ACR ARTEX

The Science Of Survival


Leave a comment

ACR Electronics and Their Boating Safety Partners Remind You APRIL 6th (Wednesday 4/06) is “406Day”

406Day_Postcard4x6_WEBONLY with all websites

“406Day” is a time to celebrate lives saved and create awareness on the responsibilities of 406 MHz beacon ownership.

 April 6th was proclaimed “406Day” by ACR Electronics, Inc. in 2013. It is a time to celebrate the over *40,000 lives saved by using 406 MHz beacons and the Cospas-Sarsat Satellite system. The day is intended to create online awareness on the benefits and responsibilities of owning a 406 MHz beacon; such as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs), Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) or Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs).

What started off a few years ago as just a photo share contest on social media, has now become increasingly relevant as there are two items of legislation relevant promoting 406 MHz beacon ownership. On the national level, a bill was introduced offering an IRS incentive to persons who purchase a beacon. In Florida, Governor Scott recently signed a bill which, on average, will give boaters an average of a 15% to 20% discount on their boater registration fee annually *with proof of proper NOAA registration.

“406Day” has not only created **social media buzz but has also created useful content and has opened meaningful dialogue regarding safety precautions in the boating industry. ‘406Day’ should continue to grow with strategic partners in the multiple facets of the maritime industry, who have made the day what it is today,” shared Nichole Kalil, ACR Media Specialist. “406Day occurs during spring when most of the nation is gearing up for summer boating, the timing to share boating safety messages is perfect”, she added.

Some of the past and present “406Day” boating safety partners are as follows: National Safe Boating Council, Bonnier Group, AustinBlu Foundation, NOAA, Active Interest Media Group, USCG, OAR Northwest, George Poveromo, Sea Tow, Liquid Fire Fishing Team, ACA Paddle Sports, Boat US Foundation, Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Parade, and West Marine.

*Source: Since the mid 1980’s 406 MHz beacons have saved approximately 40,000 lives worldwide. To learn more about 406 MHz beacons please visit NOAA’s website at: www.sarsat.noaa.gov.

**On social media search and post using: #safeboating #406Day and #savedbythebeacon

###

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment >

ACR Electronics declares April 6th (4/06) to be “406 MHz Beacon Awareness Day” and ACR is asking our beacon owners, survivors and partners to help spread the word and share their stories! The *406 MHz technology has saved 35,000 lives since early 1980’s, certainly a statistic to be celebrated! Visit http://www.survivorclub.com to read some first-hand testimonies.

Please do your part to promote 406 MHz beacon use by sharing your specially tailored message and photo on your social media accounts. Tell everyone what your PLB or EPIRB frees you to do. Include a picture of the activity or place where your beacon gives you the confidence and freedom to go. ACR will be giving random participants prizes for sharing their 406 MHz message.

How to enter?

Tweet or Facebook post titled “what my 406 beacon frees me to do”. Include a picture of the activity or place your beacon gives you the confidence and freedom to go.

*You must use one or all of the key terms below so we can find your entry:

  • @acrartex
  • #406MHz
  • #406SurvivorClub
  • #ACRARTEX
  • “406 MHz Beacon Awareness Day”

For more information on “406 MHz Beacon Awareness Day” please contact:

Nichole Kalil, Public Relations and Media Specialist

T: +1-954-862-2180 or nichole.kalil@acrartex.com

Source: http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/statistics.html

 


Leave a comment

Wild Country, By Montana Wild

Wild Country

My eyes wandered from my fly as we floated along tall walls of old pine.  The fishing had been stellar and with the evening sun just setting in it was time to enjoy the scenery and let the fish win a few.   It was day 6 of 12 and we were deep in the backcountry on a summer fishing trip that we finally had made a reality.

Image

It hadn’t been easy though.  After a 30 mile pack in on horses we put together our boat and camp, and we were up first thing the next morning.  After fishing upstream 5 miles we quickly scrambled back to camp to make it downriver before dark.  What we thought would be an easy 5 mile float turned into an adventure as we pushed and pulled out boat down 5 miles of boulder filled water that our packer had said was floatable.  He was obviously misinformed or misjudged the water level.  The next three days we continued to drag the boat along the main river as many areas were too shallow to allow a boat over without some assistance.  We also were exploring up to 8 miles of tributaries each day.  It was work but the rewards made it all worth it as we caught cutthroat after cutthroat and even got into a few elusive bull trout.

Image

Being prepared is key when the nearest dirt road is 30 miles away and then it’s another hour and a half till the closest main city.  Spending almost two weeks in the backcountry is refreshing but also reminds you how fragile life can be when cut off from urban necessities.  The following are some of our keys to staying safe and happy in the backcountry on your next trip.

#1 Have communication with the outside world.

Image

If things go wrong this far from civilization you are going to want to be prepared.  While a first aid kit will keep your bruises and cuts at bay, more life threatening injuries need a plan to get outside help. This ACR Personal Locator Beacon is key on trips such as this and is a great insurance policy for anyone going solo into the mountains no matter how far from the nearest road or person.  This beacon allows you quickly send out a signal that alerts Search & Rescue of your location.  66-channel GPS guide rescuers to within 100 meters of your location. A simple testing method ensures your unit is functioning prior to trips, and it’s small enough to carry in a pocket.

