EPIRB versus PLB

To: Birding-Aus Aus <>
Subject: EPIRB versus PLB
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2008 19:37:49 +1100
Dear All,

EPIRBs are designed principally for marine usage and are built quite ruggedly so as to withstand that environment while PLBs (personal Location Beacons) are generally some what lighter and more compact, and are probably more useful for the average non-marine user, and the prices are around the same. PLBs an be easily carried with you when you go yomping off into the bush birding. As a large percentage of birders are in that time of life when little things like cardiac arrests and stroke rear their ugly heads, they are a worthwhile investment, they help the Ambos find you before the feral pigs do.

I will be buy one of the new 406MHz PLBs, with GPS facility later in the year, when I start getting back in the scrub. The advantage of the GPS models over the standard EPIRB/PLB is location range. The standard models are accurate to <5KM, while GPS models are accurate to <100m. The difference in price is around 30-40%.

Do not be tempted to import your own from OS, as you may have trouble registering the device with Maritime Safety, who will be co-ordinating the search for you. Anyone who wants to read up on EPIRB/PLBs, go to


Carl Clifford

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