The next generation EPIRB is almost here, and it adds a local rescue dimension to the renowned yet still improving global capabilities of the 406 MHz COSPAS-SARSAT system. Upon regular 406 transmitter activation, the McMurdo SmartFind G8 AIS EPIRB will also begin sending out an AIS emergency signal, so that all AIS-equipped vessels within VHF range will immediately know you’re in trouble and where. SAR personnel can also use the AIS to zero in on your location in addition to the G8’s traditional 121.5 MHz homing signal. The G8 includes an advanced 72-channel GNSS (GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS) receiver and will be compatible with the soon-to-be-added MEOSAR satellite constellation, which will improve SARSAT accuracy and speed regardless of the beacon’s GNSS abilities. It also has a 10-year battery and strobe, and can be regularly thru-satellite tested. While McMurdo is poised to be the first to offer an AIS EPIRB once the G8 has received FCC approval, other manufacturers are working on similar beacons. Authorities are also paving the way for AIS PLB designs, though the needed standards are still in development.
$NA. McMurdo, mcmurdogroup.com