A reminder to remove batteries from old distress beacons

Ten incorrectly disposed beacons were found in a rubbish bin in Elderslie on last week after one of the beacons sparked a search and rescue effort. AMSA tasked the Westpac Lifesaver rescue helicopter from La Perouse around midday after receiving a report from an aircraft that a beacon signal was heard in the Camden area. The helicopter crew homed the signal to a rubbish bin in suburban Elderslie, where they made the discovery. Every year, vital search and rescue resources are wasted chasing inadvertent activations from incorrectly disposed beacons. Beacons don't belong in the bin. For info on how to dispose of your unwanted beacon, visit amsa.gov.au/beacons. Locally we have recently seen the Westpac Life Saver Helicopter sent to search for a distress beacon only to track the signal to the Dalmeny tip. The beacon hadn’t had its battery disconnected before disposal. In all the exercise took approximately an hour and a half. Do the right thing when disposing of your old/used safety equipment to ensure vital search and rescue resources aren't wasted on incidents like this.

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