|product review: fish’n’tip 0645 safety message for anglers, your friends and family by rob paxevanos
Dated: 11 July, 2012
Rob’s weekly FISH’N’TIP 0644 written for the week of Wed 11/7/2012
If you, a friend, or loved one plans to head out fishing, an emergency beacon is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment you need to consider taking.
In some instances they are required by law, and in other instances they are not...but even when I’m not heading too far I take one along for peace of mind.
An emergency beacon cannot be replaced by a mobile phone, tracking device or any other device. An emergency beacon is ‘the’ only guaranteed way to get help 24/7 anywhere in Australia, should you find yourself in a distress situation.
It is important to understand the main types of beacons available and you must familiarize your fishing friends and family on their purpose and operation.
An EPIRB is an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, and a PLB is Personal Locator Beacon.
With either of these if you are in distress and are unable to seek help through any other means, you hit the button, a signal is immediately sent up to a Satellite and then back to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Rescue Coordination Centre, and they will coordinate help. Registration is free and you must register your details with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority so help can reach you faster.
The EPIRB is made for people heading offshore and is required by law in many instances; check the boating regulations in your state or territory for more details.
The PLB is typically not required by law BUT is used by bushwalkers, inland kayakers and other people, especially those who are in limited mobile phone Coverage, or are going solo, and want the peace of mind that emergency help is just a flick of a switch away.
Older 121.5 MHz beacons no longer work and 406 MHz beacons with Expired batteries will not work either so plan when you will need to replace or service your beacon.
You can dispose of expired beacons free of charge at all Battery World stores and consider upgrading to GPS for your next beacon.
Beacons are not a toy, false alarms take resources away from real emergencies, so beacons need to be stored responsibly and correctly. Look after your beacon and it will look after you should you ever be in a distress situation.
Register your beacon with AMSA today, renew your details as they change and remember to check the battery expiry date. More information check out amsa.com.au/beacons.
There are many PLB’s on the market, but my own personal one that I carry in almost all fishing situations is a GME Accusat MT410G Pro+. Here are the specs from the supplier:
The MT410G Accusat PLB offers a massive 7 year battery replacement life, and a 7 year warranty, the unit also features a high intensity flashing LED, a ‘Non Hazmat’ battery pack for simple and cost effective transportation and a 50 search channel GPS receiver with top mounted Quad helix antenna to improve location accuracy to better than 100 metres typically - all contributing to the unique AccuSat advantage.
Today with cutting edge microprocessor technology, GME’s engineers have been able to provide the outdoor adventurer with a 406 MHz PLB solution that is not only affordable, but provides enhanced peace of mind for boaters, bush walkers, 4 x 4 enthusiasts and aviators should they ever require emergency assistance.
See you on the water
Fishnet Pro Angler
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