ACR ARTEX

The Science Of Survival

406Link.com ACR Electronic’s Advanced Satellite Testing System

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ACR/ARTEX is proud to bring you 406Link.com, the first and only advanced satellite testing system used to receive self test notifications (SMS/Email) from your ACR Personal Locator Beacon, EPIRB, or Artex 406 MHz ELT. This optional subscription service is designed to enhance the functionality of your ACR or ARTEX 406 MHz beacon and provides you and your loved ones with the peace of mind of receiving your satellite test message directly on your cell phone or email.

Once you subscribe, a successful self-test will trigger an email and SMS text message notification to you and/or your loved ones. By choosing the Plus plan, you will also be able to have a customized message sent to your list of contacts. In addition, when conducting a GPS self-test, your actual location will appear on a map and be sent to your contacts along with your message. You and your loved ones will breathe easier knowing that your beacon is working properly should you ever need to use it in an emergency.

Try our Free Trial and use the service free of charge for two days (no credit card or automatic renewal required). You will quickly realize the amazing value and ease of use of 406Link.


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Why Tournament King Mackerel Fishing? By Award winning fisherman and Captain, Mark Henderson

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The annoying buzz at 4:00 a.m. from the same alarm clock I so despise during the week; somehow bestows me with a giddy exuberance and anticipation on tournament mornings.  Not completely sure if I ever fall asleep, the thoughts and images from the restless night fills my mind as I stumble from bed and nearly fall into the shower. I play the scenario in my mind over and over, thinking and hoping that today will be the day.

A screaming reel, the hurried pursuit, and an excited crew precedes a resounding thump of a Scomberomorus cavalla, better known as the king mackerel, being hoisted over the gunwale and onto the deck by the enthusiastic gaffer.  An ensuing celebration of grown men shrieking, slapping high-fives, hugging, and hyperventilating follows this magnificent test of wills in nature.

This is the essence of tournament king mackerel fishing.

As I pondered the subject of how to describe to others this exciting venue, I found my mind racing about all of the things I can share about this competitive sport. We have won tournaments that paid more than $50,000; won the 2008 Yamaha Professional Kingfish Tour “Angler of the Year”; and are blessed with many amazing sponsors.

So, is it the cash prize that drives king mackerel fishermen to make the sacrifices of losing sleep, missing work, spending money, and long road trips?  To tell you “no” would not be entirely true.  The potential financial reward is extremely important and certainly a driving factor in our decision to chase this mysterious fish that defies our understanding at times.  However, it goes much deeper for most teams than hoping to gather a big payday at the end of a tournament.  Even in some of the most popular and most entered tournaments, you must finish in the top 5 to truly “break even.”

Tournament trails such as the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA), Bluewater Movements, Bluewater Promotions and The Wild West Kingfish Tournament Series have brought the sport to the forefront of competition, excitement, and conservation.  However, I don’t know of any fishermen who are making a living by fishing king mackerel tournaments.  By contrast, there are numerous fishermen that are able to be full-time anglers on the freshwater large mouth bass tournament trails.CROCKETT SNAPPER email

So, why not put our time and energy into something that could be more profitable? —  because the competition and challenge of trying to locate a pelagic species that could be in 10 feet of water one day and 110 feet the next is riveting.  As a team, you are not only battling other talented fishermen, but a fish that carries a mystique because of its bursts of raw speed and power that is not matched by any other species caught consistently within 20 miles of land.  Finding that one elusive smoker king is the most captivating part of the sport.

At any time during a tournament, a screaming reel and “FISH ON!” shriek can defibrillate a heart rate from a melodious, rested state — as you sleep in a bean bag chair on the bow — to one of near anguish and arrhythmia.  I have got to believe that one good 45 second, 300 yard king mackerel run during a tough day of competition must equal at least one hour of a cross-training, elliptical, cardiovascular workout.  Depending on the stubborn nature of the silver torpedo, a battle can last from only a few minutes to more than a half-hour on 20 pound class tackle.

