Please register your distress beacon before you need to use it

By 12 December, 2013 12

Beacons

It seems like common sense, but sometimes the obvious things are the easiest to forget.

NSW Police and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) are encouraging distress beacon owners to ensure they have a current GPS encoded 406MHz beacon registered with AMSA following an increase in incidents relating to out-dated and unregistered beacons.

Between October 2012 and October 2013, New South Wales 20 per cent of nearly 1500 beacon activations detected around the country with the majority coming from hikers and recreational vessels.

Inadvertent beacon activations due to mishandling or malfunctioning beacons accounted for 102 incidents across the state in the 12 months to October. Activations relating to real distress situations accounted for 42 of all incidents (14 per cent) in New South Wales.

You can register your beacons online at www.beacons.amsa.gov.au or over the phone by calling 1800 406 406.

You can save emergency services a lot of money and time by registering, meaning those resources can be put where they’re needed.

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12 Responses to Please register your distress beacon before you need to use it
#1
BenMac1:16 pm, 12 Dec 13

The SnowyHydro South Care Helicopter was busy yesterday at the Mugga Lane tip trying to find a disposed beacon that had activated.

Shame they can’t find the owner and bill them for the wasted time.

#2
enrique2:08 pm, 12 Dec 13

Man, I just saw this headline via the RSS feed (i.e. I didn’t get to see the picture that went with the article) and I read it as “register your distress bacon”… for a brief moment I was very confused and intrigued all at once!

“What’s this? Something about emergency supplies of smoked meat?!”

#3
BimboGeek2:18 pm, 12 Dec 13

Supposed to dispose of electronics in the free e-waste collection! They should be fining the owner for wasted resources AND pollution!!

#4
howeph2:48 pm, 12 Dec 13

BimboGeek said :

Supposed to dispose of electronics in the free e-waste collection! They should be fining the owner for wasted resources AND pollution!!

In order to ensure that they aren’t accidentally set off, distress beacons are supposed to be disposed of at the free collection bins in Battery World stores:

http://beacons.amsa.gov.au/batteries-disposal.html

#5
c_c™4:03 pm, 12 Dec 13

Also remember to reregister your beacon every 3 years; AMSA sends out reminder but if you’ve changed address or it gets lest, something to keep in mind.

#6
dannybear4:31 pm, 12 Dec 13

What’s the best place to buy a beacon? just for occasional bush walking so nothing too expensive preferably.

#7
RadioVK5:20 pm, 12 Dec 13

dannybear said :

What’s the best place to buy a beacon? just for occasional bush walking so nothing too expensive preferably.

If you’re using it for bushwalking, you’re best to go for the PLB style of beacon, rather than a marine EPIRB. The main reason being that marine EPIRBs are designed to work best while floating in a body of water (the water provides a ground plane), while the PLB type are ground plane independent. The other reason is marine EPIRBs are generally larger and heavier.

You can get them at BCF and Dick Smith, as well as camping shops like Anaconda etc. They all have pretty much the same range, only the price really differs, so you can shop around. It’s worth getting the best one you can afford, it could save your life one day.

#8
howeph5:27 pm, 12 Dec 13

I don’t know about the “best” place but you can get them at pretty much any boating or camping store (e.g. BCF).

You can also hire them (e.g. http://www.epirbhire.com.au/). Alternatively and some national parks loan them for free or a small fee (http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/AskEnvironmentLineApp/question.aspx?qaId=AEL-262).

#9
BimboGeek5:41 pm, 12 Dec 13

And a snakebite kit. This time of year they’re getting big and nasty.

#10
bigfeet6:36 pm, 12 Dec 13

enrique said :

Man, I just saw this headline via the RSS feed (i.e. I didn’t get to see the picture that went with the article) and I read it as “register your distress bacon”… for a brief moment I was very confused and intrigued all at once!

“What’s this? Something about emergency supplies of smoked meat?!”

Whilst I have definitely registered my PLB I prefer to keep my bacon supply unregistered.

I don’t want to run the risk of the government using its powers to compulsory acquire it.

It’s the vibe.

#11
LSWCHP11:17 pm, 13 Dec 13

RadioVK said :

dannybear said :

What’s the best place to buy a beacon? just for occasional bush walking so nothing too expensive preferably.

If you’re using it for bushwalking, you’re best to go for the PLB style of beacon, rather than a marine EPIRB. The main reason being that marine EPIRBs are designed to work best while floating in a body of water (the water provides a ground plane), while the PLB type are ground plane independent. The other reason is marine EPIRBs are generally larger and heavier.

You can get them at BCF and Dick Smith, as well as camping shops like Anaconda etc. They all have pretty much the same range, only the price really differs, so you can shop around. It’s worth getting the best one you can afford, it could save your life one day.

Thanks, that’s great advice. I spend enuff time in the bush that I’ve decided to get one of these gadgets.

Camel’s Hump in the TNR is the challenge for the Christmas Hols. I can’t wait.

#12
c_c™11:27 pm, 13 Dec 13

dannybear said :

What’s the best place to buy a beacon? just for occasional bush walking so nothing too expensive preferably.

Any outdoor store like BCF or Rays should have a decent range. I’m a fan of the GME 410G model, was about $600 when I bought it but now under $350.

Key things to consider are battery life (both transmit and storage) and whether it’s GPS enabled.

The GME for example has a 7yr battery storage life (meaning the unit won’t need to be replaced for 7 years if unused) and is GPS enabled which provides a more precise location and further decreased the time for responders to find you. It’s also waterproof.

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