Tag Archives: EPIRB

ACR EPIRB1 PRO For Marine

One of EPIRB type that is often used on marine application is the ACR EPIRB1 PRO type. Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon commonly abbreviated namely EPIRB is a device to alert search and rescue services (SAR) in case of an emergency out at sea. It is tracking equipment that transmits a signal on a specified band to locate a lifeboat, life raft, ship or people in distress.

EPIRB1 PRO
EPIRB1 PRO

The SafeSea EPIRB1 Pro operates in the 406MHz satellite band. This band comprises the international distress frequencies that are constantly monitored by Cospas-Sarsat, the international search, and rescue satellite operators, ensuring a rapid response when a signal is received, no matter where it is in the world.

EPIRB1 PRO
EPIRB1 PRO

More Information

As the world’s most compact Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, the ACR EPIRB1 Pro pairs its compact stature with a durable design, making it a practical option to meet the needs of all commercial, fishing, and leisure vessels. The product has been designed for maximum efficiency and boasts a 10 year battery life in addition to superb operating life when activated, keeping rescue services updated with your location for longer.

This EPIRB is fitted with a 121.5MHz homing beacon used by rescue services for close-in location of vessels in distress. In addition, the EPIRB is fitted with a high brightness LED strobe light for additional impact, especially at night. For emergency situations where a user is not physically able to reach the EPIRB in time, The EPIRB1 Pro also comes complete with a Category I Automatic Release Housing (commonly referred to as ‘float free’). This ensures that the EPIRB is automatically deployed from the bracket by the internal Hydrostatic Release Unit, and then also automatically activates and floats to the surface to send your distress message to the satellite network.

The Automatic Release Housing (ARH) also includes a convenient adapter providing multiple retrofit options. Use the adapter to easily mount the ARH using the same mounting holes that were previously used for older and larger EPIRBS such as the Ocean Signal E100/E100G, Jotron Tron 60s, and McMurdo E5/G5.

Features and Benefits :

  • Complies with MED (2014/90/EU)
  • 406 MHz (link via satellite to emergency services)
  • 121.5 MHz Homing Signal (to aid final locating by search & rescue)
  • High Intensity Strobe
  • 30% (typ) Smaller
  • 10 year Battery Life
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • 66 Channel GPS (fact accurate positioning)

Warranty

Limited Warranty

Your Ocean Signal EPIRB1 is warranted against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for a period of two years from the date of purchase and in accordance with the following conditions. Ocean Signal will at its discretion, repair or replace faulty product free of charge excluding the cost of shipping. Proof of purchase shall be required in order for a warranty claim to be valid from the original purchaser. All claims shall be made in writing to Ocean Signal or an approved service dealer.

EPIRB1 PRO
EPIRB1 PRO

Ocean Signal shall not be liable to the buyer under the above warranty :

  • For any repairs or modifications carried out on the EPIRB using parts that are not supplied or approved by the manufacture Ocean Signal including batteries and for work carried out other than by Ocean Signal or approved service dealers.
  • For any part, material or accessory that is not manufactured by Ocean Signal the consumer will be covered by the guarantee / warranty offered to Ocean Signal by the manufacturer or supplier,
  • For product which has not been fully paid for.
  • For any product supplied by Ocean Signal to a customer under an alternative warranty agreement.
  • For the cost of shipping product to and from the customer.

The Battery is only warranted until the date of expiry and provided the unit is tested in accordance with the information in the user manual. This warranty does not apply to a used battery as indicated by the self test.

The following specific items are excluded from this warranty :

  • Lift up flap and associated mechanism.
  • Antenna.

This warranty does not affect your statutory rights.

This warranty is to be interpreted under English law. For further assistance please contact our Technical Service Department. Email: service@oceansignal.com

Specification

Name EPIRB1 Pro
Product Description Category I GPS EPIRB
Part Number 702S-03401
Satellite Transmission 406.040 MHz (5W nominal)
Homing Transmission 121.5 MHz (50mW nominal)
Size (no antenna) 7.0” x 3.5” x 3.9” (178mm x 89mm x 100mm)
Weight (Beacon) 0.91 lbs (420g)
Weight (Beacon and Housing) 2.8 lbs (1.25 kg)
GPS Internal GPS (66 Channel)
Strobe LED Strobe
Battery Class 2 (non-hazmat) lithium battery (LiMnO2)
Battery Replacement Interval 10 Years
Deployment Category I – Hydrostatic Release (automatic deployment)
Activation Automatic when out of bracket and wet or manual when in or out of bracket.
Waterproof 33 ft (10 m) for 1 hour
Operational Life 48 Hours minimum @ -4°F (-20°C)
Operating Temp. -4°F to +131°F (-20°C to +55°C) (Class 2)
Storage Temp. -22°F to + 158°F (-30°C to +70°C) (Class 2)
Limited Warranty 2 Years
Accessories Category I Automatic Release Housing (ARH)
Automatic Release Housing Release Depth 13 ft. (4m) Maximum
Automatic Release Housing Dimensions 9.3” x 7.5” x 4.8” (237mm x 191mm x 121mm)
Approvals MED & Cospas-Sarsat
Pending: FCC, USCG, IC, AMSA, CCS

