Table of Contents

The position indicating an emergency In the event of an emergency at sea, a radio beacon (EPIRB) can notify search and rescue services (SAR). It is tracking equipment that sends out a signal on a specific frequency to find a ship, a lifeboat, a life raft, or someone in need of assistance.

They are placed on board ships, and other vessels once registered with the local and national search and rescue organizations for that boat. In a crisis, registration facilitates quicker verification of false alarms and prompt rescue operations.

According to the hierarchy of informing SAR authorities in case of distress, an EPIRB is a SECONDARY method of pain alerting. Every ship must have one EPIRB, and all registered ships must have two (and other vessels).

What Is An EPIRB, And How Does It Work?


EPIRB is a personal locator beacon for sea or air emergencies. It can also be used to mark locations on land via satellite. EPIRB is an acronym for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. EPIRB uses a low-power radio transmitter. It is designed to be used in emergencies when it cannot be otherwise determined if someone is alive or dead. The EPIRB emits a continuous automatic alert signal on the 121.5MHz frequency until it manually shuts off or the power runs out. On land, an electromagnetic (EM) device, such as a satellite beacon or metal tag, will be placed where you left your EPIRB, and wire cutters are used to cut through the barrier between these two locations. Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)The EPIRB is a personal locator beacon for use in deep sea and air emergencies. It can also be used to mark locations on land via satellite.

How To Use An EPIRB?

An EPIRB is a device that alerts rescuers of an emergency. It is an essential tool for anyone who may find themselves in a life-threatening situation on the water, whether due to their vessel sinking, loss of power, or any other event that could put them in danger. This guide will explain how to use an EPIRB correctly and safely to prepare for an emergency.


An EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) is an emergency beacon used to alert authorities when a person or vessel is in distress. It is critical safety equipment, especially for those who venture out on the water. Knowing how to use an EPIRB correctly can help ensure you are prepared in an emergency. This guide will provide information on properly using an EPIRB and its various features.

An Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (or EPIRB) is a type of emergency beacon. It consists of a transmitter that sends out continuous signals until the battery runs out and it can no longer function. This helps rescue services locate you and send help if needed. An EPIRB is usually carried by boaters, pilots, fishermen, hikers, or anyone who goes outside independently and cannot call for help in an emergency. If you need to activate your EPIRB, please follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your EPIRB to signal rescue teams that you need help.
  2. Tilt the unit until you see the blinking green light on the front of it.
  3. Wait for a signal from a signal station to confirm that your beacon is working correctly.
  4. If there is no response, wait 10 minutes and try again.
  5. If there is still no response, turn off the unit and call for help.
  6. You can also hold down the orange button to turn off your EPIRB if you have trouble with it or cannot activate it manually.

How To Troubleshoot The EPIRB?

Knowing how to troubleshoot your EPIRB can be essential for ensuring that it works when you need it most. The most common issues that can arise with EPIRBs and how to troubleshoot them are as follows.

  1. No Power The first thing you need to check when troubleshooting your EPIRB is the battery. If the battery is dead and won’t power the device, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t fix your issue, you may have a faulty unit, which can be easily rectified by returning your team for repair or replacement under warranty. 
  2. An EPIRB constantly chirping can be a sign that it is overheating and needs to cool down. This happens when the beacon’s solar panel, designed for recharging the battery, doesn’t receive sunlight to charge appropriately. It can also be caused by water getting into the unit and blocking it from charging. If this happens, you’ll need to dry out your team and replace any of its blocked components with new ones.
  3. Not Turning On: After checking your batteries, you may have discovered that they are all charged, but they won’t power. You try to change the batteries and reset the EPIRB.

The EPIRB is one of the ESSENTIAL emergency tools that may be used on board in a disaster. Their upkeep, testing, and care must be given enough time to perform at their best when needed.

Best EPIRB In The Market

A Position indicating Emergency In the event of an emergency, a radio beacon (EPIRB) sends the user’s location to the closest search and rescue facility. When traveling on boats or other big vessels, EPIRBs are essential for safety and security. Choosing the best EPIRB for you might be challenging because there are so many different models on the market. As a result, this article will give you information on some of the top EPIRBs on the market and direct you toward the model that best matches your needs. 


