what is a boat kit
What is an EPIRB?

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), is a small electronic device that can help search and rescue services find people who may be in distress. when activated it emits a continuous distinctive radio distress signal for at least 48 hours. Satellites can detect a location of an EPIRB within 2-5km of the distress signal being emitted.

Do I need an EPIRB?

A EPIRB is required in all Australian States if 2nm off shore

What Emergency Beacon is best for me?

EPIRBS are required by law for maritime purposes and are the most effective for Maritime related incidents. There are a few different types of EPIRBS with the main difference between models being that one requires manual activation while the other will activate when immersed in water. When purchasing an EPIRB it’s important to purchase a GPS EPIRB as they can provide a precise location within 120 metres. While Non GPS EPIRBS provide a location within 5km, which can make locating a person a lot more difficult.

Do I have to register my EPIRB?

It is important to register your EPIRB and is also mandatory in some states. By Registering your EPIRB emergency services can locate you quicker, with key information. When you register your EPIRB you provide an emergency contact person and can add additional information like details about your car/boat, or what you will be most likely be doing when you are carrying your EPIRB. If activated emergency services will contact your emergency contact person to get some details on where you might be, which can narrow down where you will most likely be Eg. Out on the water, or hiking along the coast.

What do I need to register an EPIRB?

To register your EPIRB online you will need the following information:

  • Name, address and phone number
  • An email address to create an online account
  • Beacon Hex ID/UIN
  • Beacon Serial Number
  • Beacon Manufacturer
  • Beacon Model
  • Name and phone numbers of at least one person who can act as a 24-hour emergency contact
  • Name of the business or person who supplied the beacon to you
  • The purpose for which you’ll most likely be using the beacon, for example: vessel, aircraft, vehicle, hiking etc.
  • If you would like to register a vessel, aircraft, or vehicle you will need to supply some descriptive or registration details about it (you can also upload photos of these vessel, vehicle or aircraft to help with search and rescue purposes should it be needed in future)
  • If you have any radio equipment that requires an MMSI number you will need to supply the make/model and serial number.

How do I register it ?

It is a free online service and is super simple, head to: https://www.beacons.amsa.gov.au/

You will need to register for an account and confirm you email address before you start. But after that it is a super simple process that you can stop and save at any point. You also aren’t required to fill our every single box, which makes it a lot more convenient to come back and fourth. Even after completing the registration process we discovered that you can easily go back to make changes or add more emergency contacts or vehicles to your registry. You will need to re-register your beacon after 2 years, to update emergency contact details and other key information.

Where should an EPIRB be stored?

EPIRBS should be kept out of wet weather as some will activate when they become wet, while other EPIRBS can activate when crushed. EPIRB’s come in a mountable holder, that should be mounted to an area in the boat that is free from water, wont become crushed and is easily accessible for emergencies. At the end of the day if its in a safe accessible location, then its serving its purpose.

What happens if an EPIRB is accidentally activated?

If your beacon is accidentally activated, switch it off immediately and contact the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on 1800 641 792. There is no penalty for accidental activation, however it takes emergency services away from real emergencies. To avoid accidental activation place your EPIRB in safe location, do not let children play with it and leave it in the packing/mounting bracket that it was purchased with.

When should I use my EPIRB?

EPIRB should only be used when there is grave and imminent danger, as a last resort. Phone, Radio, signalling devices and flares should be used before EPIRB activation. Once you have activated your EPIRB in an emergency situation leave your EPIRB device on until help arrives. We also suggest learning how to activate an EPIRB when purchasing for your vessel. In a life threatening situation you may not have time to read instructions and should be prepared to use EPIRB at any time.

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What is the differences between EPIRB models?

There are a few different brands of EPIRB and different categories of EPIRB’s. The main differences between these lie in there battery life, activation life, manual/automatic activation and other physical features.

Any of the listed EPIRBS on Australian Maritime Safety Authority, can be used for boating in Australia.


How much do they cost?

EPIRBS generally range in cost from $300-$1500.00,

The more expensive EPIRBS are usually newer models and will usually have a mobile phone app that connects to the EPIRB which will allow you to monitor battery life and check on the health of the EPIRB. Return link Service which will send a signal to your EPIRB in response to activation acknowledging the signal has been received (Light changing colour). AID locating signal which sends a signal to other ships in the general area and connection to NFC mobile app.

It is personal preference as to which EPIRB you’d like, however for our 4.8m offshore centre console we just went for the cheapest on the market GME MT600G 406MHZ GPS Enabled Epirb, and it does the job for us. ****

Where can I purchase an EPIRB?

Road Tech Marine- https://www.roadtechmarine.com.au/epirbs/c/epirbs-cf-aug21?sort=popularity-desc&q&gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiAtOmsBhCnARIsAGPa5yZN5swjQDQg8RaZ4-xhBR1OqqXL9c635j9rmX9K63amusrLledsm-EaAkDzEALw_wcB

BCF- https://www.bcf.com.au/boating/marine-safety/epirb

Anaconda Stores- https://www.anacondastores.com/fishing/marine/marine-safety-accessories/epirbs-flares

Repco- https://www.repco.com.au/4×4-adventure-escape/vehicle-safety-products/personal-locator-beacons/gme-emergency-position-indicating-radio-beacon-for-boats-yachts-canoes-mt600gaus/p/A5645598

Jaycar- https://www.jaycar.com.au/gme-mt600-australian-marine-epirb/p/DC9070

The Boat Warehouse- https://www.theboatwarehouse.com.au/search.php?search_query=EPIRB

Most marine stores sell EPIRBS as well as some large online chains. We recommend shopping around to find a price that works for you.

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