Saved by the Beacon
About Saved by the Beacon
Imagine you’re away from the coast, you don’t even see land anymore. Even worse, imagine that your boat is now taking on water and you don’t have cell phone reception. What do you do? The NSBC’s Saved by the Beacon national campaign educates recreational boaters about the importance of 406 MHz beacons and how to use them correctly in the case of a boating emergency.
- 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 prior to use (remember to update as needed!).
How EPIRBs Work
- Boater in distress activates 406 EPIRB.
- EPIRB’s repeating SOS signal is detected by earth-orbiting satellites.
- Signal is forwarded to ground station for verification.
- Ground station notifies central command (MCC) to initiate search and rescue.
- MCC notifies the Coast Guard or the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) nearest to the boater’s location.
The Saved by the Beacon National Safe Boating Campaign, led by the National Safe Boating Council, will help recreational boaters understand the importance of emergency locator (406 MHz) beacons and how to use them correctly in the case of a boating emergency. This press kit includes fact sheets, template resources, and text PSA scripts.
The National Safe Boating Council has purchased quantities of the Saved by the Beacon book for mass distribution. These are sold at $225 a case for 200 books.
Thanks to ACR Electronics Inc. with their assistance in creating this print PSA. This is available for free.
Imagine you’re away from the coast, you don’t even see land any more. Even worse, imagine that your boat is now taking on water and you don’t have cell phone reception. What do you do? The NSBC’s Saved by the Beacon National Campaign is designed to educate recreational boaters about the importance of 406 MHz beacons and how to use them correctly in the case of a boating emergency.
Hear Scott Smiles from Australia tell how an EPIRB saved him, his friend, and their two sons when his 40 foot motorboat sank off the coast of Sydney in less than 50 seconds.
Hear about how survivors John and Jean Silverwood and their four young children were “Saved by the Beacon.” In an instant, their lives changed forever when they encountered treacherous waters while sailing their 55 foot vessel “Emerald Jane.” Activating their EPIRB sent rescue assets that saved all six members of the Silverwood family.
The BoatUS Foundation provides affordable boating safety equipment for rent.