Registering Personal Locator Beacons is a great way to ensure emergency resources are used well, says the Trust Tairāwhiti Eastland Rescue Helicopter team.
The crew on Wednesday responded to an early afternoon call-out after the NZ Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (RCC) was alerted to a PLB activation at Tokomaru Bay.
After a short search over the sea it was determined that the activation was accidental and the PLB owner was safe and well.
However, by that time NZ Police were also involved, and Maritime NZ had put out a call for boats in the area to be on the look-out.
“That is exactly how the system is supposed to work as, if anyone is in distress or danger, quick action is needed,” says Eastland Rescue Helicopter pilot Mike Fitzgerald.
“But inadvertent activations do happen and if the PLB was registered RCC would have been able to determine early on that search action was not necessary.”
A keen hunter and fisher, Mr Fitzgerald has his own PLB which he registered immediately after purchase via Maritime NZ’s beacons.org.nz webpage.
“You just go on-line and fill out a couple of forms for free registration,” he says.
“It only takes a couple of minutes but could be a critical time-saver in the future.”