By Ben Ellison
BeaconSure EPIRB Testing
Writing this month’s column was particularly meaningful because as I started it in Fort Myers, Florida, three sport fishermen went missing on an overnight trip in a 24-footer. At presstime there was still no sign of them, though they supposedly had an EPIRB onboard. No one knows what happened, but one possibility is that the device simply didn’t work. Every EPIRB and PLB can test its battery and circuits to some degree—an important shopping criterion—but I’m glad to report that Techno-Sciences, a company that’s built much of the SARSAT infrastructure, is going to the next level.
A new division called BeaconSure will soon be offering confirmation by fax, phone, or Internet that your EPIRB test signal is actually getting up to the satellites and back down again. I saw it demoed live and thought it reassuring that the system actually hears and knows you. The service costs $40 per test and works with all brands of 406-MHz EPIRBs; compatibility with PLBs is pending.
BeaconSure Phone: (301) 577-6000. www.beaconsure.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.