 

Read more : SM-3 LIFEBUOY SELF-IGNITING MARKER LIGHT

GLOBALFIX V4 EPIRB SURVIVAL KIT

EPIRB Survival Kit

#PrepLikeAPro on all your boat adventures with the GlobalFix V4 Survival Kit. The products included in this kit will come in handy during expeditions of all sizes (yes, everything from leisure boating and deep-sea fishing to sailing and jet-skiing, plus all those exciting experiences in between). Should you run into an unexpected situation, have peace of mind knowing that with the GlobalFix V4 Survival Kit, you’ve got everything you need to ensure a safe return.

The GlobalFi V4 Survival Kit has got your back, no matter what kind of event you may be facing. We understand that in emergencies, time is of the essence. That’s why the GlobalFix V4 Survival Kit is equipped with products that let you quickly and efficiently alert local first responders, and have help dispatched to your precise location.

Featuring the GlobalFix V4 EPIRB (Category 2) with a manual deployment bracket and a 10-year user-replaceable battery, let Search and Rescue know your exact location in a matter of minutes. When they arrive on the scene the bright LED C-Strobe H2O and HemiLight3 Strobe lights will get rescuers’ attention at night or in daylight hours use the signal mirror to gain their attention. Conveniently store all your emergency gear inside the RapidDitch Express bag which can float up to 15 lbs of gear.

GLOBALFIX V4 EPIRB SURVIVAL KIT
GLOBALFIX V4 EPIRB SURVIVAL KIT

This kit features the following essential survival products:

  • GlobalFix™ V4 EPIRB (Cat. 2)
  • C-Strobe™ H2O Rescue Light
  • Signal Mirror
  • Res-Q™ Whistle
  • HemiLight™3
  • RapidDitch Express Bag

Warranty

WARRANTY LENGTH: 5 YEARS

This product is warranted against factory defect in material and workmanship for a period of 5 (five)* years from the date of purchase or receipt as a gift. During the warranty period ACR Electronics, Inc. will repair or at its option, replace at no cost to you for labor, materials or return transportation.

This warranty does not apply if the product has been damaged by accident or misuse or as a result of service or modification by other than the manufacturer. The COMPANY MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR ANY OTHER MATTER concerning THIS PRODUCT, except as otherwise expressly stated in the previous paragraph. The Company shall not be liable for consequential or special damages. To place the warranty in effect, choose a form above and complete it entirely. Or you may fill out the registration card accompanying your product (if applicable) which must be returned to ACR Electronics, Inc. within ten days of purchase.
*Five Years for the following products: EPIRB and PLB.

Specification

Part Number 2348
Size (display box) 18″ (L) x 12.5″ (W) x 9” (H)
Weight (display box) 6 lbs

 

Read more : SM-3 LIFEBUOY SELF-IGNITING MARKER LIGHT

RESCUEME EPIRB1

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon

The rescueME EPIRB1 provides peace of mind with impressive 10-year battery life. The world’s most compact EPIRB can always be on hand, as its small size allows it to be easily retained within its quick release bracket or placed in an emergency grab-bag or life raft.

RESCUEME EPIRB1 APPLICATION
RESCUEME EPIRB1 APPLICATION

A simple protective tab over the operating keys prevents inadvertent activation, yet allows for easy operation when required. The rescueME EPIRB1 also features two high brightness strobes to maximize visibility in low light conditions. The retractable antenna provides maximum protection and a reduced outline for stowage. When required the antenna is easily deployed with a gentle pull. For longer offshore or ocean passages, the Ocean Signal E100G EPIRB offers an exceptional 96-hour operational life with the option of an automatic release housing (mandatory for vessels approved under SOLAS regulations).

  • 30%(Typ) smaller
  • 10-year battery life
  • 48+ hours of operational life
  • 5-year warranty
  • Fast accurate positioning with 66 channel GPS
  • Retractable antenna
  • Quick-release bracket
  • Secure lanyard

Rescueme EPIRB1 Warranty

Limited Warranty

Your Ocean Signal EPIRB1 is warranted against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for a period of five years from the date of purchase and in accordance with the following conditions. Ocean Signal will at its discretion, repair or replace the faulty products free of charge excluding the cost of shipping. Proof of purchase shall be required in order for a warranty claim to be valid from the original purchaser. All claims shall be made in writing to Ocean Signal or an approved service dealer.

