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ACR Locator Beacon Servicing & Battery Replacements

Wilco Marine specialize in the servicing and repair of ACR Safety Equipment.

including the re programming and battery replacements of market leading ACR EPIRBs, PLB’s, SART’s and AIS systems. They have trained ACR technicians who can cost effectively and efficiently carry out any work required on your ACR product.

Battery replacement includes servicing the beacon by replacing all o-rings, testing the water seal and the electrical properties

we have had reports of people being charged $700 from other retailers, it should be around $200

Deal with Wilco Marine direct and save yourself money

Phone (09) 308 9165

Mobile 021 452 131

28 Hamer Street



Battery replacement

ACR PLB Battery Replacement Interval  

The manual recommends Replacement due 6 years from date of manufacture or 5 years after beacon is placed into service, whichever is first, or after emergency use, The battery should be replaced if the beacon has been activated for any use other than the Self-test

Our customers are finding that after doing a self test they get around 8 years battery life 

We recommend performing the Self-Test at least two weeks prior to a trip allowing enough time for service should your beacon require it.

Battery Replacement interval

Rescue response time after beacon activation 

Every rescue is different depending on the location and weather, please read our survivor stories 

if your beacon is not NZ codded the response time will be longer  

Rescue responce time

Register your Personal Locator Beacon

Registration of 406 MHz distress beacons is a legal requirement in New Zealand. 

Registration is free and can result in a more efficient search and rescue effort.  Digital 406 MHz distress beacons transmit a unique code that identifies a particular beacon when it is activated.

A registered 406 MHz distress beacon will allow the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand to access the registration database and find contact details for the owner of the beacon in the event the beacon is activated.


Dispose of your emergency beacons correctly. Lives depend on it.

all beacon activations require an emergency response, even if the distress signal is coming from a tip, It’s  very frustrating for our rescue crews and also time wasting to search, locate and destroy an old beacon giving off a false distress signal, Time would be better spent saving lives don’t you think? 
Only 406MHz distress beacons are monitored by satellite. The 121.5MHz and 243MHz frequencies are no longer monitored and should be disposed of properly .
It is the beacon owner's responsibility to ensure that the beacon is disposed of in a correct manner.
Old or obsolete beacons need to be disposed of carefully, to ensure they are not set off by accident.  Do not just throw them away, as a lot of time and money has been spent on search operations to dig beacons out of rubbish tips. The battery needs to be disconnected and the beacon disposed of according to local regulations, as many beacons contain hazardous materials. Contact your local beacon retailer, or police station, to arrange appropriate disposal of old, unwanted distress beacons.
If you sell or dispose of a registered 406 MHz distress beacon, please let RCCNZ know by phoning 0800 406 111.
For more information about disposing of your unwanted distress beacon, please Contact the Rescue Coordination Centre RCCNZ .


Air travel with your Locator Beacon 

Personal Locator Beacons and other items contaning lithium ion and lithium metal batteries, including power banks and cell phone battery charging cases, must be carried in carry-on baggage only.
Please package and protect your Locator Beacon to prevent unintentional activation or damageand so that it won’t accidentally turn on during the flight. Tape safety switch in the "off" position. ACR Beacons have good protection of the safty swich, take extra care of beacons like the KTI as they have a habit of self activating 

Air Travel

Using your distress beacon overseas

Beacons are detected anywhere on the Earth’s surface if they are deployed correctly, By the world-wide global satellite system.
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) prefer the beacon to be registered in the country its most likely to be used in, If a New Zealand coded distress beacon is activated overseas an alert will be sent to the Rescue Coordination Centre responsible for the region in which the emergency distress activation is occurring.  A second notification is then be sent to RCCNZ where they'd have all the contact details at hand and would be easily able to call the registered emergency contacts to verify if it's a genuine emergency.

The two Rescue Coordination Centres will then work together to ensure a coordinated rescue is carried out.
Likewise, alerts from beacons registered in other countries that are activated in the New Zealand search and rescue region will be received by the Rescue Coordination Centre that the beacon is registered in before RCCNZ are alerted then the two Rescue Coordination Centres will work together to ensure a coordinated rescue

Using overseas

Why get a NZ Coded Beacon

Choose a New Zealand coded beacon

Registering your Personal Locator Beacon is required by law in New Zealand
Every beacon is coded for a Country 
beacons can only be registered in the country that it is coded to
All PLBs can be used worldwide, 
if you are based in NZ your beacon should be a ‘New Zealand coded beacon’ 

Our Personal Locator Beacons are all  pre-programmed for registration with the New Zealand country code. Whilst it will function anywhere around the world, the initial point of contact during an emergency situation would be the New Zealand Search and Rescue authorities with whom the PLB will be registered.
Registering your Personal Locator Beacon is required by law in New Zealand. Registering is very important because should your beacon ever be activated, it is how Search and Rescue Teams will know who you are, and contacts provided may be able to supply information about your specific travel plans. In the absence of this information, it may take longer for a search-and-rescue operation to begin.

PLBs have been proven, tried and tested in some of the world's most remote locations and treacherous conditions. Even in extreme conditions and situations
All our Beacons are easy to operate,  Just deploy the antenna and press the ON button.
A PLB should only be used in situations of grave and imminent danger to life. False alerts endanger lives and cause expensive disruption to Search and Rescue services. 

Beware of Australian coded beacons sold online in New Zealand 

Ask the seller what country the unit is coded for, otherwise you will have to register your beacon in another Country.

Why get a NZ Coded Beacon
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