Marine Notice No. 18 of 2014

Notice to all Fishing Vessel Owners, Skippers and Fishers

EPIRB AND PLB PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR UNDER 15M FISING VESSELS

 

Marine Notice 18

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport wishes to advise on the performance standards for EPIRBs and PLBs as per chapter 9.9, Revision 2 of the Code of Practice concerning the Design, Construction, Equipment and Operation of Small Fishing Vessels of less than 15 metres length overall (Revision 2 dated 20/01/14 with operative date of 03/03/14).

The revision includes the carriage requirements of manual/automatic activation float-free EPIRBs for all fishing vessels of under 15 metres and PLBs for all crewmembers. This Marine Notice outlines the performance standards required for both EPIRBs and PLBs.

 EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) Performance Standards for all under 15m Fishing Vessels are as follows:

• The EPIRB must have an integrated GPS receiver. This is to enable greater position accuracy, hence a quicker response time in the event of activation.

• The EPIRB and release mechanism must be in compliance with the requirements of the European Council Directive 96/98/EC on marine equipment (MED), as amended. Note: Compliance with (MED) 96/98/EC is indicated by a ‘Mark of Conformity’ (i.e. the Wheel mark, see left above) affixed to the EPIRB. To ensure compliance, a wheel marked manufacturer’s declaration of conformity should be included with the EPIRB when purchasing the unit.

PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) Performance Standards for all under 15m Fishing Vessels:

• The required PLBs must be the 406 MHz satellite type and be provided with a 121.5 MHz homing device.

• PLBs must have an integrated GPS receiver. This is to enable greater position accuracy, hence a quicker response time in the event of activation.

• PLBs must be programmed with Ireland’s country code, i.e. have a serial number beginning with 1F4E.

• PLBs must be Category 1 type, i.e. the PLB shall have sufficient positive buoyancy to float in fresh water; or

• PLBs may be Category 2 type if fully integrated into an approved PFD (Personal Floatation Device).

• PLB models must be type approved by Cospas-Sarsat and certified in accordance with Directive 1999/5/EC on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment (R&TTE) and the European Standard ETSI EN 302 152.

Note: Compiance with Directive 1999/5/EC (directive R&TTE) is indicated by a ‘CE Mark of Conformity’ (see right above) affixed to the PLB.

To ensure compliance, a CE manufacturer’s declaration of conformity should be included with the PLB when purchasing the unit.