Learn how you can improve your boating safety today, with a personal locator beacon.
Safety on the Water
EPIRBs and PLBs
Boating rescue is primarily dependent on one thing: rescuers finding the boater’s
location in time to make a difference. One of the most important pieces of equipment
a boater can have is an emergency beacon. When it comes to buying a beacon, there
are several options to be considered.
The two primary types of beacons are: EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio
Beacon), and PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). Following are some of the characteristics
EPIRBs come equipped with a variety of features to improve locating ability and
speed of rescue. Category II EPIRB models broadcast a mayday when manually activated.
Category I models automatically release from their brackets and float to the surface
while broadcasting if they detect 6 feet of water pressure. EPIRBs integrated with
GPS technology can drastically reduce the search area, allowing for location in
as few as 5 minutes.
As EPIRB technology advances, some models have responsive digital displays to inform
their users of required steps for activation, and to provide feedback on when signals
PLBs are designed to help locate individuals, either being worn on a belt or attached
to a life jacket. While their signals are received by the same satellites that detect
EPIRBs, they have a shorter battery life and must be manually activated.
Recognizing the extreme importance of all boaters having an EPIRB and/or a PLB,
the state of Florida has legislated discounts on annual boat registration for owners
with these devices.
All EPIRBs and PLBs must be registered with NOAA.
Coastal Angler Magazine | 1924 S Patrick Dr Ste 201 | Indian Harbour Beach | FL | 32937