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Important News - Float Free EPIRBS

Legislation Changes come into effect January 2021
Don't wait, Act Now

11.08.2020

From 1 January 2021, certain Domestic Commerical Vessels (DCV) must have a float free (Category 1) EPIRB installed.

Vessels who must comply:

These changes apply to new vessels, existing(grandfathered) vessels, or transitional vessels. It also applies to vessels that are exempt from the requirement to have a certificate of survey (also referred to as ‘non-survey’ vessels) includes vessels operating under Exemption 02, and Exemption 40.

Vessels not affected:

Vessels without level flotation and are less than 12 metres in length and operate in D and E waters (see definitions below) will not be affected by the changes. Similarly, all vessels that are less than 12 metres with level flotation can continue to carry the kind of EPIRB currently required regardless of where they operate.

Key Points:

  • Category 1 Float free brackets will only house water activated EPIRBS
  • A Float Free EPIRB is a combination of a water activated EPIRB unit, hydrostatic release unit (HRU) and a float free bracket
  • Float Free EPIRBS trigger when the unit is submerged at depths of between 1 and 4m
  • Float Free EPIRBS can easily be removed from its housing and manually activated if required.
  • Ensure your chosen EPIRBS meets Australian Standard AS/NZS 4280.1

If your vessel is operating beyond 2 nautical miles seaward from land in one of the following categories, you have until 1 January 2021 to install a float-free EPIRB.

Passenger, non-passenger, commercial fishing vessels

  • equal to or greater than 12 metres
  • less than 12 metres and operating in B or C waters without level flotation.

Hire and drive

  • equal to or greater than 12 metres and operating in C waters
  • less than 12 metres and operating in C waters without level flotation.

Option for vessels less than 7.5 metres without level flotation

Instead of a float-free EPIRB, you may choose a GPS EPIRB, if everyone on board wears a lifejacket.

Download GLOBALFIX™ V4 EPIRB Brochure

Definitions:

Unlimited domestic operations (no longer available to domestic commercial vessels). Vessels operating in A waters must be Australian regulated vessels under the Navigation Act 2012. A
Extended offshore operations (beyond 200 nautical miles from the baseline of the Australian mainland, Tasmania, a recognised island but within the exclusive economic zone) B
Extended
Offshore operations (within 200 nautical miles from the baseline of the Australian mainland, Tasmania, a recognised island but within the exclusive economic zone) B
Restricted offshore operations (within 30 nautical miles from the baseline of the Australian mainland, Tasmania, a recognised island; within 50 nautical miles of the baseline of Queensland, within the Great Barrier Reef Region or the Torres Strait Zone; whilst remaining within the exclusive economic zone) C
Restricted offshore operations—specified areas C
Restricted
Partially smooth water operations D
Smooth water operations E