Heron Island emergency beacon triggered overnight

AUSTRALIAN Maritime Safety Authority were preparing to send a rescue helicopter to Heron Island this morning after an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon was activated.

The EPIRB was activated about 9.30 last night at a location at Heron Island.

AMSA contacted Heron Island to find out where the beacon was because its location was on the island.
Resort staff found the beacon on a private boat about 6.30am and discovered it was accidentally activated.

This comes after an activated emergency beacon was found at the Rockhampton dump at the start of April.

The hour long search, which included an aerial search of the Fitzroy River, the waters off Yeppoon and emu Park and around the Keppel Islands, led the crew to Lakes Creek Landfill.

RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue service spokesperson Kirsty Wooler said they take all calls of distress very seriously and exhaust all search and rescue possibilities before standing down.

"It's a little disappointing when beacon owners don't live up to their end of the bargain by disposing of their unwanted and obsolete beacon's correctly," she said.

"Not only do these searches waste time and money, but they tie up resources that may have been required for an actual rescue or attendance at an accident site. That potentially puts lives at risk."

Ways to dispose of beacon's responsibly

  • Contact your local battery store.
  • Contact your local maritime safety agency.
  • Disconnect the beacon battery according to the manufacturer's instructions. Then contact your local waste management facility to ask about disposal.

  Details can be updated online at www.amsa.gov.au/beacons or by phoning AMSA on 1800 406 406. 



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