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information and fequently asked Personal Locator Beacons questions

How an Emergency Personal LocatorBeacons works

A personal locator beacon is a small electronic device that on activation broadcasts a signal to a satellite. This signal alerts the New Zealand Rescue Co-Ordination Centre that you are in distress
When a PLB is activated, the signal is picked up by a satellite, which then sends information to The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) they will determine the exact location of the beacon, and will contact the people listed on the beacon’s registration details. It’s important to register your beacon upon purchasing and to keep emergency contact details up to date, when the position has been determined, RCCNZ will launch a search and rescue operation. All modern Personal Locator Beacons transmit a 406MHz signal, but some also transmit the older 121.5MHz signal, which helps searchers home in on your location once they arrive in the vicinity. Your chosen (PLB) Personal Locator Beacon is also GPS-enabled so it can also send your location to searchers (non GPS models still work but take longer for orbiting satellites to pinpoint your location). We don’t sell non GPS models
All our PLBs Person Locator Beacons have all three 406MHz, 121.5MHz & GPS

PLBs have been proven, tried and tested in some of the world's most remote locations and treacherous conditions.
All our Beacons are easy to operate, Just deploy the antenna and press the ON button.

A PLB should only be used in situations of grave and imminent danger to life.
False alerts endanger lives and cause expensive disruption to Search and Rescue

Where to place you beacon

We suggest you place your (PLB) Personal Locator Beacon either in pouch attached to your belt or a zipped pocket. Always carry your beacon where you can get to it in an emergency, the last thing you want is the beacon to be in something that you may be separated from. We provide pouches for sale for all our Beacons or try your local camera shop, some camera pouches are an ideal alternative

When should you activate your Beacon

PLBs are for life threatening situations, RCCNZ advise people to err on the side of caution and to use when in need of rescue, please don't leave it till the middle of the night; it’s easier and more convenient to search during the day with plenty of daylight. If possible, find a clearing and remain there, once activated keep the PLB turned on and stay in one place. If you’re hopelessly lost or need rescuing due to an injury, the more you move around the harder it is for rescuers to find you. If possible, find a clearing, create arrows out of rocks and sticks and leave bright pack liners beside a
riverbed or move to a ridge or a flat area large enough for the helicopter to land and would help rescuers spot you and draw attention to your location. Use common sense and do what you can do to aid rescuers in finding you, do not move if it is dangerous to do so. If the injured person is not able to be moved and someone can stay with them, one person could take the PLB to a clearing and then guide rescuers once they arrive. But realize that New Zealand bush and terrain can make it tricky for searchers to home in on a Personal Locator Beacon. Also, the reason we only supply beacons with all three transmit signals 406MHz, 121.5MHz & GPS

Accidental activation of your PLB

If your beacon is set off accidentally, phone The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) immediately. New Zealand (toll free): 0508 4 RCCNZ or 0508 472 269
This will ensure a search and rescue operation is not launched needlessly. If you are unable to contact RCCNZ immediately, switch off the beacon and make contact as soon as you can.
There is no penalty for accidental activation.

Registering your beacon is a legal requirement

Ensuring your Personal Locator beacon (PLB) is registered with the Rescue Coordination Center New Zealand (RCCNZ) is vital a registered Personal Locator Beacon means a quicker, more targeted response can be launched. RCCNZ may also be able to find out exactly who is with you, how long you have been gone, and whether anyone has any medical conditions. Rescuers will then be in the best position to help you when you are located. Registration of your Emergency Personal Locator beacon is FREE and only takes a couple of minutes. Registrations can be submitted online https://beacons.org.nz/Registration.aspx
emailed or downloaded and sent through post.

Dispose of your emergency beacons correctly. Lives depend on it

All beacon activations require an emergency response, even if the distress signal is coming from a tip, It’s very frustrating for our rescue crews and also time wasting to search, locate and destroy an old beacon giving off a false distress signal, Time would be better spent saving lives don’t you think?
Only 406MHz distress beacons are monitored by satellite. The 121.5MHz and 243MHz frequencies are no longer monitored and should be disposed of properly .
It is the beacon owner's responsibility to ensure that the beacon is disposed of in a correct manner.
Old or obsolete beacons need to be disposed of carefully, to ensure they are not set off by accident. Do not just throw them away, as a lot of time and money has been spent on search operations to dig beacons out of rubbish tips. The battery needs to be disconnected and the beacon disposed of according to local regulations, as many beacons contain hazardous materials. Contact your
local beacon retailer, or police station, to arrange appropriate disposal of
old, unwanted distress beacons.

