Following the recent FCC ruling approving the sale and use of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) in the continental United States beginning July 1, Recreational Equipment, Inc. announced the availability of the new satellite-assisted search and rescue technology.
REI claims they are the only national outdoor retailer to currently carry the device manufactured by ACR Electronics.
Terri Perlman, REI Product Manager, said, “Beginning today the devices will be available at REI.com, and throughout the month will be rolled out to REI retail stores nationally… Were currently in the process of training our retail sales staff.”
A similar product for kayaking and other marine-based activities, known as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons have saved an estimated 15,000 lives during the past 20 years according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The devices require users to register the beacon and its personalized unique identifying number with NOAA. In doing so, when activated by users, search and rescue agencies will know who you are, where you are, that you are in a life threatening situation, and how to handle any pre-existing medical conditions upon arrival.