After all of the lines have been cleared and rods placed in rod holders, team members rhythmically take their posts to orchestrate landing what they hope is a “money” fish.  (I’m not so sure that the word “pride” couldn’t replace “money” as its synonym.)  Each member generally has their assigned task from angling, to gaffing, to driving the boat, to making sure nothing is in the way of the angler.  Each job is equally important.  The great thing about tournament fishing is that no single person “catches” the fish.  It is an entire team effort, and I don’t think in ten years of tournament fishing I have ever heard any phrase describing a catch other than “WE caught a fish.”

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Once the initial strike and run takes place, the anticipation of confirming that it is the correct species keeps the heart rate at a peak level.  As the fish is battled to just off the bow of our team’s Yamaha powered Intrepid Powerboats 375TE center console, the flash of the king mackerel’s silver side is enough to take your breath and make your temples throb.  Only after the gaff has been sunk into the fish’s side and brought over the gunwale will a team allow the tension to turn into a full-blown, child-like exuberance that can only be rivaled by your first kindergarten sandbox party.

If the fish “in the box” is of a quality that may help pay the bills, the remainder of the day is a much more relaxed and jovial atmosphere.  The scenario that was replayed time and time again in my mind has come to fruition.

I don’t know if this short synopsis of tournament king mackerel fishing justifiably describes the passion, desire, and the down right periodic lunacy of many dedicated tournament anglers.  But, it has helped me justify the Liquid Fire Fishing Team’s desire to launch ourselves once again into this craziness for another exciting year.  Yes, we’re ready for that 4:00 a.m. wake-up call… time, after time, after time!!

Captain, Mark Henderson
Liquid Fire Fishing Team
www.fishlf.com

 

Get to know the RCL-100 Searchlight from ACR Electronics

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Walk through any marina and you will be surrounded by the RCL-100 Searchlight staring down at you. This robust searchlight is made of marine grade aluminum and is triple primed and sealed construction for years and years of worry free operation on your boat. Designed for medium-size sport yachts, sport fish and commercial vessels, the twin 55 watt halogen bulbs will light the way with over 200,000 candela to make operating your vessel at night much safer.

Want to meet the RCL-100 eye to eye???    Click HERE to find the closest dealer near you!


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What a Survivor should pack in their Rapid Ditch Bag

Abandon Ship List
by safety consultant Charlie Bond, AMSEA Instructor

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The following is a list of items that you might consider as you put together your own Ditch Bag. No list can be considered complete. These items are grouped into broad categories and for the most part reflect the useful items used in emergencies or in survival training. Much of this equipment is based on long term survival which might not be an issue for mariners with a properly operating 406 EPIRB or PLB on board.

Your Ditch Bag and your EPIRB must be stored where you can get it without re-entering your vessel. Some vessels mount their Ditch Bag also referred to as an Abandon Ship bag under the companion way ladder or in a deck or cockpit locker. You and your crew must train to grab the abandon ship bag and bring it with you in any emergency. It is safer to have to put it back when everything turns out okay than to try and grab it after the emergency has begun, especially in the case of fire or rapid sinking. Where possible, everything should be designed to be secured to the raft.

