Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Marine Safety specialists join forces to raise beacon awareness on ‘406Day'

by Saltwater Stone 6 Apr 2020 15:34 BST 6 April 2020
406Day raises awareness about the benefits of 406 MHz emergency beacons © Ocean Signal

UK marine safety specialists Ocean Signal and Ocean Safety are issuing important advice to boat owners about the benefits and responsibilities of owning a 406 MHz beacon on '406Day' (#406Day20) today, Monday, April 6th.

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are carried ready for activation in an emergency to instantly access rescue services via the designated 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat satellite system. Each 406 MHz beacon transmits a unique digital code that identifies the type of beacon and allows registration data such as the beacon owner, the type of vessel and emergency points of contact, to be associated with the device.

As leading suppliers of PLBs and EPIRBs, Ocean Signal and its distributor Ocean Safety have joined forces to raise awareness about the life-saving technology and to highlight safety checks and procedures for beacons as boaters prepare for the season.

The annual day was initiated by Ocean Signal's sister company, Florida-based ACR Electronics, eight years ago to help people understand how to register, use and maintain their beacons correctly. The day is also a celebration of the tens of thousands of lives saved by using 406 MHz beacons and the Cospas-Sarsat Satellite system.

Ocean Safety has recently appointed round the world sailor Dee Caffari MBE to represent the company as an ambassador for its ranges of lifesaving products, while supporting a strong message of safety awareness.

Dee said: "406Day is a really good opportunity to highlight some important safety checks and procedures for beacon owners. EPIRBs, for the vessel, and PLBs, which are registered to a person, are a fast and effective way to send an alert and enable the search and rescue authorities to identify and locate a casualty. However, it is vital that these essential safety devices are properly registered and maintained so that the beacons can be relied upon to function correctly when activated. The Cospas-Sarsat EPIRB system and its use of 406 MHz signals save lives, but it is a technology that requires responsibility."

Ocean Signal provides a free replacement beacon for all owners of its rescueME and SafeSea devices who activate their PLB or EPIRB in an emergency. Ocean Safety offers visual inspection and test sequence check of all leisure beacons at their four UK branches. The company can also assist with registry queries, battery replacements, fitting PLBs to customer lifejackets, safe disposal of unwanted PLBs and EPIRBs and special offers on new units.

Advice for beacon owners

Jointly committed to improving the safety of those out in the water, Ocean Signal, Ocean Safety and ACR Electronics offer the following checklist to serve as a reminder to check expiration dates and ensuring correct registry:

  • Is your EPIRB/PLB registered?
  • When was your EPIRB/PLB last tested/serviced?
  • What is the battery life of your EPIRB/PLB and when does it need to be replaced?
  • Do you know how to self-test your EPIRB/PLB to ensure it is working correctly?
  • Does your family know what an EPIRB/PLB is and how to activate it?
To help answer the questions, the following advice is provided to ensure best practice for beacon ownership:

1. Register and update your 406 MHz beacon registration

All beacon owners should register their device with the appropriate authorities. UK users of EPIRBS and PLBs should register their details on the UK Beacon Registry at gov.uk/406beacon. This free and simple registration will speed up a rescue and provide Search and Rescue with information about you and your vessel which is vital in an emergency. In other countries contact your local authority. Details can be found here.

2. Check your 406 MHz beacon battery expiration dates

Users must check the expiry dates to ensure the EPIRB or PLB will function correctly when required in an emergency. When selecting your beacon, key considerations include the added convenience of user replaceable batteries and the reassurance of a long battery operating life. Ocean Signal leads the industry in these areas of innovation. The rescueME PLB1 has a seven-year battery life, while the rescueME EPIRB1 has even longer battery life at a massive ten years between routine replacements.

3. Test your 406 MHz beacon

You should test your EPIRB using the 'self-test mode' once a month to monitor the 406 MHz RF power, as well as the 121.5 MHz homer RF power, synthesiser lock and battery voltage under load.

Ocean Signal also recommends regular inspection to ensure: no obvious signs of damage, including the state of the antenna; secure mounting on the bracket or float free housing; the lanyard is not attached to any structures; the HRU (Hydrostatic Release Unit) in the case of a float free housing is within the specified expiry date; the EPIRB and mounting is cleaned, only using a damp cloth.

It is also recommended to carry out routine testing of your PLB to ensure it is in good working order, using the specified 'Test' key. Ocean Signal suggests you do not test the GPS receiver more than once a year as it expends significant amounts of battery energy.

To celebrate 406Day, don't miss the chance to win a free Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 by visiting @OceanSafetyLtd on Facebook and Instagram between Monday, April 6th and Monday, April 20th.

For information about the full range of products available from Ocean Signal, please go to oceansignal.com. For more information on Ocean Safety, go to oceansafety.com.

Related Articles

Ocean Safety opens flare disposal facility
At four UK branches for all brands of pyrotechnics Boat owners can now safely dispose of all their out-of-date flares at one of Ocean Safety's four branches around the UK. Posted on 16 May
Are you ready for the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race?
Ocean Safety, working in partnership with RORC, impart their marine safety knowledge Marine safety experts Ocean Safety are delighted to be working in partnership with RORC, the organisers of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race to impart their marine safety knowledge, alongside their ambassador and racing veteran Dee Caffari. Posted on 6 Apr
Hi-Speed Priority option for liferaft servicing
New service on offer at Ocean Safety's UK locations Ocean Safety has introduced a High-Speed Priority liferaft servicing scheme for vessel owners and fleet managers who have a tight timeframe to get their liferafts serviced and returned. Posted on 5 Apr
Pre-season checks with Dee Caffari
Set your yacht on a safe course through 2021 The sun is shining and we're all raring to get back out on the water and enjoy our boats, but it's vital that we spend time checking through some of the key safety equipment on board and ensuring the boat is all set for the season ahead. Posted on 31 Mar
New Ocean Safety Southern Commercial Sales Manager
Appointing Matt Gruar to the role Ocean Safety have made a key new appointment at their Southampton office. The specialists in the worldwide supply, distribution, service and hire of marine safety equipment have appointed Matt Gruar as Southern Commercial Sales Manager. Posted on 13 Mar
Ocean Safety's webinar to Fastnet Race competitors
The company's marine safety experts will be sharing the webinar platform. Ocean Safety are delighted to be working in partnership with RORC, organisers of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, to share their marine safety knowledge with the competitors of the classic offshore race which will going ahead on 8th August. Posted on 3 Mar
Ocean Safety promoted Max Wilson
to South West Area Commercial Account Manager The specialists in the worldwide supply, distribution, service and hire of marine safety equipment have promoted Max Wilson to South West Area Commercial Account Manager. Posted on 29 Jan
Ocean Safety set for boot Düsseldorf 2021
With new products and best sellers on the SOSTECHNIC stand Hall 11/B21 Committed to continuously advancing standards of safety at sea, Ocean Safety is once again bringing a strong offering of products to boot Düsseldorf when the show opens on 23rd January 2021. Posted on 11 Nov 2020
Ocean Safety METS webinar meet-up alternative
Entitled 'New Products 2021 and Brexit planning' Not to be beaten by the disappointment caused by the cancellation of METS, Ocean Safety are planning a virtual get-together with the visitors they would have expected to visit their stand at the normally annual November marine equipment trade show. Posted on 16 Oct 2020
5 Dee Caffari videos could save your life at sea
Do you know your AIS from your PLB? Legendary round the world yachtswoman Dee Caffari MBE has put together five informative videos on safety at sea, vital viewing for every inshore and offshore sailor. Posted on 9 Oct 2020