Choose Your Distress Beacon Wisely

It could save your life.

If you are looking to buy an emergency location device, New Zealand’s Search and Rescue (NZSAR) organisations strongly recommend that you purchase a 406MHz Distress Beacon. With this beacon you can receive the most efficient assistance in an emergency situation.

Registered 406MHz distress beacons are fully integrated into New Zealand’s search and rescue response system. The signal is picked up by satellites and provides an accurate location. They are built to the highest international standards and meet New Zealand/Australian and COSPAS-SARSAT requirements. 406MHz beacons are also free to register and operate.

There are other commercial satellite tracking and messenger products on the market. However, these products are not “distress beacons”. They are not part of the international Search and Rescue emergency response system, which means there could be a delay or even no response to your alert. New Zealand’s search and rescue authorities have no control over the systems or performance of these commercial companies.

NZSAR’s advice is to carry a registered 406MHz distress beacon, with GPS, in any situation where you may need a reliable and effective emergency response. If you purchase a different product that has tracking and messenger capabilities make sure you understand its limitations.

Click here for more detailed information about purchasing a beacon or contact the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ - 0800 406 111 or 0508 406 111

This statement is endorsed by all the members of NZSAR Consultative Committee:

  • Maritime New Zealand  
  • Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand  
  • Civil Aviation Authority
  • Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Police
  • Ambulance New Zealand
  • New Zealand Defence Force
  • The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council
  • Ministry of Transport
  • The New Zealand Fire Service
  • Land Search and Rescue Inc
  • Maritime Operations Centre
  • Royal New Zealand Coastguard Federation
  • Surf Life Saving New Zealand
  • Aviation Industry Association
  • Federation of Commercial Fishermen
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
  • Antarctica New Zealand

Please note: This information is not intended for those aircraft and vessel owners who have statutory obligations under Civil Aviation Authority or Maritime New Zealand Rules to carry 406MHz Distress Beacons.

Copyright 2020 by NZSAR
Sunday, April 5, 2020