A Central Queensland rescue team were sent on a wild goose chase this week, as multiple team members dug through literal garbage to find a signalling EPIRB.
The EPIRB (Emergency Position Identification Radio Beacon) was wrongfully disposed of and ended up in a landfill in Glendon, Queensland where it was activated and began to send out a signal of distress.
A post on the RACQ Central Queensland Rescue Facebook page alerted the community to the rescue team’s frustration.
It’s an important reminder to all Explorers to correctly dispose of beacons when you no longer need them. Don’t throw them in the bin. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority offers these options as the correct ways to dispose of a beacon.
Contact a nearby battery store. They often disconnect and dispose of beacons for a small cost.
Contact your local maritime safety agency. They may be able to provide disposal advice.
Check the beacon manufacturer’s instructions – they might shine a light on how to disconnect your beacon’s battery. If you do manage to disconnect it, contact your local waste management facility to find the most environmentally friendly way of disposing of your beacon. There may be a small cost involved.