Recycling EPIRBs is the way to go

Recycle your EPIRB, or risk sending a false alarm to emergency services.
MIAA
Emergency service resources are being wasted and tax payers money spent to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to follow up false alarms from incorrectly disposed Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs).

As a solution to this significant problem, Battery World has joined forces with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and are providing a free EPIRB recycling service which is being rolled out in conjunction with the phase out of the current 121.5MHz analogue beacons.

In Queensland, the deadline to replace analogue EPIRBs with 406MHz digital distress beacons is November 1, 2008.

Boat owners are being urged to dispose of the old 121.5MHz analogue beacons (EPIRBs) at their local Battery World to prevent false alarms.

Battery World franchisee, Rob Jarrett said the recycling program was in place to not only prevent false alarms but to also stop the beacons from ending up in landfill.

'We have heard about so many cases where irresponsible boat owners have thrown their old beacons out in the rubbish and when they go flat the beacons go off and spark a land, sea or air search,' Jarrett said.

'I can tell you now, when rescuers finally locate the beacon and realise it is in a rubbish tip, they are not impressed.

'It is a huge waste of tax payers money and valuable resources that should only be used to save lives.'

In Queensland, the deadline to replace analogue EPIRBs with 406MHz digital distress beacons is November 1, 2008.

The 121.5MHz analogue beacons are being phased out for a number of reasons, including:
* The international council that controls the satellite system will no longer process signals from this version of the beacon.
* The 406 MHz digital system will provide a search capability that is more reliable, more accurate and has a better response time.
* The 121.5MHz beacons have a chronically high false alarm rate which currently accounts for 97 per cent of all analogue distress beacon signals.

More at www.batteryworld.com.au or on Tel: 13 17 60.