What You Need on Board To Summon Help (cont.)
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
If you operate far from shore, you should seriously consider carrying appropriate communications gear. A satellite EPIRB is designed to quickly and reliably alert rescue forces, indicate an accurate distress position, and guide rescue units to the distress scene, even when all other communications fail.
You aren’t required to carry an EPIRB on board your pleasure craft, but if you do, you must register it with the Canadian Beacon Registry and keep your contact information updated.
Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
A PLB is a less expensive alternative to an EPIRB. The PLB sends out a personalized emergency distress signal to a monitored satellite system. It is waterproof and light enough for you to keep it attached to your lifejacket or PFD at all times.
You aren’t required to register your PLB. However, the Canadian National Search and Rescue Secretariat recommends that PLB owners register their devices with the Canadian Beacon Registry.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a navigation system based on a network of satellites. Users with a marine GPS unit can determine their exact location (latitude and longitude) in any weather condition, all over the world, 24 hours a day.
Once the user’s position is determined, a GPS unit can calculate other information—bearing, trip distance, distance to destination, sunrise and sunset times, and more.
GPS receivers are accurate to within 30 metres (98.4 feet) on average. For accuracy within 10 metres (32.8 feet), the Canadian Coast Guard supplies a differential GPS.