PLB activation question

I am updating phone numbers for shore contacts connected with my ACR Personal Locater Beacon. Because many people no longer answer their phones if they do not recognize numbers or IDs, my question is this: if I activate my PLB and the monitoring people call my shore contacts to see if this is likely a real emergency, what ID appears on the phone screen of my shore contact? I am sure some of you know from experience! Thanks.

Not easy to say. It depends on where the PLB is activated, and what country it’s registered to and whether you are inland or at sea, that determines what Search and Rescue (SAR) teams are in play. According to the following source, , in the US the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida will make the calls to PLB contacts for inland rescue but the local state SAR coordinator also tries to contact. I assume it’s CG SAR for sea.

Personally I ask my contacts to answer any “legitimate looking” government agency calls if I’m on a trip. That said, if the rescue was from a GPS tracker (SPOT, Inreach) and not a PLB, it might be a private firm and not the government.


Thank you very much, Greg. If I’m gone for only a week to 10 days, it’s certainly not too much to ask my friends to answer their phones.

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“…Thank you very much, Greg. If I’m gone for only a week to 10 days, it’s certainly not too much to ask my friends to answer their phones…”

Then get them to follow your track. Log in each day and the tracker will post it to a web site if you set it up.

Interesting question.

You may want to put into the comments section when you register the PLB about leaving messages.

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This is a really good topic and something that hadn’t crossed my mind until gingernc brought it up. As a senior citizen (did I say that out loud?) my wife and I get all sorts of official looking but scam robo-calls about this or that and we never answer them and block them but of course they just spoof a different number.

I wonder if there is a better way than subjecting our friends loved ones to potential bogus calls.


That’s a good idea. Thanks!

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Right? I think so. Let’s figure this out.

I like the idea of advising to leave a message on the NOAA registration page. It’s much more likely your contacts will be inundated with spam calls than an SAR call.

Another recommendation I’ve heard is to put a link on that page to a public document host like Dropbox, etc. that you can easily update. In the document you can put your itinerary with dates, even a map. That way, they can readily match the ping with where you say you are and know it isn’t a false alarm.

Follow that with a description of your boat, maybe tent color. The document could include photos of you and your stuff. Then medical issues or Rx they should be aware of. Just know that it has to be a public document for them to readily access, although I think you can include a password to access.