PLB Activation - Help the authorities help you!

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 at 08:23

Baz - The Landy

Story: Baz – The Landy

XPLORE – Out & About:

Often in discussion around the campfire, or in the EO forum, the question is asked...

...“Which PLB should I buy…?”

And there are numerous on the market of varying sizes and prices that will do the job they are intended to do.

This discussion relates specifically to 406 MHz beacons that are designed to communicate with the international satellite system, Cospas-Sarsat.

The Cospas-Sarsat Programme is an inter-governmental co-operative of 43 countries and agencies. It maintains a network of satellites and ground facilities to receive distress signals from 406-MHz beacons and route the alerts to the proper authorities in more than 200 countries and territories.

Moving on, once you have made your choice and purchased a PLB what should you do next?

Register it with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)!

Noting, registration is mandatory and can easily be completed online.

The registration process requires you to create an account with the AMSA in which you will be asked to provide emergency contact details for you and others you nominate, including a provision to provide details of your travelling vehicle.
Importantly, a great feature of your account with the AMSA is the ability to upload travel plans or detail a trip you are undertaking.

It is worth underscoring this point and the purpose of this blog is to do that...

Let's face it, you've gone to the expense of purchasing a PLB just in case "the proverbial" hits the fan so give the authorities as much information as you can so they can quickly render assistance in your time of need.

And let's hope you don't need it, but just in case...!

In the event your beacon is activated the first thing the AMSA will do is to review your account for emergency contacts and any trip or further information you have entered.

And whilst they have a set protocol to follow once beacon activation is detected, it will assist them, and ultimately you, if they have current information on your travel plans and up-to-date emergency contact information.

For longer trips and expeditions I detail travel information with approximate dates in an excel spreadsheet and upload into the AMSA website under “My Account”.

This will (hopefully) enable authorities to conclude that if my PLB is activated it correlates with my travel plans, quickly giving the AMSA a higher level of confidence that most likely I really do need help…!

And remember, you purchased a PLB in case you need urgent assistance, don’t second guess what might be determined an emergency.

If you think that a situation has developed that is, or may lead to a life-threatening situation don’t waste time procrastinating about it – hit that emergency button, your life may depend on it...!

In case you were wondering “Baz – The Landy” came about as a consequence of owning three Land Rover Defenders, but as you can see this has now changed...

And yes, thank you, I've recovered fully from the experience!

But “Baz – The Landy” reference has stuck...!

Cheers, Baz – The Landy…
“Those who don’t think
it can be done shouldn’t
bother the person doing it…”
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