Recreational boats sometimes travel far from land, perhaps for an offshore fishing trip or tournament, summer vacation, regatta or race. That means safety measures need to be upped, and the best way to do that is to have a GPS-enabled Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) aboard the boat, and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) attached to crewmembers, which both can instantly summon help and provide rescuers with precise location information. However, fitting out a boat with these life saving rescue beacons can be expensive. To help fill the temporary need for onboard safety, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water now rents both GPS enabled EPIRBs for only $65 per week and PLBs for $45 a week (+ shipping). A new online ordering system at www.BoatUS.com/foundation/epirb makes reserving a beacon easy.
EPIRBs are great for voyages where traditional communications are spotty. Once activated, either manually or automatically by submersion in water, the Foundation’s McMurdo Cat II 406 MHz GPS-enabled EPIRBs broadcast a repeating SOS signal with integrated GPS location from virtually any point on earth. The signal is received by COSPAS/SARSAT satellites which identify the beacon’s position within a few hundred yards in mere minutes. Search and rescue personnel then contact BoatUS for critical renter information and notify the appropriate rescue agency to respond. Once activated, they are effective for 48 hours of continuous operation.
The Foundation’s ACR ResQLink 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacons are like small EPIRBs, except that the PLBs can only be activated manually and are secured to the individual crewmember – not the boat. They use the same satellites and send an SOS signal with GPS position to summon help. However, with smaller batteries, PLBs are effective for only 24 hours of continuous operation once activated. PLBs make a great addition to a rented EPIRB, providing ultimate peace of mind when it comes to your crew, especially when on deck, on the night watch, or solo cruising. They are also suitable for small craft, like paddle sports and personal watercraft, making outback voyages to remote locations.
“Personal Locator Beacons are lightweight, compact and easy-to-use, and if your budget is tight, you can’t beat our rental cost,” said BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner. For more information go to www.BoatUS.com/foundation/epirb.
Logo courtesy of BoatUS