MIAMI - ACR Electronics' better mousetrap for the 2012 Miami International Boat Show is an inherently buoyant version of its ResQLink, the smallest and lightest personal locator beacon on the market, which it debuted last year at the show.
The original ResQLink was not inherently buoyant, but it could be tucked away in a floating pouch, ACR’s Chris Wahler said. The new ResQLink, called ResQLink+, is a tad wider than the original, so it will float on its own, but at 1.6 by 1.9 by 4.5 inches it still qualifies as smaller than anything else out there except the original ResQLink, he said.
Wahler said the Coast Guard has issued this unit as standard safety gear for each crewmember on endurance cutters. He advises mariners to carry an EPIRB on the boat and PLBs for personal use if you get separated from the boat. PLBs don’t have the same capabilities that EPIRBs have as distress-signaling devices. Their antennas must be deployed, and they must be held out of the water, with the antenna in an upright position, to send and receive signals from a satellite.
Wahler says the ResQLink+ comes with a Velcro strap for securing it to a life jacket up around the collarbone, which is how the Coast Guard carries its PLBs.
The list price is $325, and the retail price is about $280, Wahler said.
— Jim Flannery