In order for search and rescue authorities to respond in a timely fashion your EPIRB(s) must be correctly registered and in this regard one of our FPB owners passed on the following which should be of interest:
”I was reviewing my BVI Radio Station License (which requires renewal every year and they hadn’t sent me one) and I thought I would verify my EPIRB information as well. After a bunch of mucking around with the Maritime attorney who did my registration (who in turn talked to the people in BVI), it turns out that they did NOT register my beacon even thought they said they had. After more mucking around, they came back with some convoluted procedure to do same which probably would never have gotten done.
As a result, I decoded my beacon ID and determined that it was a US beacon based on the country code encoded in to the beacon ID. I then went to the NOAA/Sarsat registration site and registered my beacon under my name, emergency contact info, boat name description, equipment and MMSI. In the home port and registration sections, I showed Road Harbor, BVI and the registration was accepted since the beacon was coded as a US beacon even though the boat is BVI registry.
Might be worth passing this on to any other FPB folks who are foreign registry but bought their beacons in the US. I assume that a beacon purchased in another country would have that country code built into the HEX key so those beacons would have to be registered in the country which was encoded in the beacon ID. My suggestion would be for everyone to buy a US beacon regardless of the boats registry as registration is free and easy thru NOAA.”
It is also worth noting that the registration process needs to be periodically updated.