'Saved by the Beacon' National Campaign 

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 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.  


The Saved by the Beacon initiative will achieve the goal of introducing the definition of EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) for one’s boat versus PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) for one’s life jacket. NSBC will also compare the benefits of beacons to other commonly used mariner’s communications devices such as: VHF radios, GPS trackers and cellphones.

An understanding of the devices and their capabilities, illustrating the system capabilities, ensuring compliance and promoting NOAA registration while supporting efforts to compile the data and evaluate the success of the Saved by the Beacon message.

Carrying an emergency communication device can aid in an efficient and effective rescue, but don't forget about the distress signaling device that can bring rescuers in the final mile. Watch MSgt Sean Mitchell explain just how important it is to carry distress technology so search and rescue teams find you as soon as possible.

"Saved by the Beacon" Resources:

Saved by the Beacon Book

The Saved by the Beacon book is 32 pages and offers valuable information about Emergency Locator Beacons. You can access a PDF file of the book here.

Print PSAs


Download the Print PSA

Video PSAs

  • :30 "Saved by the Beacon" Trailer 
  • Scott Smiles Survival Story 
  • Silverwood Family Survival Story 
  • Summer Heat Survival Story 

Saved by the Beacon Press Kit (view here).

Additional Resources:

Register your EPIRB! By law, owners of emergency beacons are required to register them with NOAA at http://www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov

"Saved by the Beacon In the News" - catch the latest buzz on the Saved by the Beacon Campaign here. 

NSBC Partnered with ACR Electronics to raise awareness about emergency locator beacon purchases and registration: Press Release, March 29, 2016

Press Release: NOAA satellites help save 250 lives in 2015.

Learn how to mount an EPIRB here

Rent an EBIRB from BoatU.S. Foundation.

Download "Your VHF-DSC Marine Radio" Brochure.

Download the SAR GPS Brochure here