If you sell or dispose of a registered 406 MHz distress beacon, please let RCCNZ know by phoning 0800 406 111.

For more information about disposing of your unwanted distress beacon, please Contact the Rescue Coordination Centre RCCNZ . https://beacons.org.nz/ContactUs.aspx

ACR Locator Beacon Servicing & Battery Replacements

Wilco Marine specialize in the servicing and repair of ACR Safety Equipment. including the re-programming and battery replacements of market leading ACR EPIRBs, PLB’s, SART’s and AIS systems. They have trained ACR technicians who can cost effectively and efficiently carry out any work required on your ACR product.

Battery replacement includes servicing the beacon by replacing all o-rings, testing the water seal and the electrical properties, we have had reports of people being charged $700 from other retailers, it should be around $200.
Deal with Wilco Marine direct and save yourself money


Phone (09) 308 165
Mobile 021 452 131
28 Hamer Street

ACR PLB Battery Replacement Interval

The manual
recommends Replacement due 6 years from date of manufacture or 5 years after beacon is placed into service, whichever is first, or after emergency use, The battery should be replaced if the beacon has been activated for any use other than the Self-test
Our customers are finding that after doing a self test they get around 8 years battery life, We recommend performing the Self-Test at least two weeks prior to a trip allowing enough time for service should your beacon require it.

Why get a NZ Coded Beacon Choose a New Zealand coded beacon

Every beacon is coded for a Country, beacons can only be registered in the country that it is coded to, All PLBs can be used worldwide, if you are based in NZ your beacon should be a ‘New Zealand coded beacon’
Our Personal Locator Beacons are all NZ Coded for registration in New Zealand. Whilst it will function anywhere around the world, the initial point of contact during an emergency situation would be the New Zealand Search and Rescue authorities with whom the PLB will be registered. Registering is very important because should your beacon ever be activated, it is how Search and Rescue Teams will know who you are, and contacts provided may be able to supply information about your specific travel plans. In the absence of this information, it may take longer for a search-and-rescue operation to begin.

Using your distressbeacon overseas

Beacons are detected anywhere on the Earth’s surface if they are deployed correctly, By the world-wide global satellite system.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) prefer the beacon to be registered in the country its most likely to be used in, If a New Zealand coded distress beacon is activated overseas an alert will be sent to the Rescue Coordination Centre responsible for the region in which the emergency distress activation is occurring. A second notification is then be sent to RCCNZ where they'd have all the contact details at hand and would be easily able to call the registered emergency contacts to verify if it's a genuine emergency.
The two Rescue Coordination Centres will then work together to ensure a coordinated rescue is carried out.

Likewise, alerts from beacons registered in other countries that are activated in the New Zealand search and rescue region will be received by the Rescue Coordination Centre that the beacon is registered in before RCCNZ are alerted then the two Rescue Coordination Centres will work together to ensure a coordinated rescue

Beware of Australian coded beacons sold online in New Zealand

Ask the seller what country the unit is coded for, You will not be able to register an overseas beacon in NZ

Air travel with your Locator Beacon

Personal Locator Beacons and other items containing lithium ion and lithium metal batteries, including power banks and cell phone battery charging cases, must be carried in carry-on baggage only.
Please package and protect your Locator Beacon to prevent unintentional activation or damage and so that it won’t accidentally turn on during the flight. Tape safety switch in the "off" position. ACR Beacons have good protection of the safety switch, take extra care of beacons like the KTI as they have a habit of self-activating

Advento is owned and operated in NZ

Advento is committed to providing the best Personal Locator Beacons to anyone who pursues their passion in the outdoors. We promote Personal Locator Beacons so when you are out there you are safe and enjoy what you’re doing.
Plain and simple. This is about gear, and connecting people safely to their passions, Whether you’re new to the outdoors or a seasoned pro

Locator Beacon hire

ACR PLBs are available for hire throughout New Zealand, Southland Locator Beacon Charitable Company has around 90 outlets with over 600 highly rated ACR Personal Locater Beacons


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