Do you own an emergency locator beacon? You now have fewer reasons not to have it registered!
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has launched an improved online beacon registration system giving beacon owners more choice on how to register their details.
The registration system is now mobile-optimised — allowing users to update and renew information from a mobile or tablet.
Providing proof of registration is also easier, with beacon owners now able to confirm their registration by SMS or email, rather than the existing sticker system.
‘Registering your beacon is easy, free and can be done online via your mobile phone, laptop or tablet,’ says AMSA representative, Christine MacMillian.
‘It can give search and rescue authorities important information to provide a faster and more effective response.’
Beacon registration also helps prevent misuse of AMSA’s resources in tracking down beacons that have been accidentally activated.
‘We treat every beacon activation as an emergency. So if an unregistered beacon is activated we’ll go looking for it, if there is no way to verify that the owner isn’t in distress,’ says Ms MacMillian.
‘Beacons thrown out in the rubbish can activate and tie up assets that could be needed in real search and rescue situations.
‘Many of these beacons are found in rubbish tips after helicopters or planes are tasked to locate them.
‘Some beacons are activated by water, so ELTs can activate when the owner is simply washing their aircraft.
‘But if that person has registered their details with AMSA, then we can contact them or an emergency contact to make sure they’re okay without having to deploy SAR assets,’ she added.
Despite obvious incentives for having a registered beacon, roughly half of the beacons in Australia remain unregistered.
Beacon registration renewal will continue to be free and needs to be renewed every two years.
Register your distress beacon via the AMSA website or by phoning 1800 406 406.