On Wednesday, Feb 11th 2015 the National Safe Boating Council unveiled the “Saved By The Beacon” safety campaign. In conjunction with the campaign’s unveiling was a demonstration of Search and Rescue co-hosted by ACR Electronics, Inc., and facilitated by Sea Tow, and the US Coast Guard.
Each year, more than 500 lives are lost during recreational boating accidents. The goal of Saved by the Beacon is to educate recreational boaters of the lifesaving importance of carrying an EPIRB or PLB. The primary differences in Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons and Personal Locator Beacons are: in their size; length of transmission; activation via water, or manually; strobe lighting; and storage method / location. The approximate cost for ACR brand equipment is $450 for a manually deployed EPIRB and $275 for a PLB.
An advantage of the Personal Locator Beacon is that it is designed to be carried by, or attached to, an individual. The PLB can be used while traveling by auto, hiking in remote areas, or other sports activities. For example, should one’s vehicle run off an embankment and the owner be trapped; or should a hiker become injured or lost- the PLB can alert the need for help and the person’s location.
ACR Electronics has been in business since the mid 1950s and has been a supplier to NASA. It was an ACR supplied magnesium-powered penlight which helped save Apollo 13 when its power had to be shut down. The company is based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
ACR products shown at the Miami International Boat Show included:
The RapidDitch bag, Express model- which can carry/float up to 15 pounds of survival supplies and the carrying strap, for which, can link four people together via their life jackets;
Aurora Hand Flare with hot red 15,000 candela flame burning for 60 seconds; and
Aurora Smoke Flare visual distress signal of orange smoke
The ditch bag, orange smoke, and red flares were part of the daytime and evening demonstrations at the onboard presentation coordinated by the US Coast Guard, Sea Tow, ACR, and the National Safe Boating Council.
Information for this post was obtained from the National Safe Boating Council and from ACR.