EPIRBS or emergency beacons, can give sailors peace of mind while far from land. This article, posted by SailWorld.com sheds some light on a few things you may not know about the life-saving devices.
406 Emergency Beacons: Ten years ago we invested significantly in the latest and greatest EPIRB, a 406mhz device with built in GPS, designed to alert the rescue services and tell them (accurately) where we were. It cost over $2,000.00 ! This year, we wanted to replace the battery, as required, preparing the unit for further service.
Here Is What We Found …..
First of all, a ‘certified’ new battery installation for our beacon, installed by the nominated agents in nearby Singapore, will cost around US$750.00. However, a brand new McMurdo 406 GPS EPIRB, a later generation with improved specifications, will cost about $20.00 less ! Other brands have similar options. Understandably, many cruisers are opting to buy the new product, though we’ve now found there is an attractive option. Our research has also uncovered some interesting gaps in our understanding and some surprises regarding the performance of existing EPIRB products!