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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




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.


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  


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 . https://beacons.org.nz/ContactUs.aspx


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 


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.
theres nothing illegal about using a beacon anywhere other than the country its registered in, it's just that 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 RCCNZ, and by the Rescue Coordination Centre the beacon is registered in.


PH 03 226 6341

Mobile 027 412 2925