Although sailing provides wonderful opportunities for recreation, it may also have some negative implications. You’ve got a crisis, a wind, and you’re in a bad place. It is more than important to outfit yourself with a personal locator beacon in order for this situation to turn out well. It can ensure that first responders will find you easily.
What is a Personal Locator Beacon?
In the case of an emergency, a personal locator beacon is a marine gadget that enables the location of a person at sea or on the water. It uses a satellite signal to find you and assist you in returning to dry land, regardless of where you are in the world (depending on the system you choose). However, not every model is made equal.
How would you be certain that you’re getting the personal locator beacon that can get you out of whatever situation? The inquiry was carried out by Integra Air. We examined every product on the market in order to offer you only the best. We’ve produced a drawing of it. You’ll know exactly which product to buy based on the strengths and disadvantages of each tag.
What Are The Best Personal Locator Beacons?
1. Ocean Signal Rescue ME EPIRB1
This beacon will not only give your location to boats and help stations, but it will also allow you to be seen from afar. Indeed, it is fitted with two strobe lights, allowing you to be seen from afar and saved easily, including at night.
It is activated automatically when you enter the bath, but you can also manually toggle it. Simply raise the capsule and click ON in this situation. Because of its compact scale, it can be stowed in a life vest or carried on board for easy access in the event of an emergency.
This beacon has a 48-hour autonomy after being activated. Without activation, it lasts for ten years. You will easily find yourself around you thanks to the 66 GPS networks. The antenna is retractable so that it does not get damaged. Ocean Signal offers a 5-year warranty on the product.
2. GME ACCUSAT MT403G 406 MHz Personal EPIRB Emergency beacon with GPS
You can be identified easily with this distress beacon. It is automatically activated when you hit the bath. An noticeable pulse and a light source confirm its activation whether you need to be saved. To do so, open the cover of the Osculati MT403 beacon and click the yellow button on the inside.
Close the cover and call for assistance. To stop missing the distress, the brand recommends always tying it to a cord. The antenna must be positioned vertically, assuming that the water conditions permit it. This accessory, which is made of durable and waterproof components, will ensure that you are easily located by emergency personnel.
3. Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1
In the end, the Ocean Signal rescueMe MOB1 beacon is our preference. It’s not only well-designed in terms of shape, but it also fits well. It binds to all life jackets and knows how to go unnoticed when the time comes when you really need it.
You may either get it activated remotely or manually. This beacon emits a signal on 66 GPS channels for the first 15 seconds after activation, which is received by all vessels equipped with an AIS receiver. And in the dark, you’ll be seen thanks to the built-in light source.
VHF ( very high frequency ) radio waves are often used by the beacon to increase the likelihood of being saved immediately. Without being activated, the battery lasts for 7 years. The commodity comes with a 5-year warranty. When activated, the autonomy lasts for 24 hours. The beacon is waterproof up to a depth of ten meters.
4. acr 2880 ResQ Link PLB-375 Personal Locator Beacon
Personal Locator Beacon pre-programmed with the US country code for registration. You have the option of registering in the country of your choosing. Will serve everywhere on the planet, but in an emergency, the US Search and Rescue authority will be the first point of contact. Misuse of the system on purpose could result in a punishment. False warnings risk life and wreak havoc on search and rescue operations. ResQlink easily triggers even in the most extreme circumstances and scenarios. Simply deploy the antenna, remove the anti-tamper seal, and switch on the unit.
Anglers, pilots, and backcountry sportsmen will benefit from the ResQLink PLB, which is a full-powered, GPS-enabled rescue beacon. Your location is relayed to a global network of search and rescue satellites. In some of the world’s most isolated areas, PLBs have proved to be reliable. PLBs were licensed for use in the United States by the federal government in 2003. With a GPS-enabled PLB like the ResQLink, emergency workers in the continental United States can be informed of your location with as little as 5 minutes.
5. ACR ResQLink View
PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) can be used in any sport, on any ground, and in any place on the globe. GPS positioning, an efficient 406 MHz signal, and 121.5 MHz homing capabilities are all part of the optimized signal technologies. ResQLink View sends your location to a global network of search and rescue satellites easily and reliably. Nighttime or low vision rescues are made easier with the built-in strobe and infrared strobe. View live beacon status and GPS coordinates on the embedded visual dashboard for enhanced peace of mind.
