MMH Malta Triq Xatt il-Mollijiet Marsa, MRS 1152
+356 2134-6320 / 2134-1953

Beacons Saves Lives

Beacons Saves Lives – Camilleri Marine #406MHz Weekend


As implied within its name, #406Day is a play on the American date of 6th April as a means to spread awareness on emergency beacons and the importance of the #406 MHz Signal. The number 406 is known to be a lifesaving emergency communication signal which globally assisted the search and rescue teams to save thousands of lives. However, one may beg the question of why is an emergency distress beacon important when we have our mobile phones stuck to our faces all the time?

Well, primarily, when engaging in activities further than the limits of traditional mobile phone network coverage, such as offshore sailing or a hike by the mountains, it is always deemed as best to have the individual equipped with a safety distress beacon in case of an emergency. Engaging in these types of activities typically calls for adventures into uncharted territories, and thus, performing them empty handed can prolong and induce several complications when trying to establish contact with local emergency services. At this point in time, this is where 406MHz technology enters the scenario via technologies such as Ocean Signal’s PLBs (Personal Locator Beacon) or EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).

406MHz Technology


The 406MHz is a frequency transmitted by distress beacons known as EPIRBs and PLBs via the dedicated satellite network COSPAS-SARSAT. The COSPAS-SARSAT has saved thousands of people back when it was founded in 1982 as it is the only system that can independently locate a beacon anywhere on Earth. The signal contains unique identification data and GPS positioning* used by Search And Rescue (SAR) teams to locate the vessel or person in distress.

*GPS positioning only on GPS versions.


  1. A distress signal is broadcasted.
  2. COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system directs an alert to a Local User Terminal (nearest to distress scene).
  3. The Local User Terminal directs rescue coordination to a Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) via a Mission Control Centre.
  4. The Home RCC validates the alert and launches SAR services if needed.
  5. SAR Services home in on the last transmitted location.



The International COSPAS-SARSAT program maintains a network of satellites and ground facilities built solely to receive distress signals from 406MHz beacons and relay the alerts to relevant authorities in more than 200 countries and territories. All COSPAS-SARSAT type approved 406MHz beacons work on this satellite system such as Ocean Signal’s PLBs (Personal Locator Beacon) or EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).

*As of 2015, COSPAS-SARSAT has aided in the rescue of over 41,000 people in over 11,788 SAR events.

What is the difference between an EPIRB and a PLB for marine enthusiasts? Click here to find out!

You can contact Camilleri Marine for any queries:

Telephone: (+356) 2134 6320 / (+356) 2134 1953


Address: MMH Malta Triq Xatt il-Mollijiet Marsa, MRS 1152, Malta.

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Ellcee Nautical Supplies Co. Ltd. has been trading as Camilleri Marine serving the maritime industry since 1979. Located on the seafront right in the hub of the Maltese yachting centre, we aim to provide our customers with a number of essential supplies and services.

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MMH Malta Triq Xatt il-Mollijiet Marsa, MRS 1152
+356 2134-6320 / 2134-1953

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