Electronic Position Indication Radio Beacons - EPIRBs - are the ultimate in maritime and aviation rescue. EPIRBs are small radiobeacons designed to help authorities and rescue orginisations find boats in distress. Each EPIRB is required to be registered to the vessel, and in an emergency, this allows authorities to gather vessel data, addresses, phonenumbers, and any other usable information that is important for a rescue. Since 2009, EPIRBs have used either a 406MHz frequency, which provides a 5km search radius, or a combination 406MHz/GPS system - which brings the search zone down to 100m.
EPIRBs are considered mandatory safety equipment for most Australian states and Territories when heading offshore. Please check with your governing body for an up to date safety checklist.
More information about EPIRBs can be found at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority - here.
Personal Locator Beacons are compact safety beacons, using the same radiobeacon technology found in their bigger EPIRB counterparts. PLB's are registered to an individual, however, and often feature a smaller battery, which are much more portable and therefore able to be carried whilst hiking, 4x4ing or for any other inland activities. As PLB's feature a smaller battery than the larger EPIRBs, they are not a legal replacement (check with your local authorities for up to date legislation), however they are easily carried on an individual, which makes them perfect for those working on deck in heavy weather, or who are solo travelling in places where mobile or radio coverage is scattered.
Both EPIRBs and PLBs offer peace of mind, 24 hours a day, wherever you are in the world.