SOUTHOLD, N.Y. – In conjunction with ACR Electronics’ sixth annual “406 Day,” the Sea Tow Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of safe boating practices – has announced the continuation of its keystone Beacon Rental Program. Through a partnership with the Florida-based survival gear manufacturer, boaters throughout the United States will continue to have easy, affordable access to Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs).
PLBs and EPIRBs are used in emergencies to alert search-and-rescue efforts by guiding them to a boater’s location. An EPIRB is registered to the vessel and is designed to be mounted on a boat; it will emit a distress signal for an extended period of time. A PLB is smaller in size and is intended to be worn by the boater – usually clipped onto the boater’s life jacket.
The 406 MHz beacons – such as PLBs and EPIRBs – have saved more than 41,000 lives worldwide since the 1980s. To celebrate this fact, Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott officially recognized April 6 – 4/06 – as “406 Day” across the Sunshine State.
Sea Tow Foundation’s Beacon Rental Program was first launched in 2016 and is aimed at helping to grow these impressive figures. The Sea Tow Foundation’s mission is to promote safe boating practices that directly reduce accidents, fatalities and property damage related to recreational boating and providing rental PLBs and EPIRBs for as little as $45-per-week to boaters throughout the United States – whether they are a Sea Tow member or not.
All proceeds from the Beacon Rental Program will be reinvested into the Foundation’s safety-related efforts, including its Life Jacket Loaner and Designated Sober Skipper programs. It will also help open up the availability of beacons to a wider variety of water activities, such as kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing.
“ACR beacons and Sea Tow Captains have both been known to save lives on the water, so we thought a partnership would be a great way to help give boaters the confidence of knowing they have an emergency beacon on-board,” said Nichole Kalil, ACR’s media manager. “Although beacons – like most technology – have been made incredibly affordable in recent years, we never want price to be an excuse for not having a device that will work in any emergency situation.”
“Nearly all of our 600-plus Sea Tow captains use ACR beacons while out on the job, so partnering with them for this program made sense,” said Michael Wesolowski, the Sea Tow Foundation’s director of external affairs. “It also gives boaters the added benefit of trying out a beacon before purchasing, which will hopefully lead to more people using beacons and experiencing that invaluable peace-of-mind we strive to spread to boaters everywhere.”
To rent a beacon or learn more about the program, visit www.boatingsafety.com/epirb.