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New digital emergency Beacon Registry service goes online

Published on: 11 November 2021

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The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)’s new digital emergency Beacon Registry service has now gone live. The Beacon Registry self-service portal will make it easier and more convenient than ever for emergency beacon users to securely provide and update their ownership information. 


As part of its ongoing commitment to improving its digital offering and services, the MCA launched the 24/7 online registration platform at www.gov.uk/406beacon meaning customers are no longer required to submit beacon ownership documentation in paper form or via post.  


Now, owners with single or multiple beacons can manage their own data such as email addresses, beacon Hex ID, telephone numbers and beacon uses (land, sea and air), in a secure and streamlined digital environment. 


Emergency 406 MHz beacons send a ‘distress signal’ including your location, via satellites to alert search and rescue authorities that you could be in difficulty. Types of beacon include Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) for vessels, Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) attached to people, and Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) for aircraft. 


If a registered beacon is activated in an emergency at sea, on land, or in the air, HM Coastguard, the search and rescue arm of the MCA, and emergency service partners, have reliable information at their fingertips, which is crucial in helping them to locate and rescue those in distress. New beacon owners are advised to create an online account and register at the earliest opportunity.  


Existing customers must confirm their beacon details on the new service by logging in using the email with which they registered their beacon. If this registration occurred within the last eight years, the Beacon Registry will be in contact by email or letter with advice as to how to do this and how to manage their data in the future.


Full details can be found on the government website here.