RESCUEME EPIRB1 SPECIFICATION
RESCUEME EPIRB1 SPECIFICATION

Ocean Signal shall not be liable to the buyer under the above warranty :

  • For any repairs or modifications carried out on the EPIRB using parts that are not supplied or approved by the manufacture Ocean Signal including batteries and for work carried out other than by Ocean Signal or approved service dealers.
  • For any part, material or accessory that is not manufactured by Ocean Signal the consumer will be covered by the guarantee/warranty offered to Ocean Signal by the manufacturer or supplier,
  • For a product that has not been fully paid for.
  • For any product supplied by Ocean Signal to a customer under an alternative warranty agreement.
  • For the cost of shipping products to and from the customer.
  • The Battery is only warranted until the date of expiry and provided the unit is tested in accordance with the information in the user manual. This warranty does not apply to a used battery as indicated by the self-test.

The following specific items are excluded from this warranty :

  • Lift up flap and associated mechanism.
  • Retractable antenna.

This warranty does not affect your statutory rights.

Rescueme EPIRB1 Specification

Satellite transmission
406.040MHz, 5 Watts (nominal)

Homing transmission
121.5MHz, 50mW nominal

Operation life
up to 48hrs at -20°C (-4°F)

Operating temperature range
-20°C to +55°C (-4°F to +131°F)

Weight
422g / 14.89 oz

Standards
Cospas Sarsat T.001/T.007 IEC61097-2, RTCM SC11000, IC RSS287

RESCUEME EPIRB1 DIMENSION
RESCUEME EPIRB1 DIMENSION

FAQs

When I register my EPIRB or PLB is the 0 in the 15 digit HEX ID (UIN) the number 0, or the letter O?

The HEX ID consists of the numbers from 0 to 9 and the letters from A to F only. The character 0 is the number zero.

Read more : SM-3 LIFEBUOY SELF-IGNITING MARKER LIGHT

KANNAD MARINE SPORTPRO EPIRB

Product Overview

The Kannad Marine Sportpro is an FCC and internationally approved Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) that transmits on 406 and 121.5 MHz to alert search and rescue agencies of the need for rescue during an emergency.

KANNAD MARINE
KANNAD MARINE

FEATURES :

  • High brightness LED flashing locator
  • Once activivated, will transmit for a minimum of 48 hours
  • Non-hazardous battery for safe and easy transportation
  • 5 year warranty
  • 6 year battery storage life
  • 60 comprehensive diagnostic and self-tests during battery life

Americas Ordering Information:

  • Sportpro Automatic Housing EPIRB Product #: K82-814-002A
  • Sportpro Manual EPIRB Product #: K82-814-001A

Read more : SMARTFIND G8 EPIRB

SMARTFIND G8 EPIRB

Product Overview

MEOSAR Compatible® for enhanced detection and location performance, the G8 range includes an industry first; a four-frequency EPIRB, combining the global alerting of 406 MHz with the localised locating and tracking power of AIS.

The award winning G8 AIS is the first EPIRB to have standard 406MHz, 121MHz & GPS capabilities AND include AIS for localised rescue. This combination is a result of new technology but also new attitudes to AIS as a search and rescue tool, plus the realisation that accelerated alert detection and location accuracy will save even more lives. This technology partnership will also help reduce demands on the search & rescue authorities as it should help vessel owners detect and resolve accidental activations through visibility of AIS signals.

SMARTFIND G8 EPIRB
SMARTFIND G8 EPIRB

The world’s most powerful EPIRBS, driving accelerated rescue times via:

  • Faster alert detection on the 406 MHz frequency through our MEOSAR compatibility
  • The world’s first QUADROTECH® EPIRB, with four search and rescue frequencies, the SmartFind G8 AIS supports the Alert, Locate, Tracking and Recovery elements of search and rescue.
  • Greater location accuracy by receiving GNSS coordinates from a wider range of satellite onstellations.
  • World’s first convergence of 406 and AIS, combining the global alerting of 406 MHz with the localised locating and tracking power of AIS.
  • The only EPIRB manufacturer that also builds and supports the Cospas-Sarsat ecosystems infrastructure, making the benefits of MEOSAR a reality

KEY FEATURES

  • Rescue Accelerating features
  • MEOSAR compatibility
  • Easy service battery
  • 10 year battery life
  • Compliance with the new United States emergency hands free transport mandate
  • False activation protection and self-test functions
  • Ruggedised base

Read more : Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) function for ship

Marine EPIRB application

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or commonly abbreviated namely EPIRB is a device to alert search and rescue services (SAR) in case of an emergency out at sea. It is tracking equipment that transmits a signal on a specified band to locate a lifeboat, life raft, ship or people in distress.

AN EPIRB is a SECONDARY means of DISTRESS alerting which is to say that it comes later in the hierarchy of alerting SAR authorities in case of distress. It is mandatory to carry one EPIRB on every ship and two EPIRBS for all Registered ships (and other types of vessels).

Types Of EPIRB

  1. COSPAS-SARSAT– EPIRBS under the COSPAS-SARSAT system work on the 406.025 MHz and 121.5 MHz band and are applicable for all sea areas.

  2. INMARSAT E – 1.6 GHz band is the one which this EPIRB works on. These are applicable for sea areas A1, A2 and A3.

  3. VHF CH 70 – This works on the 156.525 MHz band and are applicable for sea area A1 only.

How Does An EPIRB Work?

