Defunct EPIRBS Could Endanger Superyacht Crews

Photo Caption: Sartech is offering big rewards for old EPIRBs, dead or alive!
As part of its seasonal service campaign Sartech is offering big rewards to all owners of 406 MHz EPIRBs. It’s ‘Wanted, Dead or Alive’ promotion highlights the problem of unmaintained lifesaving equipment.
“It’s pretty simple,” explains Peter Forey, company Managing Director. “If your EPIRB isn’t working properly, then it won’t save your life when you really need it. We’ve used a poster campaign to remind boaters why they first bought their EPIRB and what they have to do to keep it working.”
Considering that an EPIRB could represent your last chance of survival, the operational stats are nothing short of shocking. The company estimates that of all the EPIRBs installed in the UK, perhaps 60% do not work, or have time-expired batteries.  The MCA’s figures show that more than 50% of those that actually transmit do not have the correct owners details registered at Falmouth.
Proper servicing and registration is essential and to raise awareness Sartech has set up an amnesty to discover the UK’s most out-of-date 406MHz EPIRB. The amnesty is open to all UK boat owners who service their unit with them before the end of June 2011.
The worst offender that comes forward will get a brand new GME MT403G GPS EPIRB worth over £450. All other delinquents will be rewarded with 20% off the price of a full service and a free registration check with the MCA to ensure that the rescue services have the best contact information in case of an emergency call out.
Remember, just because the lights come on when you press the ‘test’ button, don’t assume that your EPIRB will work properly in an emergency,
The batteries that power all EPIRBs have a limited shelf-life and need to be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually every five years, to ensure you have enough power to transmit in a real emergency.