HM Coastguard have asked boat owners in the UK to make sure that their Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) and/or Emergency Positioning Indication Radio Beacon (EPIRB) registrations are up to date.
“Indeed, now could be as good a time as any for some admin work and to check that your information is up to date.” says the Coastguard.
You can register, for free, click here.
The Coastguard has reminded boat owners of this in light of an incident they attended on 4 May, which involved a search for a 9m sailing vessel after an EPIRB was activated near Teignmouth.
The HM Coastguard helicopter from St Athan, Exmouth and Teignmouth Coastguard Rescue Teams, Exmouth and Teignmouth lifeboats, and Avon and Somerset Police were all sent to search for the vessel from just before 2pm to past 8.30pm.
The EPIRB had been registered but the owner’s contact details were out of date as the associated vessel had been sold on several times.
All of the subsequent owners of the vessel were contacted and, thankfully, the current owner was found safe and well on land and the vessel was moored safely in a marina.
However, the EPIRB was no longer with the vessel. A decision was subsequently made to stand down following a thorough search.
Phil Norman, Duty Controller for HM Coastguard, said: “When an emergency beacon is activated we have to assume the worst, that a vessel is in difficulty and people are in need of urgent help.
“The search involved a significant amount of resources, not only Coastguard assets but police ones too. If the emergency beacon had the most recent owner’s contact details, or if it had been disposed of correctly this could have easily been avoided.
“PLBs and EPIRBs are a really effective tool in an emergency, but even more so if they are registered, so help us to help you, and register today.”
Source: HM Coastguard