EPIRB Disposal or Rescue Transmitters

smaltimento epirb o trasmettitori di soccorso news 1

Last week the COSPAS-SARSAT intercepted a distress from a disposal center, it was an EPIRB with batteries still connected.

The importance of the proper disposal of the EPIRB

Smaltimento EPIRB o Trasmettitori di Soccorso n.1

The EPIRB or any other rescue transmitter at the end of its use, is not only a special waste to be disposed of according to WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment), but a unit still able to transmit and then send a distress signal, with the consequent risk of activating a false alarm and then mobilize the organization of COSPAS-SARSAT unnecessarily.

Therefore, it is essential to deactivate the EPIRB before disposing of it in accordance with the WEEE Directives.

An episode not to be repeated ...

Unfortunately, it happened last week that one of our dealers disposed of the EPIRB without deactivating the batteries. An EPIRB in a disposal centre, if the batteries are still connected, has many possibilities to activate itself, also because it presumably lacks its support and therefore humidity is sufficient on the Sea Switch contacts.

The COSPAS-SARSAT, warned of the distress signal, immediately activated the verification protocol, contacting the former owner who was obviously quite surprised by this report.

Thanks to the exquisite collaboration of the former owner, in this case it was possible to immediately establish that it was a false alarm and therefore fortunately it was not necessary to proceed with the activation of the SAR forces. But it should be remembered that the mere detection of a distress signal by the COSPAS-SARSAT, however, involves the involvement of a large number of employees and the initiation of expensive procedures. Therefore, no carelessness can be committed when disposing of the EPIRB or any emergency locator (EPIRB, PLB or ELT) and please note that reporting a false alarm may result in penalties or liability even of a judicial nature.

The correct disposal of an EPIRB

EPIRB should be disposed of by a dealer with the necessary knowledge of this technology. Therefore, a user who needs to dispose of an EPIRB should hand it over to the dealer from whom he purchased it.

Your dealer must immediately deactivate the EPIRB's functions by deactivating the connection to the batteries. Each EPIRB has its own deactivation procedure and you should always refer to the operating manual.

At this point, we will have to proceed with disposal in accordance with the WEEE Directive. In the case of EPIRB GME, its batteries are not considered hazardous waste, so they can be disposed of with the normal procedures for batteries and accumulators. The rest of the EPIRB should be disposed of by contacting one of the specialised centres for the disposal of RAAE equipment, i.e. in the same way as any electronic or electrical equipment.