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How to prevent inadvertent activations of your float-free EPIRB

Tuesday 2 March 2021
We have detected several inadvertent float-free EPIRB activations due to incorrect mounting, storage and washing down vessels.
beacon floating free

It is important to know how to avoid and what to do if your float-free EPIRB inadvertently activates.  

If for non-distress purposes you need to remove the float-free EPIRB from the bracket and the water activation switch gets wet this will activate the EPIRB and transmit a distress signal to AMSA.  Please remember to keep the float-free EPIRB dry when removing from the bracket for maintenance or storage purposes.

Be careful when mounting your float-free EPIRB and ensure it is correctly aligned in the bracket.  The reed switch inside the EPIRB must be correctly aligned with a magnet within the bracket to disarm the water activation switch to prevent inadvertent activations if it gets wet.  Be careful when you wash down your vessel, in particular if you are using a high pressure hose, or it is exposed to significant weather conditions, your float-free EPIRB may become dislodged from the correct position in the bracket and unintentionally activate.
If your float-free EPIRB is accidentally activated you will notice the strobe light flashing and beeping, dry the water activation switch immediately and contact AMSA on 1800 641 792. There is no penalty for accidental activation.
All Australian EPIRBs must be registered with AMSA. Registration is valid for two years after date of issue and must be renewed before its expiry date. Registration is free and can be completed online.

Read more about float-free EPIRB installation and maintenance