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Or Electronic Position Indicator Radio Beacon,

a small, floating, battery-operated, rescue device. Under the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System regulations, it is now compulsory equipment for all commercial vessels, and for all seagoing yachts. When activated manually, or automatically by a hydrostatic release switch triggered by water, it sends out a signal that is picked up by orbiting satellites or by search aircraft, which relay the signal to rescue services. The signal includes the identity, and owner, of the vessel so that authorities know what kind of ship they are looking for. Four hundred and six MHz EPIRBs transmit the device's geographical position to the emergency services using an internal GPS instrument.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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