Signaling

406 EPIRB – Your most important signaling device. You must be able to get to it in any emergency. If kept in the abandon ship bag, the bag must be able to be reached without having to reenter the vessel in distress. Many vessels mount their EPIRB in a quick release bracket just inside the companionway or by the pilot station.
406 PLB – Personal Locator Beacon Pocket sized 406 beacon, can be packed in a life raft, attached to lifejacket or immersion suits or stowed in an abandon ship bag. They are manually activated.
Waterproof VHF & batteries – To call & talk with vessels (line of site) or communicate with rescuers.
Portable Aircraft radio – Will allow you to talk with over flying commercial aircraft, often 10s of thousands feet above you. If you see a vapor trail, you might be able to raise them.
Waterproof GPS & batteries – A good way to provide your exact location and acts as a backup for your ships system.
Flashlight & batteries – A powerful flashlight that can light up objects or attract attention.
Floating Flashlight & batteries – A backup floating flashlight, the brighter the better.
Whistle – Marine style whistles are best when at water level, however in a raft a police style whistle on a lanyard will do. Have one for each person.
Fog Horn – Mouth or canister operated, you may want to make as much noise as you can. The canister is louder; the mouth type operates as long as you have breath.
Signal Mirror or Heliograph – The fancy Heliograph takes some training to use, a good mirror does the same thing. Reflect the light on your outstretched hand and move it towards who you want to signal, move your hand away and wiggle the mirror.
Strobe Xeon & batteries – Strobes, like an EPIRB, are passive signals, once activated they keep on working while you can do other things to save your life. Strobes are visible under almost all conditions from over 10 miles away by aircraft, twice that with night vision. Strobes work for more that 8 hours with new batteries.
Flares SOLAS, Handheld – 2 minutes of brilliance, and a class D fire hazard. Flares should be handled with care. Know what you are doing and use them wisely, two minutes is not a long time at sea. Keep them away from your survival craft, pointed down wind and watch that the hot slag drops away from your survival craft.
Flares SOLAS Parachute – Can be seen if you can see the vessel. Can focus attention on where you are once vessels reach the area and are looking for you. Read instructions before you have to use them.
Cylume light sticks – Cold light. Use to read, make notes, attract fish, or just to provide comfort. Can also use PFD lights or waterproof LEDs.
Shelter
Spare air pump (that matches your raft) – Tie your pump into the raft. A spare pump set up to work on your raft will allow you to keep your raft firm and more comfortable.
Duct tape – 100 mile per hour tape, will sometimes work miracles. There are also tape and patches that can be used on wet surfaces.
Nylon cord – Hang clothes to dry, secure bags, string fish to dry.
Sail repair kit and safety pins – repair clothes and equipment
TPA – Thermal protective Aid – sort of a space blanket made as a bag you can wear. When insulated from the water, they are very effective at reflecting your body heat back to you, plus they can keep you dry.
Closed cell padding, ie camping pads – Even a boat cushion will feel good, especially since where ever you sit is the lowest spot for water to settle. A closed cell pad allows you to stay dry. It also affords you more protection from big fish eating the little fish under your raft.
Garbage & plastic bags – Can be made into a waterproof jacket, used to keep other things mostly dry or just to keep things together.
Ziplock bags – Valuable stuff can be kept almost dry and is accessible when you need it, notes, food, books