6. Garmin inReach Explorer+, Handheld Satellite Communicator
Iridium satellite coverage is 100% worldwide, allowing for two-way text messages from everywhere (satellite subscription required) Submit an integrated SOS to the search and rescue monitoring centre, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Keep track of your whereabouts and share them with family and friends. The free Earthmate software can be used for mobile devices to browse downloadable maps, NOAA charts, colour aerial photography, and more. Followers will monitor your whereabouts online using the inReach device, which sends waypoints at pre-determined intervals.
Additionally, you can ask for weather updates for your present position as well as every other waypoint or destination on your itinerary. In reach offers connectivity, location sharing, navigation, and vital SOS features for anything from backcountry adventures to foreign adventures. The inReaching SE+ or inReaches Explorer+ are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who want to go further and see more without jeopardizing the safety of their loved ones. These portable satellite communicators are intended for outdoor explorers who wish to travel faster and for longer periods of time.
7. Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator
The Garmin inReach Mini satellite communicator is a palm-sized satellite communicator designed for adventures where size and weight are essential. It allows you to send and receive text messages, log and share your location, and, in the event of an emergency, send an SOS warning. You don’t have to think about getting within sight of a cell tower since it communicates with the worldwide Iridium satellite network. In the world of aviation, in reach Mini can track your flight using the web-based MapShare page for ground followers, as well as through Facebook and Twitter.
8. McMurdo FAST FIND 220 Personal Locator Beacon
The McMurdo locator beacon is compact and thin, making it easy to fit in a pocket or backpack. It links to government-run satellite networks and uses Galileo internal GPS. It’s waterproof to a depth of 10 meters and has a homing signal of 121.5 MHz. To assist first responders in finding you, an LED SOS light is open. It is powered by seven lithium ion batteries that last at least five years and have a five-year shelf life.
9. Bushnell Bear Grylls Edition BackTrack D-Tour Personal GPS Tracking Device
This GPS tracker keeps track of your position, altitude, and temperature. On a ride, it can gather and store up to 5 multiple places. You can save your location data to your device after a trip and share it to social media or email. The location data, battery life, and time are displayed on a greyscale LCD screen on this monitor. It doesn’t have an alert SOS signal and just stores the trip data for up to 48 hours.
How To Choose Emergency Locator Beacon
There are many systems available on the market. We’ll tell you all about the three current models so you can pick the one that best fits your needs. Then, before buying your beacon, we’ll go through the conditions to consider.
As we’ve seen, the EPIRB system is a tried and true standard, and its worldwide coverage makes it a highly accurate product.
The PLB concept operates on the same idea, but the beacon isn’t considered regulatory because it doesn’t conform to your boat’s MMSI code. In the event of a shipwreck, recognition can take longer. If you’re used to being on the same boat all the time, you should assign this code to it. People who like this device have a career that allows them to operate on a variety of vessels, in which case the MMSI attachment is of no use. It is preferable for boaters to use an EPIRB model.
When an individual falls overboard, the AIS models allow for fast location. It can be turned on manually. When it comes into contact with water or when the life jacket inflates, it can automatically activate. When we think about boat racing, we think of models like this. However, they cannot be called distress beacons in the strictest sense.
Until buying beacons, make sure to verify their autonomy. We speak about standby time but also autonomy after activation for this form of product. What does this imply in practice? You don’t have to use a distress beacon if you own one ( we hope you do ). It is said to be in standby mode in this situation, and its battery has a variable length ( 3, 5 or even 10 years, depending on the model ). You must now understand the autonomy when it is necessary. The beacon will transmit for a day, 48 hours, or more after being switched on. We recommend that you choose a device that has multiple days of autonomy following activation. This will give you peace of mind in the event of a crisis.
GPS (Global Positioning System)
Some systems have GPS built-in, although others do not. Without GPS, we’re talking around a 1 mile radius of pollution coverage. Through using a GPS-enabled localization system, you can increase the signal’s range by a factor of ten!
The budget allotted to a tag is often very high. However, you must keep in mind that this is a high-quality survival product, similar to a life jacket. As a result, you’ll need to start with a budget of 250$ for a decent beacon, and the price will go up from there depending on the brands.