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Three people rescued safely off Evans Head

Sunday 28 August 2016
An emergency distress beacon played a vital role in the search and rescue of two men and a teenage boy off Evans Head on the New South Wales north coast on Sunday, in a rescue coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
Media Release

The men were two nautical miles off Evans Head when their boat took on water and sank early on Sunday morning, 28 August.

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) was activated and alerted authorities to the distress. The beacon was registered with AMSA.

AMSA Search and Rescue received the beacon detection at about 8.20am and tasked a helicopter and three volunteer marine rescue vessels from Evans Head, Yamba and Ballina.

The Lismore based Westpac Lifesaver helicopter located the two men and teenager and winched them to safety about 9.20am. All three were uninjured and flown safely the short distance to Evans Head by the helicopter in two separate trips.

The initial alert received by AMSA came from the new Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) system for emergency distress beacons. The new technology became operational on 19 August and is delivering a faster and more accurate detection of distress beacon signals, improving search and rescue response times.

AMSA urges all beacon owners to ensure their beacon is registered. It's free, fast and simple and can be completed on the distress beacon website or by phoning (02) 6279 5000.

A registered GPS beacon could make all the difference in a life threatening situation.