Tools
Matches – Waterproof and in a waterproof container.
Lighter – a back up to matches, not a replacement.
Candle – Not for the raft, unless you are celebrating your birthday, for starting a fire under shore survival.
Fire starters – They work even under the wettest conditions and if you have prepared your burning materials, you should be able to get a fire going almost anywhere.
Utility knife/tool ie, leatherman or Swiss Army – Need I say more, if you have to do anything, one of these attachments will make you life easier.
Sharp knife with case or a folding knife – If you catch fish, then a good knife will make your preparation easier. Be careful when using a sharp knife while in an inflatable raft.
Blunt knife folding – For use during bad weather. Much less dangerous aboard a raft, but you must still be careful.
Floating cutting board – For use with your knife, tied to the raft. One can also use paddle blade.
Sharpening stone – A dull knife is dangerous.
Scissors/Shears – Another useful tool.
Self-sufficiency
Fishing Kit – Hooks, line, sinkers, attractors, either make your own or purchase a SOLAS one from a raft repacker.
Gaff – A short handled gaff will allow you to secure and hold a fish that appears too big for your raft.
Spear Gun – for when they are not biting. Larger fish often circle the raft or dart under it; a spear gun with cord attached could make your day much brighter.
Landing net – Ditto above under gaff.
Documents
Documents – Your vessel documents, logbook, everyone’s wallets, photographs etc. in a waterproof bag.
If all the wallets, credit cards & passports are in the ditch bag, Then everyone will always have what they need no matter who rescues you and what country you might end up in.
Passports – Well, who knows where you will be going next. If they are all in bag, everyone will have theirs.
Money & bankcard – Don’t leave home without it – waterproof of course.
Note pads & pens & pencils – Where memories are made, thoughts about loved ones, and navigation notes.
Charts & Navigation tools – Know where you are, currents, shipping lanes, also can be used as a note pad.
Paperback novels/Bible – You will have some time on you hands. Also, Plastic Playing cards
Utilities
Bottled water – Plastic bottles with a little air on top float. If one bottle gets contaminated the others will still be OK. When empty they are reusable, for rainwater, water from a watermaker, or even to pee in when the weather is not so nice. Easier to use and reusable unlike foil packed water.
Water Maker, hand operated – Make all the water you’ll need and gives you a break from reading the novel.
Food – Survival biscuits – Not the best tasting unless you are starving, then they are great. Eat only with water.
Look for high energy long storage foods. Select foods that are not heavy on water use in their metabolism. There are many good reference books on survival foods.
Vitamins – Will help keep you at your best. Use only if you have some food and water.
Wool or poly caps and gloves – You lose 50% of your heat through your head and neck. Cold feet, don a cap.
Wool or poly underwear – Good quality ones are washable, and wick moisture away from your skin, making you feel more comfortable. They also provide sun protection without retaining heat. When covered they do help with heat retention.
Bandanna – Cotton & colorful, Cool your head, attract attention, use as a quick bandaid, use as a wash cloth, use as a towel or to wrap things that can be broken.
Small Towel – Can be used as a bandanna
GI style can openers (2) – Just in case you had a chance to empty the pantry, can be used to gut a fish also.
Sponge, large in ziplock bag – To back up the raft sponge. Use for bailing, bathing. Place a soap bar in the bag and you can lather up yourself or your utensils.
First Aid Kit – Know what is in it and how to use it. Read the first aid book before you cruise.
Eyeglasses/Sunglasses – Spare eyeglasses and polarized sunglasses to see and reduce glare.
Toothbrush – If you add toothpaste, it can change the way you feel.
Dental floss – Handy, not only for cleaning teeth, but repairing a variety of things.
Anti Seasickness pills – Rafts are only better than being neck deep in water. These will help you prevent dehydration caused by vomiting.
Toilet paper in ziplock bag – There are no Sears catalogs at sea.
Portable or disposable urinals-unisex – It can be very useful in bad weather.
Bug repellent – In some oceans, this can be useful, shoreside it can be critical.
Prescription medicines – Any specific medication should be packed into the bag,
Aspirin – Ibuprofen – Sometimes a wonder drug.
Tampons and or feminine products – To make your life easier.
30+ waterproof sunscreen – To protect you skin.


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Smart Hunters Harness Up and Are Signal Ready

What do you do after your tree stand harness has saved you?
Smart Hunters Harness Up and Are Signal Ready
By: Craig Dougherty

What do you do after your tree stand harness has saved you?
Smart hunters know that it takes more than a safety harness to save their lives in a fall. A 4-point harness may keep you from hitting the ground in a hurry but it can suspend you in mid-air and that’s where the trouble begins. Unless you can get back in your stand or somehow lower yourself to safety, suspension trauma can set in and you can pass out and die in less than an hour. A reliable signaling device is a must for safety conscious hunters.

Suspension trauma is caused by blood pooling in the lower extremities and failing to reach the torso and brain. Persons suspended in a safety harness are extremely vulnerable to this condition and in need of rapid rescue. Some harness systems incorporate a suspension trauma relief strap which allows hanging hunters to rig a strap which they can stand on to relieve pressure and avoid the trauma associated with being suspend for extended periods of time. This helps avoid suspension trauma but hanging in a tree is no way to spend the night.

No matter how you look at it, time is of the essence to anyone hanging from a safety harness. That’s why hunters need to carry an emergency signaling device on their person at all times. A whistle can help you alert nearby hunters to a problem but there range is seriously limited. An air-horn is better but a pain to tote.

Most hunters rely on cell phones for emergency signaling but we all know they have their limitations. For starters, you need a signal; when it comes to hunters and cell phones, rule of thumb is – “the better the signal the poorer the hunting.” You never seem to have a good signal in great hunting areas. The other rule is—“your cell phone goes dead just when you need it most.” And of course, you need to be able to get to the phone, get it out of your pocket without dropping it, and have the clarity of mind to dial it in an emergency situation. You also need to know exactly where you are to direct rescue personnel to your location. When it comes to life and death situations you need more certainty than a cell phone provides.

ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon
The ultimate emergency signaling device is a personal locator beacon (PLB). PLB’s are industrial strength signaling devices that signal for help at the push of a button (and one button is about all a suspended hunter can manage). No dialing, no talking, just hit a button and wait for the rescue team to show up. The PLB beams out a signal which will be picked up by emergency personnel who are trained to vector in on the signal and administer emergency medical treatment (suspension trauma victims require special handling). PLB’s incorporate time tested and proven signaling technologies which have saved thousands of lives over the years.

In order to be effective, PLB’s must be carried on your person. They are no use stashed in a backpack hanging on tree limb or strapped to your stand. Fastening it to your harness, belt, or some other easy to access (when hanging) place. It will do you no good at all if it is stashed in a jacket pocket you have no way of reaching when suspended.

PLB’s should only be used in life threatening situations. Authorities definitely frown on sending out search and rescue squads only to find out that the signaler had run out of energy bars or arrows. Stiff fines accompany false alarms. But, if your hung in a harness with no way out, the PLB is your ticket to ride, ride home that is in the comfort of your pickup.

By: ACR Guest Blogger from the Hunting Division; Craig Dougherty
http://www.northcountrywhitetails.com


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Cautionary advice when buying beacons and survival gear online

5 quick buying tips NOT to miss

when buying a beacon from an online auction or personal on line listing!

  1. Know what beacon is right for the type of activity you enjoy doing. Read the guide below. (Boaters = EPIRB, Pilots = ELT, etc.)
  2. Find out if the beacon is Brand New and Unregistered or Used (Registered to previous owner).  If the beacon is used and has been previously registered, the current owner will need to contact NOAA (in the USA) and notify them to cancel their registration so that the new owner can properly register it.
  3. If you are buying and EPIRB, Personal Locator Beacon or ELT that has a dedicated Lithium battery, ask for the battery expiration date.  Know how many years are remaining on the battery before you buy it.
  4. Ask the seller for the country code in which the beacon is programmed.  If the beacon is programmed for the United States and you live in Australia or a country other than the United States, your beacon will need to be reprogrammed for your country (a reprogramming fee will apply) before you can register it.
  5. Have a question?? – Contact the manufacturer before you purchase.

Understanding the Difference between Safety/Signaling and Survival Beacons

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) – For BoatersACR GlobalFix iPRO EPIRB with built in GPS, GPS Interface and Digital Display
An EPIRB is a critical piece of last-resort lifesaving gear on your boat when you are out of range of a VHF radio, smartphone or other means of communication. EPIRBs are small radio transmitters, connected to a global government-run satellite network (Cospas-Sarsat), which is used worldwide to alert Search and Rescue agencies in the event of a dire emergency. Used only when all other means of rescue or communication have failed, these emergency beacons can be activated if your boat is in danger of sinking, or if you have a life-threatening accident or medical emergency.

EPIRBs are required to activate and transmit when they are removed from their brackets and immersed in water or manually activated in/out of the bracket. Category I brackets will automatically deploy the beacon when submerged between 3′ and 14′, while Category II brackets need to have the beacon released manually.

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) – For any outdoor enthusiastACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon with built in GPS
Personal Locator Beacons, which use the same frequency and technology as an EPIRB, can be carried with you just about anywhere. They provide the same worldwide coverage as EPIRBs, and can rescue hunters, hikers, kayakers, climbers, pilots, boaters and most any outdoor enthusiast. PLBs are different from EPIRBs in some important ways. Their battery life (24hr. minimum transmit time) is often half that of an EPIRB. PLBs are not required to float or have a strobe light (but many do), and are manually deployed and activated. Like 406 MHz EPIRBs, PLBs have an additional 121.5MHz homing signal to help planes, helicopters and other searchers find you.

Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELTs) – For AircraftARTEX ME406 Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)
An Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) is an aircraft distress beacon that can be manually or automatically activated to transmit a 406 MHz emergency signal to the Cospas-Sarsat satellite system. ELTs that activate automatically use a “G-Switch” (gravity switch) that triggers the ELT when it senses that a crash has occurred. With ELTs, Search and Rescue teams may more easily pin-point the exact location of a downed aircraft. Section 91.207 of the Federal Aviation Regulations states that no person, as well as Part 121 operators and operations governed by Part 135, may operate a U.S. registered civil aircraft unless an approved automatic type emergency locator transmitter is attached to the aircraft. Similar regulations are established by aviation authorities throughout the world.

