SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Check ELT or EPIRB before flight or leaving the dock


July 12, 2010

Ketchikan, Alaska - A Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) unit reported a 121.5 signal in the Refuge Cove area on June 11th at 4:16 pm. The KVRS Direction Finding Team (DF) was dispatched and after a short search the signal was located on board an aircraft in the Refuge Cove area. The aircraft was in no distress, the owner was contacted and responded the aircraft to secure the ELT.

This was the third 121.5 activation in as many weeks. Jerry Kiffer of KVRS advises the recent rash of calls for the DF crew are normal and seem to go in cycles.

KVRS has for years tracked ELT, EPIRB, and stuck microphone signals in the Ketchikan are and would like to remind all owners of 121.5 emergency beacons, that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) is no longer monitoring the satellite system, that has for years been the primary notification for emergency services like KVRS.

Kiffer warns that notification of non-406 beacons now rely on somebody hearing the signal on their radio. Without the satellite system reporting the signal, beacons will often transmit until the battery goes dead and the owner may not realize it, until the unit is needed in an emergency.

This presents a very serious safety concern for all boat and aircraft owners. KVRS asks that you check your ELT or EPIRB before flight or leaving the dock, and that all boat owners remember the older 121.5 only units are now illegal to have on board or use in United States waters.

If you have any questions or concerns about your ELT or EPIRB, contact KVRS at 225-9010.


Source of News:

Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS)


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