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Personal locator beacons or PLBs, are used to send out a one-way distress signal in the case of emergency. Satellite messengers, A personal locator beacon (PLB) uses the COSPAS-SARSAT global satellite system to send out an S.O.S alert. These devices use a frequency — 406MHz — reserved explicitly for distress callsA PLB works differently to an EPIRB in that they are registered to a person, and not to a vessel. This means that they can be used for hunting or tramping as well as boating. PLBs are incredibly compact (some can fit in your pocket), so are well suited to situations where you may have limited space.