About the Personal Locator Beacon

The Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is small enough not to be a hindrance, it floats and is water proof to one metre and built tough to with stand NZ tramping conditions.

The PLB pouch can strap to your belt or pack and in the event of an emergency is easily activated by the user.

The transmitted signal contains the GPS co-ordinates which are re-transmitted by COSPAS-SARSAT satellites to the nearest Local User Terminal (LUT) then to Wellington Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC).

cospas-sars overview

The beacon transmits on 406 mHz to the satellite and on 121.5 mHz for local DF tracking.

If the beacon has not been returned by the user on or before the “panic date”, the trust will attempt to contact the user or their family to confirm if they are indeed overdue.

If the beacon is activated or the user is overdue, Search & Rescue is notified.

Search Helicopters can be fitted with Direction Finding equipment (DF) capable of locating the beacon if it has been activated.

The batteries in these beacons provide power for 24 hours when activated and cost $400 to replace. The shelf life unactivated is about five years. As we own about 40 of these we need to build up a fund to ensure that battery replacement can be done as required.