Emergency beacons are your lifeline to survival in the event of
a distress situation. Many alternate devices are available but only
the emergency beacons recognized for use on the Cospas-Sarsat
satellite system provide direct alerting to search and rescue authorities
around the world and can trigger a response to emergencies involving
aircraft, ships or individuals.
There are three types of emergency beacons used as part of the Cospas-Sarsat system:
When activated, an emergency beacon sends a digitally encoded signal through the Cospas-Sarsat satellite system which alerts search and rescue authorities that a distress situation exists. Appropriate search and rescue units are then able to respond to incidents according to jurisdiction.
Since February 1 2009, the system will only process 406 MHz signal and will no longer hear 121.5/243.0 MHz emergency beacons. 406 MHz emergency beacons offer many benefits over 121.5/243.0 MHz.
Every emergency beacon contains a unique ID and country code. Features, combined with the registration of the unit with the Canadian Beacon Registry, provide important information to search and rescue authorities in the event of a distress situation. At the end of an emergency beacon's life, it is important that it be disposed with care.