If you regularly boat far from shore, an EPIRB ranks as an essential safety item. Yet if you have one, aren’t PLBs a waste of money? Not really. PLB stands for personal locator beacon, and that’s an important distinction. PLBs from companies such as ACR, McMurdo and Ocean Signal are designed to secure onto your life jacket. In rough seas, souls can quickly become separated during a catastrophe. So while an EPIRB helps rescuers locate the general vicinity of the emergency, PLBs help them find the crew members. And ultimately, isn’t that what really matters? Selling for as little as $250 each, it’s a good idea to have a PLB for every soul on board.
The U.S. Coast Guard is asking all boat owners and operators to help reduce fatalities, injuries, property damage, and associated healthcare costs related to recreational boating accidents by taking personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers. Essential steps include: wearing a life jacket at all times and requiring passengers to do the same; never boating under the influence (BUI); successfully completing a boating safety course; and getting a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) annually from local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons(r), or your state boating agency's Vessel Examiners. The U.S. Coast Guard reminds all boaters to "Boat Responsibly!" For more tips on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.