Using distress beacons (EPIRBs)

Once an EPIRB has been activated, leave it on until instructed by rescue authorities to switch it off.

Your EPIRB is the best reference point for rescuers whose aircraft, vessels and vehicles may not be able to remain in the same location as you throughout the emergency.

If you must abandon your vessel, attach the EPIRB to yourself, not the vessel. While EPIRBs are required by law to be carried when operating more than 2nm from the coast, we recommend operators on other waters also carry EPIRBs.

More information about distress beacons can be found on the AMSA beacons website.


Distress beacons must be disabled before disposal. Check the beacon manufacturer's instructions for disablement, and contact a local waste management facility to see about disposing of your unwanted beacon in an environmentally friendly way.