In conjunction with ACR Electronics’ sixth annual “406 Day,” the Sea Tow Foundation has continued its Beacon Rental Program. Boaters throughout the United States will have access to Personal Locator Beacons and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons.
“ACR beacons and Sea Tow Captains have both been known to save lives on the water, so we thought a partnership would be a great way to help give boaters the confidence of knowing they have an emergency beacon on-board,” said Nichole Kalil, ACR’s media manager, in a statement. “Although beacons — like most technology — have been made incredibly affordable in recent years, we never want price to be an excuse for not having a device that will work in any emergency situation.”
PLBs and EPIRBs are used in emergencies to alert search-and-rescue efforts by guiding them to a boater’s location. An EPIRB is registered to the vessel and is designed to be mounted on a boat. It emits a distress signal for an extended period of time. A PLB is smaller and is intended to be worn by the boater, usually clipped to the person’s lifejacket.
The 406 MHz beacons have saved more than 41,000 lives worldwide since the 1980s. To celebrate this, Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott officially recognized April 6 — 4/06 — as “406 Day” across the Sunshine State.
Sea Tow Foundation’s Beacon Rental Program was launched in 2016 and is intended to help provide PLBs and EPIRBs for as little as $45 per week whether a boater is a Sea Tow member or not. All proceeds from the rental program are reinvested into the Foundation’s safety-related efforts including the Life Jacket Loaner and Designated Sober Skipper programs. It also helps open the availability of beacons to a wider variety of water activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing.