EPIRB is quite a mouthful as an acronym, but it stands for an extremely important fishing device called an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). The equipment is designed to transmit a distress signal if you find yourself in need of assistance at sea. When the EPIRB is activated, it will immediately send your location to the Coast Guard who will then initiate search and rescue efforts. The EPIRB will continue to transmit your location for as long as possible with updated positions to assist the Coast Guard in the rescue mission.

The U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic is now working towards raising awareness for commercial fishing safety, especially regarding the importance of EPIRBs. Recently, the 5th District for the Mid-Atlantic Coast Guard held a media event surrounding EPIRBS and their purpose. The District hopes that more events like this will foster safety in the industry and provide detailed oversight on safety practices and procedures.

Both commercial and recreational fishing vessels must have an EPIRB installed. According to maritime law, commercial fishing vessels operating more than three nautical miles from the coast must carry an EPIRB. Vessels over 36 feet long must have a Category 1 EPIRB as well as Category 2 EPIRB.

To learn how to register or update your EPIRB, go to the registry site here. You can also check your status by calling this number 888-212-SAVE (888-212-7283). The lawyers at BOATLAW, LLP recommend all commercial and recreational fishers ensure their vessels are up to code. Failure to uphold these rules could result in a fishing accident with serious life-changing injuries.

If you’ve ever been injured on a fishing vessel, we encourage you to call us at BOATLAW, LLP. BOATLAW, LLP has represented those injured in maritime accidents for over forty years. If you have been injured in a maritime accident, call BOATLAW, LLP at 1-800-262-8529 today for a consultation free of charge.