Ocean Signal RescueME EPIRB1

The EPIRB1 from Ocean Signal, a reputable manufacturer of safety beacons, is the smallest one available today. It can operate for more than 48 hours and has a 10-year battery life. Due to its modest size, the Cat 2 version of this device can fit in some tight bulkhead locations and is small enough to pack easily into a grab bag.

Additionally, it contains a retractable antenna that you must remember to pull out when manually activating and an inbuilt 66-channel GPS. The EPIRB1 Pro version provides an automated release casing.


Having reliable safety gear while embarking on a boat expedition is crucial. The GlobalFixTM V4 GP Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon, also known as an EPIRB, is built with high-efficiency electronics and is designed for performance. In the event of an emergency, this EPIRB will transmit your location to a huge network of search and rescue satellites, making it easier for nearby first responders to get you home.

McMurdo SmartFind EPIRB

When the McMurdo Smartfind comes into contact with water, it immediately activates. Additionally, it has a manual function. The AIS, or automated identification system, is a first for an EPIRB. The signal will be picked up by every vessel with AIS within range. As a result, there is a greater chance of being discovered in an emergency. The McMurdo provides 406MHz, 121.5MHz, AIS, and GPS in total.

The McMurdo has unsurpassed battery life. It has a ten-year lifespan. Additionally, the item is built with an intense strobe light.

MOB beacons and the technology utilized by McMurdo are very similar. Those are the man overboard signals that assist in locating someone in the water.

Contact us to learn more.


Related FAQs

In the event of a maritime emergency, a radio beacon is used to notify search and rescue personnel. Through the distress signal given, it determines the location of the ship, raft, or boat.

EPIRBs are registered to a vessel, but PLBs are intended for individual usage, which is a crucial distinction between the two. The first is fixed aboard the ship, while the second is carried on a personal flotation device and stowed in a pocket or bag for emergency use.



The law mandates that current cargo ships of 3,000 gross tons and above must be equipped with a VDR, which may be an S-VDR. This requirement is phased in, starting with cargo ships of 20,000 gross tons and higher and moving on to cargo ships of 3,000 and more elevated.





Batteries for EPIRBs must be changed before the expiration date shown on the beacon’s label so that the beacon can communicate for the shortest amount of time possible after activation.




An EPIRB is a safety device that ships carry to alert search and rescue personnel so they can swiftly find you in an emergency. When engaged, it emits a coded message on the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system’s 406 MHz distress frequency.





An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is a device used in marine environments to alert rescue authorities in the event of an emergency. It is designed to provide a rapid and accurate means of alerting search and rescue (SAR) services to the location of a vessel in distress. The EPIRB transmits a distress signal to the nearest rescue center via satellite or terrestrial communication networks, allowing rescue authorities to quickly respond to the emergency. EPIRBs are an essential safety equipment for ships and are usually required to be carried on all vessels engaged in international voyages. In the event of a maritime emergency, the EPIRB plays a critical role in ensuring the timely rescue of the crew and passengers on board.


EPIRB stands for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. It is a device used in ships to send out a distress signal in case of emergency situations such as sinking, capsizing, or fire on board. The EPIRB emits a radio signal that is picked up by satellites and transmitted to search and rescue authorities, providing them with the location of the ship in distress and allowing for a faster and more efficient rescue operation.


The range of an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) depends on the frequency band used. EPIRBs typically operate on either the 121.5 MHz or 406 MHz frequencies. The 406 MHz frequency is capable of providing a much greater range than the 121.5 MHz frequency, with a typical range of over 400 nautical miles (740 km) when detected by a low-earth-orbit satellite system. In comparison, the range of a 121.5 MHz EPIRB is limited to around 100 nautical miles (185 km) when detected by a search and rescue aircraft. The range of an EPIRB can also be affected by factors such as the location of the beacon, the altitude of the satellite, and the presence of obstacles that can block or interfere with the signal.


EPIRB registration is the process of providing identifying information about an EPIRB to the appropriate authorities, such as the manufacturer, model, and serial number. Registering an EPIRB with the relevant authorities is essential to ensure that search and rescue personnel have accurate information to respond quickly to emergencies.

Related Videos

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *