Correct deployment

Land

After activating your beacon, position it in a clear and open area. The aerial must be vertical pointing towards the sky, preferably with 180 degrees or more of visibility, away from trees, buildings, mountains, and vehicles. If possible, position it at the highest point if you are within a deep ravine or gully. This will ensure maximum effectiveness for detection.

Correct deployment: beacon is in a clear area, with the aerial pointing vertically towards the sky.
Incorrect deployment: beacon is lying horizontally on the ground.
Correct deployment: beacon is far enough away from nearby objects to get a 108 degree view of the sky.
Incorrect deployment: beacon is surrounded by objects and has no clear view of the sky.

Water

EPIRB

Attach the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) using the lanyard to the person, vessel, or life raft (nothing that will sink). The EPIRB is designed to float vertically in the water. If you are sitting in a life raft and prefer to have the EPIRB inside the life raft, ensure the aerial is always vertical for the best chance of detection. Ensure your body is not covering the beacon.

Correct deployment: beacon is attached to a boat that's not sinking, and is floating vertically in the water with a clear view of the sky.
Incorrect deployment: beacon is attached to a boat that is sinking.
Correct deployment: beacon is attached to a life raft, and is floating vertically in the water with a clear view of the sky.
Incorrect deployment: beacon is lying down inside a life raft, rather than pointing vertically with a clear view of the sky.

PLB

Your Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) should be attached to the upper portion of your lifejacket, above water. PLBs do not float vertically in the water as the aerial is top heavy and the aerial must be pointing vertically towards the sky. Do not hold the PLB as you might inadvertently cover the GPS transmission and prevent detection.

Correct deployment: beacon is attached the the upper portion of a lifejacket.
Incorrect deployment: beacon is being held.

Air

After landing, for a EPIRB or a PLB, follow the deployment instructions above, depending on whether you're on water or land.

Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) beacons should automatically activate if a strong impact has been sustained, but you should check your beacon after landing to ensure it's transmitting a signal.

Additional safety

Consider wearing a PLB in addition to an EPIRB or ELT in case the primary beacon is damaged.

Related information