS
Many an offshore boater, sailor, or angler has appreciated the benefits of 406 MHz technology, which lies at the heart of every Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Since 1997, the BoatUS Foundation EPIRB Rental Program has experienced 29 activations and 71 lives saved.

To help promote the use of this life saving technology, the Foundation is supporting “406 MHz Beacon Awareness Day,” which aims to share three wise pre-season maintenance tips and offer ways for beacon owners – from circumnavigators to kayakers – to share their stories.

The April 6 Awareness Day was conceptualized by US beacon manufacturer, ACR Electronics, in an effort to support the National Safe Boating Council’s “Saved by the Beacon” Campaign, currently funded by US Coast Guard grants.

Three Beacon Spring Maintenance Tips for EPIRBs and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs):

1. Test your beacon: It won’t bite, or get you into trouble. All beacons have a simple self-test feature that won’t call in the cavalry. Use it. You’ll sleep well knowing it will be there for you when you need it.

2. Check the battery’s expiration date: No tools needed. If your battery is expired and it is not a user replaceable battery, contact the beacon’s manufacturer to find an authorized repair center near you.

3. Update the beacon’s registration with NOAA: While a computer is required, it’s a simple task here. Outdated information could slow your rescue so it’s good to look at your registration data once a year with fresh eyes.

The BoatUS Foundation Rental Program offers both ACR and McMurdo GPS-enabled 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and EPIRBs for rent for $45 and $65 respectively per week at BoatUS.org/EPIRB.
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