Boating Bits

Looking after your distress beacon


IF you’re an outdoor and adventure enthusiast, recreational boatie or kayaker or a commercial vessel owner, chances are you own a distress beacon like an EPIRB or a PLB.

Many of us are spending more time at home in isolation in a collective effort to protect our communities and workplaces from the spread of COVID-19. In response, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is encouraging the following:

  • Updating beacon registration details
  • Checking beacon battery expiry dates, and
  • Disposing of any old beacons responsibly.

Log-on to to update your beacon’s registration details, including emergency contacts and other vital information which will help coordinate a fast and effective search and rescue.

Updating a beacon’s registration details can be done online anytime. AMSA says it’s a simple and quick thing to do while you’re at home in preparation for your next outdoor adventure or voyage.

Check the battery expiry date on your beacon – if it’s expired, contact your local battery shop and ask about their battery disposal options, or contact the beacon manufacturer for advice on beacon disposal.

Like mobile phones and batteries, beacons can’t just be thrown into your general waste bin. Every year valuable search and rescue resources are wasted chasing accidental beacon activations in tips.

For more information, visit or call the beacon registration helpline on 1800 406 406.

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