As of 2009, traditional 121.5 MHz ELTs are no longer monitored by satellite. The system has been replaced by a far more powerful and robust system operating on 406 MHz. When you upgrade your ELT to 406 MHz, you will have peace of mind knowing you can be found quickly in the event of an emergency or unplanned landing. If your aircraft currently has an older 121.5 MHz ELT it’s still important to have an upgraded 406 MHz ELT that can automatically transmit a distress signal with your location. Without upgrading your ELT, it can take days or sometimes weeks to locate a crash scene. Upgrading your ELT means rescuers will know within minutes that you’re in distress, who you are, and exactly where you’re located. This will drastically increase your chances of survival.

Why a 406 MHz Beacon is Your Best Last Chance

The biggest difference between an EPIRB/Personal Locator Beacon/ELT and other signaling devices is the built in redundancy required by Search and Rescue agencies to be included inside 406 MHz beacons before they can be approved for sale.
Main Frequency: 406 MHz, this dedicated Search and Rescue frequency is transmitted to the Cospas-Sarsat Satellites with your beacons Unique Identification Number which links you and your beacon together (if properly registered).
GPS: beacons with a built in GPS provide the exact search radius
121.5 MHz homing frequency: provides Search and Rescue forces with another tool to home in on your exact location.

Additional Benefits: 406 MHz beacons are regulated and approved worldwide by the Search and Rescue community before they can ever be offered for sale. These very strict regulations require an independent test lab to validate that the beacons meet the stringent requirements. These distress beacons are a directly link to Search and Rescue forces worldwide, there is no monthly subscription fees, no cost for activating and being rescued and no third party call center required to forward your distress signal onto the appropriate Search and Rescue Agencies.

Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (SEND) – For outdoor enthusiast
This is a relatively new category of distress beacons that have just hit the market in the past few years. While they have some very popular features, it is important to understand some of their limitations when it comes to Search and Rescue. The main thing to know is the lack of redundancy, most SEND devices rely solely on having a GPS position to transmit your position. If the device is unable to acquire your GPS coordinates because of heavy tree canopy or severe weather, Search and Rescue will not know where to look for you until the beacon is able to provide this information. SEND Devices also use commercial satellites such as iridium or GlobalStar, this requires an annual subscription to use. Forget to renew your subscription and your beacon will not transmit your emergency distress signal. Finally, because these are commercial satellites, the distress signal is first received by a third party call center who then must forward it on to Search and Rescue forces and be able to provide them with all of your vital information.

Understanding the Pro’s and Con’s of different Survival Communication Devices

Product Type Benefits Limitations
EPIRBs
  • Direct link to Search and Rescue forces world wide
  • No subscription fees
  • Built-in Redundancy
  •  406 MHz
  • GPS (Optional)
  • 121.5 Homing
    Limited non-emergency communications (Only ACR beacons can transmit a message through the        satellites to cell phones/email using their 406Link.com optional subscription).
Personal Locator Beacons
  • Direct link to Search and Rescue forces world wide
  • No subscription fees
  • Built-in Redundancy
  • 406 MHz
  • GPS (Optional)
  • 121.5 Homing
  • Limited non-emergency communications (Only ACR beacons can transmit a message through the        satellites to cell phones/email using their 406Link.com optional subscription).
Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT)
  • Direct link to Search and Rescue forces world wide
  • No subscription fees
  • Built-in Redundancy
  • 406 MHz
  • GPS (Optional)
  • 121.5 Homing
  • Limited non-emergency communications (Only ARTEX ELTs can transmit a message through the        satellites to cell phones/email using their 406Link.com optional subscription).
Cell Phones
  • Most people commonly have on them at all times
  • Dead Battery when you need it the most
  • Limited Coverage
  • Not Rugged or Waterproof
  • They rely on you to tell Search and Rescue where you are
Satellite Phones
  • Voice communication outside of standard cell phone ranges
  • Dead Battery when you need it the most.
  • Poor satellite reception
  • Costly subscription fees
  • Not Rugged or Waterproof
  • They rely on you to tell Search and Rescue where you are.
SEND Devices (SPOT, InReach)
  • Non-Emergency Communications
  • Tracking
  • SOS functions
  • Weak frequency
  • Low Power
  • No Redundancy
  • Costly subscription fees
  • Commercial satellites
  • 3rd party call centers
GPS Receivers
  • Tracking
  • Tells you where you are
  • GPS receivers tell You where you are, not Search and Rescue
  • Low Power Level
  • Poor Satellite Reception

