RCCNZ is launching a new registration system for personal locator beacons in a bid to make registering easier and to provide more information for search and rescue services.
The new system will be launched later this year and will allow people to register their PLB and update their details through a personalised online profile. Currently, people can register their beacon via www.beacons.org, however the information has to be manually updated by RCCNZ staff.
RCCNZ support services manager Rodney Bracefield said he hoped the new system would encourage more people to register their beacons. Although it is a legal requirement, Bracefield estimates only 30 per cent of the 106,500 beacons in New Zealand are unregistered.
“If the beacon isn’t registered and it is activated, we’ve got no idea who has activated it or what the situation is,” Bracefield said. “If it is registered, we can call the emergency contacts and try to find out what is going on and how to best respond.”
RCCNZ also plans to send out reminders every two years for owners to check and update their details.