Emergency beacons


Ouest Sécurité Marine offers a complete range of deck EPIRBs, PLBs and AIS beacons.

Emergency beacons

Emergency beacons are essential and in some cases part of the mandatory safety equipment to be kept on board. They allow to alert the emergency services when you are in distress, so that assistance can be provided as quickly as possible. There are two main categories of beacons: deck EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), which are placed on the boats, and personal carry-on beacons.

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)

A deck beacon is an EPIRB placed on a wall bracket or in a container with an automatic release. This beacon, which is sometimes mandatory (see next chapter), is used to alert the rescue services in the event of a shipwreck. The beacon is associated with the MMSI number of the boat, which allows the rescue services to know what to look for. It should be noted that the EPIRB is a beacon that can be registered with the Agence National des Fréquences (National frequency agency – ANFR) at this address: https://www.anfr.fr/fr/licences-et-autorisations/radiomaritime/licence-mmsi/. The beacon may be placed in a self-releasing container, i.e. the beacon will be released when the container is submerged, or in a manual release holder, i.e. a person has to manually release and activate the beacon.

Personal Beacon

Personal beacons are designed to be carried by the people on board. There are two types of personal beacons: PLBs and AIS beacons. Both ensure the safety of individuals in a man overboard situation.


A PLB is a compact beacon designed to be attached to a lifejacket or stored in a pocket. It is used to alert the emergency services in case of a problem. It should be registered with the Centre National des Etudes Spatiales (National centre for space studies) at https://registre406.cnes.fr/sarsatweb/do/login.

PLBs can also be particularly suitable if you often sail on different boats.

PLBs emit 406 MHz waves on the international Cospas Sarsat satellite network, which will dispatch the nearest emergency services to the site.

AIS beacons

AIS beacons are compact beacons designed to be attached to a lifejacket or stored in a pocket. There are two types of AIS beacons: AIS-MOB and AIS-DSC.

The beacon emits an AIS signal (162Mhz) which is received and read by all surrounding receivers, including the receiver on the boat from which the person fell. The AIS signal allows the position of the person overboard to be tracked in real time, so that help can be provided as quickly as possible.

Regulatory requirement for recreational vessels (Division 240)

Regulatory requirement

Coastal zone from 0 to 6 miles from shelter: no obligation

Mid-shore area 6 to 60 miles from shelter: Fixed VHF

Offshore area beyond 60 miles from shelter: EPIRB category 2 + fixed VHF + portable VHF.

Note: If the ship is equipped with VHF-DSC, the ship position (GPS coordinates) should be provided automatically at all times to be included in the initial distress alert.

Clarification for EPIRBs: the MMSI number must be entered in order to identify the ship for the organisation of rescue operations.

Obligation réglementaire pour les navires professionnels

Obligations réglementaires

Type Navire VHF EPIRB VHF portable Précision


à passagers

2 VHF dont 1 ASN


406Mhz cat1


– 1 si pax =<100

– 2 si pax =<200

– 3 si pax >200

4ème catégorie : Uniquement les VHF fixes

5ème catégorie : 1 seul VHF fixe non ASN


de charge

2 VHF dont 1 ASN


406Mhz cat1

4ème catégorie <12m : 1 seul VHF ASN

5ème catégorie : 1 seul VHF non ASN

Jauge Brute <300 : pas d’EPIRB

Non pontée 4ème et 5ème cat. : VHF portative

Marin seul : VFI avec balise AIS-ASN (sauf 5ème cat.)


de Pêche



406Mhz cat1


4ème cat. sans arts trainant : pas d’EPIRB

4ème catégorie <12m : 1 seul VHF ASN

Non pontée 4ème ou 5ème : VHF ASN portative

Marin seul : VFI avec balise AIS-ASN

5ème catégorie : pas de VHF ni d’EPIRB

Our beacon models


Our EPIRB beacons

Ocean Signal


Ocean Signal






Nos balises PLB

Ocean Signal

Rescueme PLB1







Nos balises AIS

Ocean Signal

Rescueme MOB1

Nos balises AIS-ASN





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