How to register

You may register by visiting the SARSAT Beacon Registration page.

There is no charge for this service. IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE.

For more information see the NOAA SARSAT Homepage.


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The Anatomy of a Rescue

Cospas Sarsat - International satellite system

Learn how a rescue works.

1. Distressed mariner/outdoor adventurer/pilot activates beacon (EPIRB, PLB, ELT).

2. Beacon transmits a 406 MHz emergency message containing your Unique Identifier Number (UIN) to the LEOSAR (polar orbiting) and GEOSAR* (geostationary) satellite systems.

3. The satellites relay the 406 MHz emergency message to a ground station called the Local User Terminal (LUT). The LUT calculates the location of the signal by measuring the Doppler shift caused by the relative movement between the satellite and the beacon and forwards the location to the Mission Control Center (MCC).

4. The MCC continues to receive information from additional satellite passes and further refines the beacon position (2.3 nm search radius). An alert message is generated that is combined with the registration information from the database and is forwarded to the appropriate Rescue Coordination Center (RCC).

5. The RCC makes contact with the persons listed in the database to verify the existence of an emergency and gathers additional information about the beacon users. The RCC will dispatch the closest, capable Search and Rescue (SAR) forces.

6. Local SAR forces launch a rescue mission and use the 121.5 MHz homing signal to pinpoint the beacon.

* On average, worldwide, this notification (steps 2 through 5) take up to one hour for non-GPS beacons. For self-locating beacons that provide GPS position data in their first transmissions, the search radius is reduced to .05 nm (100 m) and the notification can take as little as three minutes. (Data provided by Cospas-Sarsat.)

About the Cospas-Sarsat Search and Rescue System

Orbiting high overhead every minute of the day is a worldwide network of polar-orbiting and geostationary satellites. Together with Russia’s Cospas spacecraft, they make up the high-tech international Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System known as Cospas-Sarsat.

Cospas-Sarsat has been credited with nearly 30,000 rescues worldwide. The system relies on signals received on the 406 MHz frequency to pinpoint position and speed rescuers to the scene of an emergency on land or at sea.

In fact, the more reliable, digital 406 MHz frequency has become the de facto internationally recognized distress frequency. Using the 406 MHz frequency, modern signaling devices can quickly beam GPS LAT/LON coordinates to orbiting satellites. This frequency also allows a position fix through Doppler shift to acquire a location even when GPS can’t.

As of February 1, 2009, satellite processing of distress signals from the older 121.5 and 243 MHz emergency beacons was terminated worldwide due to unreliability and false alarms. When a 406 MHz beacon signal is received, search and rescue personnel can retrieve information from a registration database.

This includes the beacon owner’s contact information, emergency contact information and details regarding the specific trip plan and any medical conditions of the owner or members in the party. Having this information allows the Coast Guard, or other rescue personnel, to respond appropriately. NOAA, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, is strongly advising all mariners, aviators and individuals using 121.5/243 MHz emergency beacons to make the switch to 406 MHz in order to take full advantage of the Sarsat system.

Cospas-Sarsat is maintained and operated by governments all over the world, thus there is no subscription fee required for owning a 406 MHz EPIRB, ELT or Personal Locator Beacon.

Tags: Cospas Sarsat, 406 MHz Rescue, Search and Rescue Process, Coast Guard Rescue, How a rescue works, Anatomy of a rescue, EPIRB, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, Personal Locator Beacon, PLB, Emergency Locator Transmitter, ELT