The device contains two radio transmitters, a 5-watt one, and a 0.25-watt one, each operating at 406 MHz, the standard international frequency typically signalling distress, 406MHz. The 5-watt radio transmitter is synchronised with a GOES weather satellite going around the earth in a geosynchronous orbit.

An EPIRB transmits signals to the satellite. The signal consists of an encrypted identification number (all in digital code) which holds information such as the ship’s identification, date of the event, the nature of distress and chiefly, the position.

A UIN is a Unique Identifier Number that is programmed into each beacon at the factory. The UIN number consists of 15 digit series of letters and numbers that make up the unique identity of the beacon. The UIN is on a white label on the exterior of the beacon. The UIN is also referred to as the Hex ID.

The Local User Terminal (satellite receiving units or ground stations) calculates the position of the casualty using Doppler Shift (is the change in frequency or wavelength of a wave (or other periodic events) for an observer moving relative to its source).

The LUT passes on the message to the MRCC (Mission Rescue Co-Ordination Centre). Furthermore, the MRCC is responsible for the SAR ops and oversees the execution of the rescue mission.

In case the EPIRB is not compatible with a GPS receiver, the geosynchronous satellite orbiting the earth can pick only the radio signals emitted by the radio. The location of the transmitter or the identity of the owner cannot be deduced in this case.

These satellites can only pick up trace elements of such signals and they can only give a rough idea of the location of the EPIRB. A signal of 406MHz is treated as an emergency signal as per international standards.

The signal could help you in locating the transmitter even if it is 3 miles away. The vessel or the individual in distress could be identified if the EPIRB is registered. If an emitter transmits signals of 121.5 MHz, the rescuer or concerned party can reach the lost person even if they are at a distance of 15 miles. The accuracy of reaching the target could be magnified if an EPIRB also contains a GPS receiver.

Using an EPIRB

The EPIRB needs to be activated to emit signals. This could be done by pushing a button on the unit, or it could happen automatically if and when it comes in contact with water. The latter variety is known as hydrostatic EPIRB; the quality makes hydrostatic EPIRBs the best choice for sailors because they could be automatically activated in case the ship or vessel meets an accident and finds itself in deep waters.

The point to be kept in mind is that EPIRB needs activation to be operative, and this could happen only when it emerges from the bracket it is placed in. This could be done manually or it could happen automatically, as said earlier. The device is essentially battery-operated. This helps because power is the first entity to be affected in case of a calamity.

Battery

  • 12 Volt battery.
  • 48 hours of transmitting capacity.
  • Normally replaced every 2 to 5 years.

False Alerting

It is possible that the EPIRB might get activated by mistake by an individual onboard. In order to prevent a chain of SAR operations in motion it is imperative that the EPIRB false transmission is cancelled. In case the EPIRB is falsely activated, the nearest coast station or RCC (Rescue Co-Ordination Center) must be informed immediately of this event and as mentioned, cancel it.

The cancellation intimation must also be sent to the appropriate authority (for example, DG Shipping for Indian Registered Ships or for ships plying in India waters when the false alert is transmitted). The shipowner and/or the agent must also be informed.

Testing EPIRB

The EPIRB should be tested once a month to ensure operational integrity. The procedure to do so is as follows :

  1. Press and release the test button on the EPIRB.
  2. The red lamp on the EPIRB should flash once.
  3. Within 30 seconds of pressing the button, the strobe, as well as the red light, should flash several times.
  4. After 60 seconds of operation, the EPIRB will switch off.

Maintenance of EPIRB

  1. The EPIRB must be inspected visually for any defects such as cracks.

  2. It is advisable to clean the EPIRB once in a while with a dry cloth.

  3. While cleaning, the switches must be specifically checked.

  4. The lanyard of the EPIRB must be neatly packed into the container of the EPIRB without any loose ends dangling about.

  5. The expiry date of the battery must be checked to cover the immediate as well as the next voyage at the least.

  6. Send the EPIRB back to the service agent or the supplier if the EPIRB fails the monthly checks.

  7. Change the battery onboard if the facilities are available or send it to the servicing agent if there isn’t.

  8. If the EPIRB has been used in an emergency, it must be returned to an authorised service agent for a battery change.

  9. In the event that the HRU has crossed its expiry date, the HRU ought to be replaced on board and HRU must be marked with an expiry date 2 years into the future.

PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons)

PLBs are basically EPIRBs but for individual entities. These are used to indicate distress for an individual not in the proximity of emergency services. PLBs work in the same as EPIRBS and transmit on the COSPAS SARSAT satellite system in the 406.025 MHz frequency. PLBs are much smaller in size as compared to an EPIRB. They work all across the world, at sea as well as on land.

Once activated, PLBs transmit for a minimum of 24 hours; while the battery life on an EPIRB is at least double (a minimum of 48 hours). An EPIRB is registered to a vessel, whereas a PLB is registered to an individual.

