Coast Guard Warns of Recall on Emergency Beacon
On Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard issued an urgent marine safety alert for shipowners and operators announcing the recall of certain Kannad SAFELINK brand Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs). The devices have a yellow plastic body, which may age prematurely when subjected to "specific environmental conditions," which could result in the beacon not operating in an emergency, the USCG said.
The Coast Guard strongly encouraged operators to check their Kannad-branded EPIRB against an online serial number list to determine whether it was among the models affected. The product number can be found on the back of the EPIRB, and entered at http://www.safelinkepirbsupport.co.uk.
The models recalled include the SAFELINK Manual+ GPS and the SAFELINK Auto GPS. The two are similar, differing mainly in their housing – the latter is contained within a white Category 1 float-free container, which meets USCG self-deployment requirements for vessels over 36 feet.
Vessels are cautioned not to rely on the EPIRB as the primary SAR beacon on board and to seek a replacement as soon as possible.
After the registration of a defective model, Kannad will provide owners with a new, equivalent replacement EPIRB with a five year warranty, at no charge.
While the USCG's Office of Boating Safety issues periodic recalls for consumer market marine equipment, a USCG recall announcement for a SOLAS product suitable for industry use is a relatively rare occurrence. However, it is not the only recent recall for an EPIRB internationally: in 2013, Standard Communications recalled its GME Accusat EPIRB for a microprocessor malfunction which could lead it to fail to activate in an emergency. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission initiated a nationwide recall on the devices beginning in July 2014.
On April 29, Orolia Limited, Kannad Marine’s parent company, provided the following statement regarding the recall:
“Orolia Limited, owner of Kannad Marine has become aware of an issue affecting Kannad SAFELINK EPIRBs which could result in the beacon not operating in an emergency situation. The SAFELINK EPIRB’s yellow body plastic may prematurely age when subjected to specific environmental conditions which has the potential to impact on its long term effectiveness in the field. The Kannad SAFELINK EPIRB model is the only Kannad Marine product affected.
Although the issue identified may impact beacon effectiveness in a very small number of cases, we believe it is important to take broader preventative actions to respond to this situation promptly and comprehensively for your safety. That is why Kannad Marine has decided to instigate a voluntary Global Recall Program for the SAFELINK EPIRBs.”
Kannad Marine encourages owners of the affected products to use the registry website listed above to exchange recalled models for new replacements.