Trip Safety—Personal Locator Beacons

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English PDF: 960 KB

Number: D5/2018

Date: 11 January 2018

Relevant: Christmas Island

Topic: Personal Locator Beacons Available for Hire

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are now available for hire from the Christmas Island Visitor's Centre.

PLBs are designed to be carried by bushwalkers or solo adventurers and are activated in the event of an emergency when immediate search and rescue assistance is required. When activated, a PLB will connect to the Cospas-Sarsat satellite network which alerts the Australian Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) of the user's GPS location. The JRCC then immediately notify the Police so that search and rescue activities can commence.

The devices are waterproof to 15m and include a floatation pouch. Weighing approximately 100g and measuring around the size of a large matchbox, they can easily be clipped to a backpack or belt without impeding the user. When activated, they will continue to broadcast the user's location for up to 24 hours.

It is recommended that any person exploring in the National Park, or in areas where there is no mobile phone reception, carries a PLB to alert authorities in the event of a serious emergency. Carrying a PLB does not negate the requirement for trip planning, which should always include informing someone of your intentions and your expected time of return.

Providing PLBs to tourist and community members is a joint initiative of the Christmas Island Tourism Association (CITA) and the Indian Ocean Territories Administration to improve public safety on island.

Ten PLBs are available for hire, for a fee of $20 per week. CITA will record the hirer's credit card details to recover the cost of the PLB in the event it is lost or damaged. Further information about the PLBs is included on page two of this bulletin PDF: 252 KB.

Laga Van Beek
Indian Ocean Territories Administration