The EPIRB is one of THE MOST important emergency pieces of equipment available onboard in the case of distress. Their care, testing and maintenance must be given considerable time in order that they function at their optimum level when the situation arises.

Read more : Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS)

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is a device to alert search and rescue services (SAR) in case of an emergency out at sea. It is tracking equipment that transmits a signal on a specified band to locate a lifeboat, life raft, ship or people in distress.

AN EPIRB is a SECONDARY means of DISTRESS alerting which is to say that it comes later in the hierarchy of alerting SAR authorities in case of distress. It is mandatory to carry one EPIRB on every ship and two EPIRBS for all Registered ships (and other types of vessels).

Types Of EPIRB

  1. COSPAS-SARSAT– EPIRBS under the COSPAS-SARSAT system work on the 406.025 MHz and 121.5 MHz band and are applicable for all sea areas.

  2. INMARSAT E – 1.6 GHz band is the one which this EPIRB works on. These are applicable for sea areas A1, A2 and A3.

  3. VHF CH 70 – This works on the 156.525 MHz band and are applicable for sea area A1 only.

How Does An EPIRB Work?

The device contains two radio transmitters, a 5-watt one, and a 0.25-watt one, each operating at 406 MHz, the standard international frequency typically signalling distress, 406MHz. The 5-watt radio transmitter is synchronised with a GOES weather satellite going around the earth in a geosynchronous orbit.

An EPIRB transmits signals to the satellite. The signal consists of an encrypted identification number (all in digital code) which holds information such as the ship’s identification, date of the event, the nature of distress and chiefly, the position.

A UIN is a Unique Identifier Number that is programmed into each beacon at the factory. The UIN number consists of 15 digit series of letters and numbers that make up the unique identity of the beacon. The UIN is on a white label on the exterior of the beacon. The UIN is also referred to as the Hex ID.

The Local User Terminal (satellite receiving units or ground stations) calculates the position of the casualty using Doppler Shift (is the change in frequency or wavelength of a wave (or other periodic events) for an observer moving relative to its source).

The LUT passes on the message to the MRCC (Mission Rescue Co-Ordination Centre). Furthermore, the MRCC is responsible for the SAR ops and oversees the execution of the rescue mission.

In case the EPIRB is not compatible with a GPS receiver, the geosynchronous satellite orbiting the earth can pick only the radio signals emitted by the radio. The location of the transmitter or the identity of the owner cannot be deduced in this case.

These satellites can only pick up trace elements of such signals and they can only give a rough idea of the location of the EPIRB. A signal of 406MHz is treated as an emergency signal as per international standards.

The signal could help you in locating the transmitter even if it is 3 miles away. The vessel or the individual in distress could be identified if the EPIRB is registered. If an emitter transmits signals of 121.5 MHz, the rescuer or concerned party can reach the lost person even if they are at a distance of 15 miles. The accuracy of reaching the target could be magnified if an EPIRB also contains a GPS receiver.

Using an EPIRB

The EPIRB needs to be activated to emit signals. This could be done by pushing a button on the unit, or it could happen automatically if and when it comes in contact with water. The latter variety is known as hydrostatic EPIRB; the quality makes hydrostatic EPIRBs the best choice for sailors because they could be automatically activated in case the ship or vessel meets an accident and finds itself in deep waters.

The point to be kept in mind is that EPIRB needs activation to be operative, and this could happen only when it emerges from the bracket it is placed in. This could be done manually or it could happen automatically, as said earlier. The device is essentially battery-operated. This helps because power is the first entity to be affected in case of a calamity.

Battery

  • 12 Volt battery.
  • 48 hours of transmitting capacity.
  • Normally replaced every 2 to 5 years.

False Alerting

It is possible that the EPIRB might get activated by mistake by an individual onboard. In order to prevent a chain of SAR operations in motion it is imperative that the EPIRB false transmission is cancelled. In case the EPIRB is falsely activated, the nearest coast station or RCC (Rescue Co-Ordination Center) must be informed immediately of this event and as mentioned, cancel it.

The cancellation intimation must also be sent to the appropriate authority (for example, DG Shipping for Indian Registered Ships or for ships plying in India waters when the false alert is transmitted). The shipowner and/or the agent must also be informed.

Testing EPIRB

The EPIRB should be tested once a month to ensure operational integrity. The procedure to do so is as follows :

  1. Press and release the test button on the EPIRB.
  2. The red lamp on the EPIRB should flash once.
  3. Within 30 seconds of pressing the button, the strobe, as well as the red light, should flash several times.
  4. After 60 seconds of operation, the EPIRB will switch off.

Maintenance of EPIRB

  1. The EPIRB must be inspected visually for any defects such as cracks.

  2. It is advisable to clean the EPIRB once in a while with a dry cloth.

  3. While cleaning, the switches must be specifically checked.

  4. The lanyard of the EPIRB must be neatly packed into the container of the EPIRB without any loose ends dangling about.

  5. The expiry date of the battery must be checked to cover the immediate as well as the next voyage at the least.

  6. Send the EPIRB back to the service agent or the supplier if the EPIRB fails the monthly checks.

  7. Change the battery onboard if the facilities are available or send it to the servicing agent if there isn’t.

  8. If the EPIRB has been used in an emergency, it must be returned to an authorised service agent for a battery change.

  9. In the event that the HRU has crossed its expiry date, the HRU ought to be replaced on board and HRU must be marked with an expiry date 2 years into the future.

PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons)

PLBs are basically EPIRBs but for individual entities. These are used to indicate distress for an individual not in the proximity of emergency services. PLBs work in the same as EPIRBS and transmit on the COSPAS SARSAT satellite system in the 406.025 MHz frequency. PLBs are much smaller in size as compared to an EPIRB. They work all across the world, at sea as well as on land.

Once activated, PLBs transmit for a minimum of 24 hours; while the battery life on an EPIRB is at least double (a minimum of 48 hours). An EPIRB is registered to a vessel, whereas a PLB is registered to an individual.

The EPIRB is one of THE MOST important emergency pieces of equipment available onboard in the case of distress. Their care, testing and maintenance must be given considerable time in order that they function at their optimum level when the situation arises.

Read more : Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS)

Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) Concept

Indonesia Marine Equipment is here to be an information center platform on maritime technology in Indonesia.

Indonesia Marine Equipment consist of :

  1. As an information center for maritime equipment and spare parts needed in Indonesia.
  2. As a news center about the development of maritime industry technology in Indonesia.
  3. Help promote the results of maritime products both domestically and from abroad.
  4. Assist shipping companies, shipyards, ports companies, oil and gas companies to finding the needed equipment and spare parts.

GMDSS and its Uses

On 1st Feb 1999, the fully implemented GMDSS came to picture. It was a set standard for usage of communication protocol, procedures and safety equipment to be used at the time of distress situation by the ship. Under GMDSS, all the passenger ships and cargo ship above 300 GT involved in the voyages in international waters have to carry equipment as per GMDSS.

When a ship uses GMDSS, it basically sends a distress signal via a satellite or radio communication equipment. It’s also used as a medium for sending or receiving maritime safety information and general communication channel.

In the GMDSS framework, there are different Sea Areas to allot the working equipment in the respective area. They are as follows :

AREA RANGE EQUIPMENT
A1 20 to 50 M VHF DSC
A2 50 to 400 M VHF + MF
A3 700N to 700S VHF + MF + oNe INMARSAT
A4 Above 700N to 700S HF + MF + VHF

To understand the above table further, following are the ranges with regard to the frequencies in a specific band :

  1. Medium Frequencies : 300 KHz to 3 MHz.
  2. High Frequencies : 3 MHz to 30 MHz.
  3. Very High Frequencies : 30 MHz to 300 MHz.

Very High Frequencies (VHF)

For the purposes of maritime communication, the range of 156 MHz to 174 MHz is allocated. Channel 16, which is set at 156.800 MHz, is for Distress, Urgency and Safety communication. Channel 70, set at 156.525 MHz, if for routine VHF DSC (Digital Selective Calling) watch.

GUARD channels are set put above and below Channel 16 to avoid any interference on Channel 16. One cannot have seamless traffic on Channel 16 with interference with regard to other communication aside from distress, safety and urgency. So the Guard channel frequencies are 156.775 MHz and 156.825 MHz.

Among other things, the VHF set runs on a 24 Volt DC supply with J3E type of transmission for Radiotelephony and G2B type of transmission for VHF DSC.

The different elements of GMDSS are as follows :

  1.  INMARSAT :  It is a Satellite operated system that includes ship earth station terminals – Inmarsat B, C and F77. It provides telex, telephone and data transfer services between ship-to-ship, ship to shore, and shore to ship along with a priority telex and telephone service connected to shore rescue centres.

  2. NAVTEX : NAVTEX is an internationally adopted automated system which is used to distribute MSI-maritime safety information, and includes weather forecasts and warnings, navigational warnings, search and rescue notices and other similar safety information.

  3. Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) : EPIRB is an equipment to help determine the position of survivors during a SAR operation. It is a secondary means of distress alerting. Read about EPIRB here.

  4.  Search and Rescue Locating Equipment : Primarily the Search and Rescue Radar Transponder. This is used to home Search and Rescue units to the position of distress which transmits upon interrogation. Read about Search and Rescue equipment here.

  5.  Digital Selective Calling (DSC) : This is a calling service between ship to ship, ship to shore or vice versa for safety and distress information mainly on high or medium frequency and VHF maritime radio.

Read more : Search and Rescue Transponder

Documents to be carried onboard with regard to GMDSS :

  1. Ship’s Radio License.
  2. Radio Operators Certificates.
  3. Safety Radio Certificate.
  4. GMDSS Radio Log Book.
  5. ITU List of Cell Signs and Numerical Identities of Stations used by Maritime Mobile and Maritime Mobile Satellite Services.
  6. ITU List of Coast Stations.
  7. ITU List of Ship Stations.
  8. ITU List of Radio determination and Special Service Stations.
  9. Antenna Rigging Plan.
  10. Valid Shore Based Maintenance Certificate.

