In recent times emergency services have had to endure false alarms in relation to a faulty EPIRB and errant flares being let off from the shore. Emergency services responded to incidences relating to a false EPIRB alarm and a reported irresponsible launch of parachute flares. This ties up volunteers and police unnecessarily. It is imperative for the public to know – letting off flares is illegal. St Helens Marine Rescue strongly urges all mariners to check their safety equipment during the winter recess, in particular EPIRBS and flares.
There is only one type of EPIRB available for use by vessels, owners must ensure they have the 406 MHz EPIRB. It is essential that the battery date has not expired. Once the used by date passes the EPIRB becomes unreliable. All EPIRB owners are urged to ensure the battery is current, if expired then seek a replacement at place of purchase. Additionally all EPIRBS are required to be register with Australian Maritime Surveillance Authority (AMSA). This is a free service, details are available on the AMSA web site.
Marine flares are compulsory safety equipment for all boaters. It is paramount that all boats have flares that are current i.e. have not passed the expiry date. Out of date flares are not only unreliable they present a possible health hazard and may incur injury. Different flares are required depending where the boating public journeys to. Check out the MAST web site for details of all safety equipment required including flares (this is an excellent graphic):
Safe boating comes from safe preparation and carrying essential safety equipment.