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Take your beacon this long weekend

Your personal locator beacon should be carried on your person at all times

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ is reminding Kiwis to carry a distress beacon this long weekend.

Manager Mike Hill said the team is ready to respond 24/7 should a beacon be activated, and Queen’s Birthday weekend is no exception.

“If you feel that your life is in grave or imminent danger, you should first try to use two-way communications such as a phone or radio so that you can talk to emergency services,” he said.

“If this is unavailable, then a distress beacon should be activated. This is a personal decision that is quite different for everybody.

“Even if you’re camping and head out to collect firewood – take your beacon with you. If you slip over, you might not be able to make it back to your tent to call for help.”

Hill advised checking specific forecasts before heading outdoors.

“Get your info from mountains, snow, marine and coastline forecasts – they’re different from ‘typical’ weather forecasts,” he said.

There are currently 114,000 beacons in use in New Zealand, with 87,600 registered with RCCNZ.

RCCNZ advised carrying a beacon on your person at all times, and encouraged owners to read up on their beacon before they need to use it. If the battery is flat, return it to the retailer or supplier to have it replaced. 

All beacons should be registered at beacons.org.nz.