GMDSS Training

The handling of GMDSS equipment requires certified training as well as licensing from the Telecommunication department of the department. The General Operators Certificate (GOC) is mandatory in order for an officer to be allowed to handle GMDSS equipment onboard the ship.

To obtain this GOC, a short course is compulsory to attend following which an exam is conducted (written and oral), which needs to be cleared.  This training is aimed at Cadets who ought to become licensed Radio Operators to operate all the equipment in conjunction with the regulations laid out for GMDSS.

The training period is around 12 days and owing to the course being mandatory, it is advised to call in to an approved institute to book a seat for a future date, well in advance. Depending which country the individual is from, they must check the respective institute websites as well as the Ministry of Shipping (or whichever applicable for their country) website to get the full details on eligibility and criteria for admission into the GMDSS course.

Over the period of the course, the officer is taught about the various aspects of GMDSS ranging from Radio Log to sending IMNARSAT messages and all such aspects of it which will be required when carrying out communication onboard. The written exam tests the theory whereas the oral examination is a one on one session with a surveyor who tests the individual on the different aspects of GMDSS, covering the whole syllabus (theory as well as practical).

Admiralty List of Radio Signals (ALRS) Volume 5 : GMDSS

NP285 or ALRS Vol. 5 is the publication with extensive information in theory as well as practical use for all things pertaining to the GMDSS. Correction for this is found in Section 6 of the weekly Notices To Mariners (TNM). Its contents covers as follows :

  1. Distress Communication And False Alert.
  2. Operation Procedure For Use Of DSC Equipment.
  3. Search And Rescue Transponder.
  4. Extract From ITU Radio Regulations.
  5. VHF DSC List Of Coast Stations For Sea Area A1.
  6. MF DSC List Of Coast Stations For Sea Area A2.
  7. HF DSC List Of Coast Stations For Sea Area A3.
  8. INMARSAT.
  9. Maritime Safety Information (MSI).
  10. SafetyNet.
  11. NAVTEX.
  12. Distress, Search And Rescue.

Portable Marine Radio

The portable marine radio or the survival craft transceiver, a very important element of the GMDSS, is a piece of equipment located in the bridge in case the ship’s personnel have to board the survival craft but they may be used for communication on board as well.

In case it’s used in emergency, it is used for on scene coordination between the survival craft and the search and rescue units. The IMO requirements for the survival craft transceivers are as follows :

  1. Can be operated by unskilled personnel.
  2. Transmission and Reception on 156.8 MHz (Channel 16) and 156.3 MHz (Channel 6).
  3. Withstand a drop of 1 meter.
  4. Watertight to a depth of 1 meter for 5 minutes.
  5. Minimum power of 0.25 watts.
  6. A power reduction switch available.
  7. The antenna must be omnidirectional and vertically polarized.
  8. Battery power capacity for 8 hours (Nickel Cadmium or Lithium Battery).

The scope of GMDSS is vast and extensive reading on it, through publications and manuals and all other available means, is the only way to get better at handling the equipments and gain further knowledge about the setup.

How accurate are they and how long before help arrives EPIRB?

Position accuracy is primarily dependent on the model of EPIRB that you carry. EPIRB’s without integrated GPS that depend on COSPAS-SARSAT satellite passes typically can provide accuracies within a few miles. The newer models with integrated GPS units can narrow that down to normal GPS accuracy standards of 15 meters or less.

How long it takes for help to arrive once you activate an EPIRB cannot be accurately answered. If you are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you may have to wait until another vessel can be diverted to your position to provide assistance. If you are fishing the western wall of the Gulf Stream off of Cape Hatteras, it’s probably a 40 minute helicopter flight out of Elizabeth City.

The key is the type of EPIRB carried and if it’s properly registered. An EPIRB with integrated GPS will typically have the closest SAR assets gearing up in about 15 minutes. On the other hand non-GPS units may require an hour to have an accurate fix on your location and begin to mobilize SAR units. If your EPIRB is not properly registered you can expect further delays that may add up to 2 hours before SAR units are dispatched.

Who should carry an EPIRB?

So who should carry EPIRB’s? Ignoring those commercial vessels that are required to carry an EPIRB by law, pleasure vessels in the U.S. have no carriage requirements (at least not yet). The answer to this question is arguably subjective. Many boaters have to balance their safety requirements with their pocketbooks. Others, who may not be constrained by a budget, may feel that an EPIRB is not required for their specific type of inshore or near shore boating.

So to offer my 2 cents worth, I would recommend that any boater that goes beyond normally accepted VHF range should seriously consider putting an EPIRB on board. For those that cruise or engage in long offshore passages, it’s a no brainer!

Registering Your EPIRB!

