Loan TTC Personal Locator Beacons
The TTC actively encourages its members to carry Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) with them on all trips including long tramps, club courses, climbing, skiing, and other club trips that take people through remote regions. It recognises the importance of these devices for expediting rescues and the comfort that they give to loved ones back at home.
Each trip should have at least two Personal Locator Beacons carried by separate people, to reduce the risk of the loss of the Personal Locator Beacon, e.g. being swept away in a river.
TTC Personal Locator Beacons are freely available for use by its members. Only club members may borrow these PLBs.
Our units are Fastfind 220 PLB 406MHz beacons with GPS.
To book one for your trip:
- collect a PLB from the club room on Tuesday club night, no deposit is required
- fill out the PLB Booking Form.
You MUST do this as the information is used by Search and Rescue if you activate the PLB. If you are taking the PLB for multiple trips then a form needs to be created for each trip.
- register and email your trip intentions with Adventure Smart, or
- leave an Intentions Form with a responsible person
There is an instruction sheet in each PLB pack, but a fuller manual for the Fastfind 220 PLBs is here
If all the club PLBs are in use you can hire PLBs from different groups.
Condition of use
Generally, the user is responsible for ensuring that the unit is in good working condition when they collect it. Conducting a test is recommended. The user is responsible for ensuring that the beacon is returned in good working order. Fair wear and tear is acceptable. Some simple examples around liability:
- you lose the beacon – you pay to replace it
- you damage the beacon – you pay to repair it
- you lose the beacon's case – you pay to replace it
- there is minor abrasion on the case or beacon – this is fair wear and tear, and is therefore the club's responsibility
- you activate the beacon, either intentionally or accidentally - you take full responsibility for consequences
- you activate the beacon, either intentionally or accidentally - you may have to pay to reset it, and may have to pay for the replacement battery (approx $185 + gst)
It is the responsibility of the user to return the beacon immediately after use to the person administering the beacons. The user is responsible for any additional costs associated with the use, like courier charges, or costs associated with recovery of the beacon.
If you activate the beacon
If you activate the PLB it can take the satellite up to 2 hours to pick up the PLB signal. In most cases, if the weather is fine Search and Rescue should be with you within 2 hours but not before 1.5 hours.
- Be aware in times of high wind, fog, or low cloud, the helicopter may not be able reach you at all. Make provision for camp.
- If you activate the beacon (accidentally OR intentionally, but then decide you don't need assistance), please DO NOT DEACTIVATE the beacon.
Rescue Coordination Centre NZ told us it is better for them to locate a signalling beacon even if it turns out to be a false alarm. If signal from an active beacon disappears, RCCNZ is uncertain about the situation of the party involved and still has to launch a Search And Rescue effort.
If you have phone coverage and activate the PLB call the RCCNZ toll free on 0508 472 269 (add this number to your phone addresses) and advise them of your situation. If you are unable to make contact with RCCNZ then contact the Police on 111. If help is not required they will tell you when it is OK to turn the PLB off.
Note that the club's FastFind PLBs do not start beaconing until 50 seconds* after activation. This gives a short window during which you can de-activate the beacon.
- PLB01 =
- PLB02 =
- PLB03 =
- PLB04 =
- PLB05 =
- PLB06 =
- PLB07 =
- Rescue Coordination Centre
- RCCNZ pamphlet
- Seeking help in the mountains (Wilderlife)
- Where and how do you carry your PLB (Wilderlife)
- How a PLB can save your life
- Distress radio beacons
- Beacons (NZSaR)