The St Helena Sea Rescue Service is currently creating a database of all Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) on the Island.

Being able to identify a vessel is important when putting together a response & search plan. For example, if a vessel’s EPIRB is activated but its position is not picked up, some local preliminary investigations to ascertain its last known position could be made, thus enabling Sea Rescue to organise a suitable response.

Beacon activation alerts, received by the Coast Station or Sea Rescue from any Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), contain a unique 15 hexadecimal character string (HEX ID). This HEX ID can be used to ascertain the vessel’s identity.

Recently there have been a few alerts and the Sea Rescue Service has been unable to assist an MRCC in identifying the vessel.

The aim of the database of all EPIRBs and PLBs is to ensure that, upon receiving a beacon alert, this information will be readily available to Sea Rescue and the Coast Station.

Sea Rescue requests that owners of an EPIRB or PLB, please contact any the following persons with the required details:

Simon Wade (Sea Rescue Manager) Tel: 25215 or Email:

Craig Scipio (Deputy Sea Rescue Manager) Tel: 25215 or Email:

Leeroy Caswell (Deputy Sea Rescue Manager) Tel: 25215 or Email:

Marco Yon (Emergency Planning Officer) Tel: 25052 or Email:

Steve Kirk (Harbour Master) Tel: 22287 or Email:

The details required are:

  1. Name of the EPIRB/PLB owner
  2. Name of the vessel that the beacon belongs to
  3. The beacon’s Hex ID (a 15 digit alphanumeric code written or stamped on the EPIRB/PLB)
  4. The battery expiry date (if known)

In due course, this database will be registered with Cospas Sarsat, who hold the International Beacon Registration Database (IBRD), therefore helping to ensure that this area of maritime safety is at the best possible level.

#StHelena #SeaRescue #RequestForInformation #EPIRBs #PLBs #AltogetherSafer

17 April 2019

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470