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Media Release

Don’t tie up emergency service time by dumping beacons in tip
Wednesday 10 March 2010 – 10:05 AM

 

People with out of date emergency distress beacons should dispose of them correctly to avoid wasting the time of emergency services.

 

In WA the RAC Rescue Helicopter is often call out to help pin point the signal of an activated Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

 

In the latest incident this week a discarded beacon was found under a metre of rubbish in the Northam tip.

 

Volunteer Marine Rescue Services Regional Manager Paul Kimber said the discovery has prompted a warning for people to correctly dispose of expired EPIRB’s or other beacons that no longer have any use.

 

“Distress beacons are for life-threatening situations to assist rescue authorities in locating people caught up in an emergency,” Mr Kimber said.

 

“When old ones are carelessly thrown in the rubbish or mishandled they can be accidentally activated causing emergency services to conduct a search for the signal.

 

“It’s not until they find the source that they can be sure there has been no real emergency. But in the meantime it wastes a lot of time and resources.”

 

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority recommends people take old beacons to a Battery World outlet for safe disposal.

 

For more information visit www.beacons.amsa.gov.au and click on ‘Responsible Beacon Disposal’.

 

In WA more information on EPIRB disposal can be found at www.transport.wa.gov.au/imarine by navigating to recreational boating safety, then safety equipment and then to EPIRBs.

 

ENDS

 

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