Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Things to know before you go

Preparation and planning

Whether you are taking to the skies, heading out on the water or off the beaten track, it is always important to be prepared.

Staying safe

colour drawing of a 406MHz beaconFrom a search and rescue perspective, there are two important components to consider when venturing into remote areas. You need to be able to:

  1. alert search and rescue (SAR) Authorities if you are in grave or imminent danger, such as where you feel you are faced with a life threatening situation and require rescuing
  2. maintain your survival until help arrives (this includes having the correct safety equipment).

The most effective means of alerting SAR authorities is by two-way communication, such as:

  • mobile phone
  • radio
  • satellite phone, etc.

Two-way communication enables you to provide SAR authorities with:

  • your location
  • whether medical assistance is required
  • a detailed description of your situation.

If two-way communication is unavailable, activate your beacon. This will alert SAR authorities to your distress situation.

SAR Authorities will then call your emergency contacts to gain important information to help plan the most effective SAR response.

Therefore, it is important to ensure your:

  • beacon is properly registered with up-to-date trip plans
  • emergency contacts are aware of your plans.

Related information

For more tips on how to prepare yourself before heading out into the remote outdoors, refer to the Land, Maritime and Aviation specific “Things to know before you go” pages.

For non-emergency Australian Maritime Safety Authority contacts, please visit the contact us page.


EPIRB Checklist: keep your registration details up to date, upload trip plans and photos, story your EPIRB correctly, check battery expiry, test your EPIRB, know how to use your EPIRB.


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