I am extremely grateful to the friend who gifted me the Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB1 Personal Locator Beacon. Fortunately, the PLB1 has not saved my life — yet — but it has certainly improved my peace of mind when adventuring in remote areas and travelling outside of reliable cell service. Equally important, carrying my PLB1 while backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and mountaineering has comforted and reassured loved ones like my mother and girlfriend who tend to worry about me. As such I am able to confidently enjoy more adventures further from the beaten path with less worry and stress all around. The personal peace of mind and domestic tranquility is priceless.
Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB1 Size
The Ocean Signal PLB1 is incredibly small and light weight. It literally fits in the palm of my hand and weighs in at a mere 116 grams (4.1 oz). It comes with a flotation pouch and a strap system to attach it to a life jacket, belt, backpack, or what have you.
I tend to store my PLB1 in a plastic bag inside the first aid kit at the bottom of my pack because I don’t want to lose it, damage it, activate it accidentally, or forget to bring it along. I always bring my little ditty bag of emergency supplies so I always bring my PLB1.
I also tape the PLB1s plastic flap shut to minimize any chance of accidentally activating it. Its a durable, waterproof unit but I could see myself falling victim to Murphy’s Law if I carried it too accessibly. If I had one complaint it would be that the PLB1 is too easy to activate and the flap that protects the ON button could be more securable and heavy duty.
The PLB1 is incredibly easy to use. You register the unit with the appropriate authorities online or with an included snail mail form. It has only two buttons: one to test the battery and one to activate the unit. If stuck in a dire situation, all I have to do is extend the antenna, press the ON button for one second, position the unit so the antenna is vertically oriented, and hunker down until help arrives.
Obviously, the PLB1 is only meant to be used in life threatening situations, and it is illegal to activate a personal locator beacon otherwise. Fortunately, the PLB1 does not start transmitting an emergency alert until approximately 50 seconds after it is turned on. In the event of accidental activation all you have to do is press the ON button again within that time frame to turn it off.
Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB1 Does it Transmit GPS Coordinates?
The PLB1 connects to GPS satellites to triangulate your position and transmits your location and identity to the COSPAS/SARSAT satellite arrays to alert search and rescue authorities. The system can provide near immediate alerting within the coverage of the receiving satellite. If you want to know more about how it works download this PDF from the folks at Ocean Signal.
Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB1 Price
I wish I would have had one of these PLB1 units 12 years ago when I was singlehanding a small sailboat down the Pacific Coast of the Americas. It could have saved my life in an emergency and it would have certainly saved my mother a lot of sleepless nights. Now I am grateful to have access to have the Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB1 ($289.95) technology, at an affordable, peace of mind price for future adventures in the mountains, on the water, and anywhere else the cell service is spotty or nonexistent.