MANASSAS, VA--(Marketwired - Oct 11, 2016) - A perfect day on the water can quickly change. The boat may hit an unseen object, a wave may capsize the boat, a sudden storm may make it too difficult to navigate, or equipment may fail. The National Safe Boating Council shares how critical it is for boaters to properly use an emergency locator beacon through their Saved by the Beacon campaign.
"Owning and registering an emergency locator beacon can mean the difference between life and death," said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the NSBC. "We hope the stories of boaters and their loved ones facing tragic outcomes will resonate with others about how an emergency locator beacon can save lives."
An emergency locator beacon is used to alert Search and Rescue assets by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency via satellite to the nearest Rescue Coordination Center. Boaters mount an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) which is registered to the vessel, waterproof and may be manually or automatically activated. Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) are registered to the person, may be operated on land or water, and must be manually activated with the antennae out of the water with a clear view of the sky to properly function. All emergency locator beacons must be registered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Boating survivors share their powerful testimonials about these devices in Saved by the Beacon campaign resources, including a book and public service announcements. Learn more at www.savedbythebeacon.com.
"Boaters may feel confident they are safe because they have a VHF radio or cellphone," said survivor John Silverwood, who was sailing with his family of six when they hit a reef late at night. "We had other communication devices, but what got us the help that saved our lives was the EPIRB."
Survivor David Hope and his crew were caught in a severe storm that made their 37-foot vessel inoperable. "A U.S. Coast Guard Falcon jet homed in on the EPIRB signal and came right to us. It takes just a few minutes to purchase and register a 406 MHz beacon that might become a lifetime of survival."
Saved by the Beacon is produced by the National Safe Boating Council under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.