This April 6th, the annual 406Day campaign is celebrating a decade of raising awareness about 406 MHz beacons. The 10th 406Day highlights how boaters and adventurers can benefit from the new life-saving technology available in the latest next generation devices.
As interest in boating and outdoor recreational activities continues to surge, the 406Day (#406Day22) message promotes the importance of EPIRBs (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon), PLBs (Personal Locator Beacon) and ELTs (Emergency Locator Transmitter).
Ocean Signal joins forces in 2022 with UK distributor Ocean Safety, and sister company and 406Day founder ACR Electronics, for the safety awareness day at a time when significant developments in the functionality, design and features of the leading beacons ensure the units are even more effective at enhancing survival changes in an emergency at sea and in remote regions.
This 406Day Ocean Signal is urging boaters and outdoor enthusiasts to understand the life-saving features of 406 MHz beacons, as well as the responsibilities of owning a device, so they can enjoy the outdoors safely this year and help the emergency services to find them quickly when a rescue operation is necessary.
James Hewitt, Managing Director, Ocean Signal, said: “On its tenth anniversary, 406Day will once again aim to raise awareness about 406 MHz Emergency Locator Beacons, particularly how to test and register your beacon. This year, our focus is to highlight that the technology of the devices continues to advance, proving that it is even more essential to have this gear in your backpack, on your boat, or in your ditch bag. Ready for activation in an emergency to instantly access rescue services via the satellite network, these beacons are very easy to use, very affordable and do not require subscriptions. They will provide you and your family with peace of mind – and could end up saving your life.”
For instant access to rescue services via the designated 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat satellite system, 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. All beacon owners should then update their beacon registration, check their battery expiration date, and self-test their beacons to make sure they are working perfectly.
Ocean Signal offers the following simple advice to beacon owners to ensure their EPIRB, PLB or ELT will operate effectively in the event of an emergency.
- Check the battery expiration date – Each beacon is marked with the Month and Year the battery needs to be replaced.
- Update your beacon registration – Make sure your contact information is correct and your emergency contacts information is accurate to best assist Search and Rescue.
- Double check your beacon registration number matches your beacon – This is especially important if you hand wrote your registration and mailed it in.
- Review the Product Support Manual to make sure you fully know how to use the beacon and where to store it to prevent a false activation.
- 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.
- Save a Friend – Take a picture with your EPIRB, PLB, or ELT and share it on your social media accounts using the hashtags #406Day22 and #beaconssavelives and tag some friends that you think might need one.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency published guidance for the MGN 665 (M+F) Registration of EPIRBs and 406 MHz PLBs used in the maritime environment, available here. The UK Beacon Registry has created an online portal for registration of the beacons.
More than 50,000 lives have been saved worldwide since the mid-1980s by using emergency distress 406 MHz beacon signals and the Cospas-Sarsat system.