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Safety Equipment for hire

406 MHz EPIRBs and PLBs; Avalanche transceivers

Part 1 - Decision time: Do you need an EPIRB, a PLB, or an avalanche transceiver?

Important decision! The fact that you have already found our page suggests that you already know something about emergency beacons, so we won't put a lot of detail about them here. Each type of device is suitable for different situations.


image of fastfind PLB image of KTI PLB image of KTI EPIRB

It is important to understand the main differences between EPIRBs and PLBs (we won't cover Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) here).

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is an emergency beacon designed to float in water and operate for a minimum of 48 hours.
A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is an emergency beacon for personal use, designed to operate for a minimum of 24 hours. PLBs are often carried:
If you do not have a specific need to carry an EPIRB, we recommend that you carry a PLB as they are much smaller and lighter. Obviously this doesn't apply if you are required to carry an EPIRB.

Digital (406 Mhz) GPS-enabled beacons determine their location prior to transmitting this location and the beacon's unique reference number. This signal is received and actioned by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) in Canberra, ACT.

More detailed information is available on the website of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (opens in a new tab).

Carrying an EPIRB or PLB does not mean that you should exceed your ability. Always be safe, know your limitations and respect the conditions.

Avalanche rescue transceivers and related equipment

image of Mammut Barryvox transceiver
Mammut Barryvox transceiver

Snow sports are dangerous. People have been badly hurt or killed in avalanches.

In some places there is a risk of avalanche, and people can be buried under the snow. One of the ways that someone in this situation can be found is by using avalanche transceivers to locate the person.

An avalanche transceiver is carried by someone and set to the 'send' mode. In order to find a person who has one of these beacons, the searcher sets their beacon to the 'search' mode. The transceiver helps the searcher focus their search. The search can then be finetuned with avalanche probes, and finally, snowshovels are used to recover the patient.

We offer the Mammut Barryvox rescue transceivers for collection in Melbourne CBD and Cheltenham. Please refer to the Barryvox user manual (opens in a new tab).

  1. Transmitters and magnets will interfere with the performance of an avalanche transceiver. Don't carry other transmitters within 30cm of an avalanche transceiver.
  2. Disable non-essential phones and smart watches when you are using an avalanche transceiver!
  3. Ensure that a transceiver is functioning properly prior to use.
  4. Carrying an avalanche transceiver does not mean that you should exceed your ability. Always be safe, know your limitations and respect the conditions.
  5. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions - there are special instructions for users who have a pacemaker.

Part 2 - Hire rates

Item 2 days 3-4 days 5-13 days 14+ days Information
Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) 55 60 for the first 7 days and then $8/day thereafter Ask us instructions
Avalanche pack (1) 110 130 130 for the first 7 days and then $8/day thereafter Ask us
Avalanche transceiver (2) 75 95 100 for the first 7 days and then $10/day thereafter Ask us instructions
Snow probe / shovel / shoes Please see our hike/camp/snow page
EPIRB 55 60 for the first 7 days and then $8/day thereafter Ask us instructions

(1) An avalanche pack typically comprises an avalanche transceiver, a snow probe, and a snow shovel.
(2) The Mammut Barryvox transceiver requires 3 AAA Alkaline batteries. You should fit 3 new batteries prior to use of the beacon.

Prices do not include delivery and are as at August 2019.
In addition to our hire fee, we require a deposit, refundable upon return of the equipment.

Special offers:

Bibbulmun Track, Heysen Trail and Larapinta Trail walkers:
Please ask about our special offer for hikes of more than 14-days duration!

Avalanche Skills Training (AST1) course participants:
Hire an Avalanche pack, a pair of Yowie snowshoes and a pair of trekking poles:
2 days - $145 (collect the evening before, return the evening after)
3-4 days - $160 (collect the evening before, return the evening after)

We have a selection of guidebooks available for sale.

Customers of -
Get a discount off our hire fee if you have purchased anything from one of these businesses in the 60 days prior to the date you collect your hire beacon. Just show us your receipt!

Part 3 - Collecting and returning PLBs/EPIRBs

Collection and return of beacons is possible at the following locations:

Map of emergency beacon collection locations
Adelaide, SA Glenunga
Albany, WA Albany
Alice Springs, NT Alice Springs
Cairns, QLD Cairns CBD
Darwin, NT Berrimah
Gold Coast, QLD Coolangatta
Hobart, TAS Hobart CBD
Kalgoorlie, WA Kalgoorlie
Melbourne, VIC Cheltenham
Narooma, NSW Narooma
Newcastle, NSW Newcastle
Perth, WA Duncraig
Sydney, NSW Haymarket
Thredbo, NSW Thredbo

* Please give us as much notice as possible.

Other areas - shipping via Australia Post:
Clients in other areas can request delivery and return via Australia Post. Additional postage and insurance costs apply.
We cannot dispatch a beacon until we receive cleared funds to our bank account.
Deposits are remitted back to client's bank accounts once the beacon has been returned.

Please ensure that you book your beacon as early as possible!

Part 4 - How to proceed

  1. Consider whether you should purchase travel insurance for your trip.
  2. Please contact us either via our on-line enquiry form or by phone, or email.
    We can then advise whether we have a beacon/transceiver available for the duration of your trip, from your preferred collection and return location. If none of the collection and return locations above work for you, delivery and return of PLBs is also possible via Australia Post at additional cost - please ask us.
  3. We will then confirm availability and ask you to provide information required to register your trip with AMSA (not applicable for avalanche transceivers).
    You will need to download, complete and send us our Beacon registration form/agreement (.docx format).
    We use these details to register your trip with AMSA (not applicable for avalanche transceivers).
  4. We will provide instructions for the payment of the hire fee and deposit, and collection of the beacon/transceiver.
  5. Once you have collected your beacon, please refer to the beacon user manual extracts we have provided (see links above) - these extracts are worth printing and taking with you. Extracts for our PLBs are also provided in PDF format so you can save them to a mobile device.

Want to know more?

Phone us
0431 176 282
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