The law requires that all 406 MHz Satellite beacons be registered. When you register, you are providing SAR personnel with valuable information that will help expedite their response in the event of an emergency. Additionally in the event of an unwanted activation, it provides a means to contact the owner to determine if there is an emergency or not and if not to advise them of the accidental activation.

EPIRBs in the U.S. are registered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We have provided the official NOAA registration form below which you can download and file. Additionally when there is a change in any information provided; boat, address, or primary phone numbers you are required re-register in order to update the information. If you happen to sell your EPIRB or if it accompanies the vessel you have sold, be sure that the new owner re-register’s the EPIRB in their name. If not, the Coast Guard will be calling you in the middle of the night if it happens to activate.

Don’t forget that current law requires that you re-register your EPIRB every 2 years even if there has been no change to the original registration information. While onerous, 2 year registration renewal makes sense. It effectively keeps the NOAA EPIRB database up to date with reasonably current information.

Testing and Maintaining Your EPIRB.

While EPIRBS are one of the most reliable pieces of safety equipment found on board, this does not mean that they are infallible. When you consider the prolonged periods of exposure to weather that the typical EPIRB is subject to, it would be wise to have a periodic maintenance and testing plan in place. All EPIRB owners should follow the procedures set out by their particular manufacturer.

NOAA in conjunction with the Coast Guard recommends a monthly inspection and testing schedule. They have developed a generic list of items that you should be checking during your monthly inspection.

During your maintenance procedures, you will want to keep in mind that 30% of false alarms generated by EPIRBs occur during testing. So be careful!

Source : https://www.offshoreblue.com/safety/epirb2.php

Read more : Taking the “Search” out of Search and Rescue of EPIRB; Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) function for shipEPIRB-TRON 40VDR CAPSULE WITH BRACKETTRON 60S EPIRB WITH FLOAT FREE BRACKET

Taking the “Search” out of Search and Rescue of EPIRB

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are either manually or automatically activated radio beacons that when used; transmit a digital signal that can be instantly picked up by satellites. With the latest changes in regulations, EPIRBs now transmit on 406 MHz, this frequency has been set aside as an international distress frequency. Today’s EPIRBs also transmit a low power signal on 121.5 MHz which allows search and rescue (SAR) teams to home in on the beacon’s position once they are in the area.

EPIRBs are used as a last resort safety device only; to be used when all else has failed and you are knee deep in whale doo doo. The latest version, the Category I and Category II Satellite 406 EPIRBs with built in GPS will provide position information to SAR teams that effectively takes the Search out of Search and Rescue.

How EPIRBs Work

When activated, the latest version of EPIRBs transmit a coded digital signal with information about the vessel in distress. This signal is then picked up by the COSPAS-SARSAT system. This system is made up two different types of satellite constellations : 1. (GEOSAR) – Geostationary Earth Orbiting Search and Rescue satellites and 2. (LEOSAR) – Low Earth Orbiting Search and Rescue satellites.

Once an EPIRB is activated the signal is almost instantaneously detected by the GEOSAR satellites and an alert is sent to the Mission Control Center via Local User Terminals. The only downside to this is that due to orbital mechanics, the GEOSAR system is unable to provide the data necessary to provide location information. So, unless you are lucky enough to have an EPIRB with integrated GPS, they know you are in trouble, they just don’t know where you are – YET!

This is where the LEOSAR satellites come into play. When a LEOSAR satellite makes a pass overhead it not only receives the same information as the GEOSAR system, it also has the ability to provide doppler processing of the EPIRB signal to determine your location. This information is then then sent to the Mission Control Center where the signal is processed and a location is calculated.

The number of COSPAS and SARSAT LEOSAR satellites allows global coverage capabilities of typically less than 1 hour.

Once a position has been calculated, this information is then passed to the appropriate Rescue Coordination Center who directly or indirectly provides for the allocation of assets required to provide for search and rescue.

 

What Types are available?

Satellite 406 MHz EPIRBs are divided into 2 categories :

1. Category I EPIRBs can be activated manually or automatically. They are stored in a hydrostatic release bracket designed to allow the unit to float free. In the event that the vessel sinks the Category I EPIRB is typically released at a depth of 3 to 13 feet where it then floats to the surface. A wet switch then activates the unit and it begins transmitting. Additionally the unit can be activated manually by flipping a switch.

2. Category II EPIRBs are not designed to float free and must be removed from their brackets manually. Once removed they may be activated by flipping a switch or they will also activate automatically when wet.

Additionally many Category I and II EPIRBs can be purchased with a GPS interface that allows the vessel’s onboard navigation system to update the EPIRBs position information so that the last known position is transmitted in the digital distress signal.

Finally at the top of the heap are the Category I and II EPIRBs that have integrated GPS units built in. These units will constantly transmit the beacons position to SAR units and likely bring a faster response.

Source : https://www.offshoreblue.com/safety/epirb.php

Read more : How accurate are they and how long before help arrives EPIRB?; Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) function for shipEPIRB-TRON 40VDR CAPSULE WITH BRACKETTRON 60S EPIRB WITH FLOAT FREE BRACKET