Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)

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ACR ELECTRONICS
$389.99
ACR ELECTRONICS
$339.99
OCEAN SIGNAL
$329.99
OCEAN SIGNAL
$309.99
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ResQLink+ Buoyant Personal Locator Beacon
ACR ELECTRONICS
$152.44
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PLBs provide a personal lifeline to rescue around the world.

If you are shopping for an emergency beacon, you might be wondering what the difference is between an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon) and a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). The answer is that EPIRBs are meant to be installed or otherwise kept on a boat. They also require registration to a government database that ties them to a particular boat. PLBs also require registration, but instead of being registered to a boat, they are registered to a person, which gives users the ability to take their PLB wherever they wish. Like EPIRBs, PLBs operate on the 406 MHz and 121.5 frequencies and can send an SOS via satellites to rescue agencies most anywhere in the world. PLBs are offered with or without a built-in GPS. Those with a built-in GPS can shorten the time to rescue. Another feature to look for in a PLB is a digital status display and a strobe light to aid in low-visibility or nighttime rescue. Strangely, while EPIRBs are required to float, PLBs are not, which makes buoyancy an important feature to look for. PLBs do not require a subscription plan. They can transmit for about 24 hours; and depending on the manufacturer, have a battery storage life of six or seven years.