Disposing of unwanted distress beacons

Please do not throw your beacon in the bin. Beacons can inadvertently activate if they are not correctly disposed, which often occurs when beacons are thrown in the rubbish and end up in tips.

Every year, thousands of dollars are spent in Australia searching for beacons in rubbish dumps. Search personnel and assets which are tasked to look for beacons that have been inadvertently activated are then unavailable for a real emergency. Beacon batteries are hazardous items which should be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Option 1

Contact your local battery store to check whether they disconnect and dispose of beacons. A small fee may apply.

Option 2

Contact your local maritime safety agency. They may be able to provide disposal advice.

One State, Western Australia, has individual disposal arrangements and further information can be found on the Department of Transport or Department of Transport Beacon information websites.

Option 3

Check the beacon manufacturer’s instructions, they may provide instructions on how to disconnect the beacon battery. Once disconnected, contact your local waste management facility to ask about disposing of your unwanted beacon in an environmentally friendly way. A small fee may apply.

After disposing of your unwanted beacon please advise the Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) by updating your online registration account or by phoning 1800 406 406.

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