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post #1 of 10 Old 05-17-2009 Thread Starter
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EPIRB Registration Question

Okay, we've received our GME EPIRB (gps, six year batter, strobe, etc.). As part of the purchase process, we reported that our boat is registered with the USCG, and they had the EPIRB configured for a boat flying a US flag.

Based on that set up, we are assume with need to register the EPIRB with NOAA at

https://beaconregistration.noaa.gov/rgdb/

However, before I do the process, is there going to be confusion on the registration in that we had to register the boat in the US (with a port of call of Portland, OR) even though we still like in the UK and have the boat moored in Gosport. We primarily bought the EPIRB for sailing the channel and around the UK, so if we ever set the thing off I hope that they won't start looking for us on the Columbia River...

For those who have registered a beacon with NOAA, is there a notes areas on the forms that will allow us to not that the boat is located in the UK, and to hopefully contact rescue services here if we're in a bad way?

Thanks!

Jim H
London, UK

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post #2 of 10 Old 05-17-2009
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There is nothing on the form that asks where the boat is physically located at the time you mail the form.

Larry Shick
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-17-2009
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Non issue. The EPIRB will tell the Coast Guard where to look...that's what it's for. It provides pretty good lat/lon data when it's activated.

You may wish, however, to include current contact information on the registration form.

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post #4 of 10 Old 05-17-2009
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You need to put current contact info on the form. If the EPIRB is triggered, the USCG will use the contact info to see if it is an accidental triggering or not... for instance, if your EPIRB goes off, and the USCG calls your home/cell phone or whatever contact information you have on your boat, and you say the boat is sitting in the dock, just where it should be, they'll probably cancel any SAR operations for it.

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post #5 of 10 Old 05-17-2009
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I have some friends in the Civil Air Patrol who are often chasing down beacons that are in a garage, on board a boat that's on a trailer, and so on. These are largely the older style beacons that have no data, but what really pisses them off is when its a newer beacon that no one registered or no one updated the contact info.

They have yet to actually find someone who is really in need of help, but they are pretty good at hunting down a garage They tell me that well over 95% of the callouts are due to this kind of thing.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-17-2009
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There is a field in webform, where you can provide additional information, such as your typical cruising waters. I did update registrations of my beacons (I have two, EPIRB for big boat and PLB for small boats) every time I went somethere, saying something like "from may to august I'll be sailing Maine coast"
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-17-2009
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One important detail to note:

EPIRBS are registered to the vessel. PLBs to an individual. However, care should be taken when you add the "contacts" data, and merely providing them for the registration is only one tenth of the process.

Those you listed as the emergency contact(s) should always have a float plan for what you are doing. In other words - if you list the emergency data your mum and pop, but you never really talk to them, not good candidates. It is bad enough that sometimes there can be up to a 12hr loss of data on either EPIRB or PLB (its not as real time as everyone would like to think). Its worse when the contact data is of those that have no real knowledge where you are sailing, etc.

If you do the online blogging and fairly religious about it - that can be a help. But do make sure your emergency contacts are those aware of where you are going and have knowledge of your boat. These devices are tools but they are only as good as the data provided and the resources listed when in you find yourself in distress.

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post #8 of 10 Old 05-18-2009
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OK, I did the same to my EPIRB last year. I mean, I registred it to NOAA, and provided foreign address and contact information. They sent me a letter stating that although the US system has been registred and activated to my vessel, they strongly recommend I consider to register it locally, avoiding long information routing that possibly could delay actions. I'm still US registred !

Nave Rara
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-21-2009
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A quick note for all with older 121/243 MHz EPIRBs. The USCG stopped satellite processing of distress signals over these bands on Feb 1. Per May 2009 Boat US mag, this was due to numerous false alerts and poor accuracy. Go with the newer 406MHz band EPIRBs.....

Sorry if this is old news, the thread just nudged my memory of reading this article....

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-24-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for the helpful replies. I just registered our new EPIRB with NOAA, and loaded the form with phone numbers for us in both the UK and US, and for our emergency contacts. I did put down the home port as Gosport UK, and added notes about why it is registered to Portland, OR but sitting (and sailed) in the UK. I believe they should be able to track us down in event of a false or real alarm.

In fact, we've decided against tossing the unit in the bathtub to see if it works...

Jim H
London, UK

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