MCA Alerts of PFDs and Retrofitting of PLB’s Safety Concern

Published: 14 October 20

Updated on the 15th September, there are concerns around suitability and functionality which applies to both commercial and recreational users.

In August 2020, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency was notified of anecdotal evidence which suggests that users are not considering advice and guidance from the manufactures of Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) when retrofitting PLBs into PFDs.

This has hindered functionality and could compromise both the PFD and PLB, it is suggested that this could have a negative effect on safety benefits of both items of Lifesaving Apparatus.

“This applies both to commercial and recreational users where the PLB has been fitted retrospectively into a PFD”

If you have any concerns around this, contact the manufactures of your equipment for further information.

What you can do, as advised by MCA and Government

  • Check and ensure that the PLB is approved for compatibility by the PFD manufacturer and, when fitting the PLB to the PFD, you follow the official guidance of the PFD manufacturers.
  • If you have already fitted a PLB to a PFD, check that you have followed the PFD manufacturer’s official guidance when doing so.
  • Ensure you follow the PLB manufacturer’s user instructions and self-test regime
  • If in any doubt, contact the PFD manufacturer or their approved service agent (for both the PFD and PLB) for advice.

 

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