Using TTC's personal locator beacons
TTC actively encourages members to carry personal locator beacons (PLBs) with them on: long tramps, club courses, climbing, skiing, and other club trips that take people through remote regions. Our advice recognises the importance of these devices for expediting rescues and the comfort that they can give to loved ones at home during an emergency.
On each trip, at least two personal locator beacons should be carried by different people, to cover the risk of losing one of them - by being swept away in a river for example.
TTC's personal locator beacons are available free for use by its members. Only club members may borrow them.
Our units are Fastfind 220 PLB 406MHz beacons with GPS. There is an instruction sheet in each PLB pack. A fuller manual for the Fastfind 220 PLBs is here The club's FastFind PLBs do not start beaconing until 50 seconds* after activation. This delay gives a short window of time during which you can deactivate the beacon.
If all the club's PLBs are in use you can hire PLBs from a hire company or organisation.
To book a TTC PLB for your trip:
- collect a PLB from the club room on Tuesday club night. No deposit is required
- fill out the PLB Booking Form. If you are taking the PLB for multiple trips then a form needs to be completed for each trip.
You MUST do this as the information is used by Search and Rescue if you activate the PLB.
It is essential that your emergency contact person has a copy of your trip plan, and knowledge of any medical concerns of party members.
- register and email your trip intentions with Adventure Smart, or
- leave an Intentions Form with a responsible person
Enter into your cell phone contact list Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand's 24-hour emergency number 0508 472 269 (+64 4 577 8030 from outside New Zealand).
Conditions 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 user's responsibility to return the beacon immediately after use to the person administering the lending of beacons. The user is responsible for any additional costs associated with use of the PLB. e.g. courier charges and costs associated with recovery of the beacon.
If you activate the beacon
Please DO NOT DEACTIVATE your PLB if:
- you activate your beacon but then decide you don't need assistance
- you accidentally or inadvertently activate your beacon
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand needs to be able to locate a signalling beacon, even if it turns out to be a false alarm. If a signal from an active beacon disappears, RCCNZ will not know the situation of the party involved and will still have to launch a Search And Rescue effort.
If you are unable to make contact with RCCNZ, contact the Police on 111. If help is not required they will tell you when it is OK to turn off the PLB.
It can take the satellite up to two hours to pick up a PLB signal. In most cases, Search and Rescue should be with you within two hours (but not in less than 1.5 hours) after the PLB signal is received. In poor weather - high wind, fog or low cloud - a helicopter may not be able reach you at all. Make provision for camping.
- 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)
- How to use a distress beacon (DoC blog)