Personal beacon may be only hope for lost adventurers

ADVENTURE seekers are being urged to consider getting a Personal Locating Beacon before their next trip following a series of mishaps, particularly in the Mackay region.

Personal Locating Beacons (PLB) are commonly used by bushwalkers, four-wheel drivers, motorbike riders, and other adventurers in remote areas.

They are a small electronic device that, when activated in a life-threatening situation, assists rescue authorities in their search to locate those in distress.

When a personal locating beacon is activated, it transmits a signal that is detectable by satellites and overflying aircraft that can report their position to rescue authorities.

Acting Inspector Steve O'Connell said that there have been a number of incidents in the area that could have been prevented by using a PLB.

"Emergency services in the Mackay area have responded to over a dozen serious incidents, some tragically fatal, in the last two years where the lack of mobile phone coverage delayed the ability for the people in distress to seek help.

"While some of these deaths may not have been entirely preventable, the use of a PBL can alert emergency services of the need for a response regardless of phone coverage, and will assist authorities to quickly locate a person in distress.

"We don't want people to stop doing these activities outdoors. We just want to make sure that if people do get themselves into a difficult situation that emergency services can locate them and assist as quickly as possible," Acting Inspector O'Connell said.



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