Consultation: Compulsory “float-free” distress beacons for commercial fishing boats?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


Consultation begins (April 13) on changes to six maritime rules, including one that would make automatic “float-free” emergency position-indicating radio beacons, EPIRB distress beacons, compulsory for more commercial fishing boats.

Maritime NZ Director, Keith Manch, said this proposal comes from Coroners’ and Transport Accident Investigation Commission recommendations to make fishing boats safer.

The recommendations followed the death of 24 people over the last 11 years, following the sinking of inshore fishing boats. Manually-activated EPIRBs were carried on board these boats but, for various reasons, the crews were unable to activate them.

Currently, fishing boats operating more than 200 nautical miles from New Zealand’s coast must have EPIRBs that automatically float-free of a sinking vessel and activate. Fishing boats operating within 200 nautical miles must have either “float-free”or manually-activated EPIRBs

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 April 2017 )