Safety specialists ACR Electronics, ARTEX, and Ocean Signal are raising 406 MHz beacon awareness and offering important advice on the eighth annual 406Day, which took place on Monday 6 April.
Every year, the leading beacon manufacturers team up with supporters and aviation, outdoor and boating safety partners to highlight the benefits and responsibilities of owning an EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon), PLB (personal locator beacon) or ELT (emergency locator transmitter).
The awareness day encourages aviators, boaters and outdoor enthusiasts to update their beacon registration, check their battery expiration date and self-test their beacons to make sure they are working perfectly. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the more than 43,000 lives saved worldwide since the mid-1980s by using emergency distress 406 MHz beacon signals and the Cospas-Sarsat system.
Mikele D'Arcangelo, vice president of global marketing and product management, says: “406Day is about getting beacon owners more comfortable with their emergency 406 MHz device by testing their beacon, making sure they know how to use it, checking the battery expiration date and updating their registration information.”
EPIRBs for boats, PLBs for outdoor adventures and ELTs for planes operate on the 406 MHz frequency. Each 406 MHz beacon transmits a unique digital code that identifies the type of beacon and allows registration data to be associated with the device. The registration data provides information such as the beacon owner, the type of vessel and emergency points of contact.
ACR Electronics offers the following simple advice to beacon owners to ensure their EPIRB, PLB or ELT will operate effectively in the event of an emergency.
Firstly, check the battery expiration date: Each beacon is marked with the month and year the battery needs to be replaced; then update your beacon registration: Make sure your contact information is correct and your emergency contacts information is accurate. It’s the best way to assist search and rescue should you ever need to activate your beacon. Double check your beacon registration number matches your beacon: Especially if you hand wrote your registration and mailed it in. It’s easy for a 1 to look like a 7, so always confirm they match.
Test your beacon: 406Day is about getting beacon owners to be more comfortable with their beacon, so do a self-test and make sure it’s working perfectly.
Educate your family and friends: Take a picture with your EPIRB, PLB or ELT and share it on your social media accounts using the hashtags #406Day20 and #beaconssavelives.
For evidence of the effectiveness of beacons check out SurvivorClub, ACR’s one-of-a-kind ‘You use it - we replace it program’ which provides real-life testimonies shared by people of all ages and from all walks of life, who thanks to their beacon, have lived to tell the tale.