Maritime safety: weather and navigation

7. Register 406 MHz beacons

A 406 megahertz (MHz) beacon can send a distress signal via satellites to alert search and rescue authorities to your location. There are 3 types:

  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) for ships and boats
  • Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) for aircraft
  • Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) for personal use

You must register your 406 MHz beacon with the coastguard and keep your registration up to date.

If your beacon is activated and a distress signal received, the search and rescue authorities will contact you using the information on the register.

You must provide an emergency contact who will be called if you’re unreachable.

Notify the coastguard of changes to your beacon or your vessel - this will help to locate you in an emergency.

Register or update a registration

You can register or update a registration online.

Registration and updates are free.

Contact the UK Beacon Registry for help with registering.

The UK Beacon Registry ukbeacons@mcga.gov.uk
Telephone: 01326 211569
Fax: 01326 319264
Find out about call charges