#2  Utilize quality gear

Over the course of our trip we gained a greater sense of appreciation for quality gear.  This list began with a quality boat suited for the water we would encounter.  We used the NRS Clearwater Drifter for this trip and it’s inflatable design allowed it to pass over hundreds of rocks and multiple portages without skipping a bear.

Image

It also had ample room to store all of our gear while we floated.

Image

Quality footwear such as our Simms wading boots were essential and quality outerwear, eye protection, and tents kept life comfortable throughout the day.  Another important piece was our YETI Cooler.  This 75 liter cooler allowed us to keep perishable food for 10 days of our trip and made meals much more enjoyable.  Enjoying a steak and a beer at the end of the day makes this piece worth the price tag.

Image

There are no easy days in the backcountry when your covering country and quality gear of all kinds only makes life easier and more enjoyable allowing you to keep a smile on your face longer and take advantage of your time on the water.

#3  Keep the wild at bay

Wild places are home to wild animals.  These animals are less habituated to humans and paths are more likely to cross between these inhabitants and humans.  On our trip we were in grizzly country.  An 800 pound bear can do some serious damage and being able to counter a charge could be a life changer.

Image

We chose to take bear spray.  While both a gun and bear spray have their positives and negatives, we chose bear spray due to it’s ease of use and the ability to be easily strapped to a backpack or wading belt.  Regardless of what you choose, keep it handy and be able to use it efficiently.  Things can happen quickly and being prepared for it will make a difference.

#4  Stay charged

Image

On a trip like this it’s inevitable that you’re going to have devices that need battery power.  From GPS units to headlamps to mini boom boxes it’s a fact that batteries are going to be used.  Instead of trying to bring gobs and gobs of batteries and trying to estimate how many you’re going to need just use rechargeable batteries and charge them with a solar panel.  On our trip we used the Goal Zero Guide 10 Solar Kit.  This small solar panel can sit on the boat all day and charge up to 4AA batteries or any device that can take a charge through USB.  You can also attach it to your backpack while hiking.  This small piece of equipment kept our weight down and kept all of our devices functioning throughout the entire trip.  This doesn’t mean don’t bring backups though.  Always have two systems if possible.  If our solar panel would have stopped working we had enough backups to sparingly run key devices such as GPS units the rest of the trip.

Image

#5  Know where your at

When you have 40+ miles of main river to navigate and an extra 20 miles of tributaries, it’s necessary to be able to accurately tell where you are.  Having a paper map is a must because it won’t fail you unless you lose it.  Next we had two GPS units, the Garmin Oregon 600 and the GPSMAP 62stc.  These were great for telling us where we were and allowed us to pre load waypoints and camp sites into each unit.  This way we could keep pace during our 12 days and camp in ideal locations each night.

Image

Finally we also had the Hunting GPS Maps application installed on two iPhones.  This app allows you to cache satellite imagery and topo maps and be able to utilize them without any service.  This was our first time venturing into the area and everything was new to us.  Being able to look at satellite imagery gave us a rough idea of what types of water to anticipate and also allowed us to find good stretches of river on the tributaries.

Image

Being able to recognize that a mile of river is going to be full of rocks and no deep pools saves us time as we can quickly skip it and be back into good water.  When time is short and there is a lot of country to cover this app became very useful and kept us in the fish when exploring new water away from the boat.

Image

We hope that this information is useful in some way on your next trip.  Being prepared will definitely pay off when spending time in the backcountry and we hope your next trip is your best trip!

 -Zack Boughton, Montana Wild


1 Comment

What a Survivor should pack in their Rapid Ditch Bag

Abandon Ship List
by safety consultant Charlie Bond, AMSEA Instructor

rapidditch front angle small 300

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.


1 Comment

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


3 Comments

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.


Leave a comment

ACR Employee Celebrates 30-year Anniversary!

Image

On Friday, March 1, 2013, one of our most dedicated employees celebrated her 30-year anniversary with ACR. Hired in 1983, Wilhemina Jackson began her ACR career as an Assembler where she worked to assemble mechanical items used in the production of our products. Wilhemina now works in our Rework department where she repairs PC boards, assists in the production of fixtures, builds batteries, and helps with some of the products sent in for repair.

When asked about the most rewarding part of her job, Wilhemina says she enjoys being able to make products that help save people’s lives.

Wilhemina lives close to our facility in Hollywood, Florida. She has two grown children and one granddaughter. Walking and spending quality time with her family are among her top interests outside of work.

In the past 30 years, Wilhemina has seen a lot of changes at ACR. She says our way of doing things and the products we make have changed quite a bit, especially in the last 10-15 years.

While a lot has changed at ACR in the last 30 years, one thing that has not changed is our undying committment to producing quality products that save lives. Congratulations Wilhemina!