Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

The Aus­tralian Mar­itime Safety Author­ity (AMSA) has found that more than 50 per cent of the dis­tress bea­cons ac­ti­vated in the Tor­res Strait re­gion in the past 12 months were a re­sult of ac­ci­den­tal or un­in­ten­tional ac­ti­va­tions. Oof the 37 beacon ac­ti­va­tions in the Tor­res Strait re­gion, 19 were ac­ci­den­tal ac­ti­va­tions. These types of beacon ac­ti­va­tions are gen­er­ally a re­sult of peo­ple in­cor­rectly dis­pos­ing of their old ex­pired bea­cons in the rub­bish tip. Many hours are spent each year search­ing for bea­cons in rub­bish tips, said Port Dou­glas flotilla com­man­der Juer­gen Starck (pic­tured). Search per­son­nel tasked to look for bea­cons in tips are then un­avail­able to re­spond to real emer­gency sit­u­a­tions. “We had to buy a spe­cial search­ing de­vice so that we can as­sist with EPIRB (Emer­gency Po­si­tion In­di­cat­ing Ra­dio Beacon) lo­ca­tion,” Mr Starck said. You can hand in your old ex­pired bea­cons at Mar­itime Safety Queens­land or pass them on to the Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice. Ex­pired units can also be re­turn to re­tail­ers such as Bat­tery World – no charge for sin­gle units. The Coast Guard can­not ac­cept ex­pired units as it will be charged a fee for bulk re­turns. It is also im­por­tant that you ad­vise AMSA when you dis­pose of your old beacon so this can be recorded on your reg­is­tra­tion ac­count. Re­mem­ber bea­cons can ac­ti­vate when they are not stored cor­rectly within your ves­sel.

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