Ocean Signal RescueME EPIRB1 Pro Review

After using the EPIRB1 Pro recently, I’ve put together my thoughts from using the device firsthand.

We collectively have nearly 50 years of maritime experience here at Sailing Savvy. In this detailed breakdown, you’ll gain insight into the compactness and feature-rich technology embedded within one of the best EPIRBs currently on the market.

Bottom Line

The EPIRB1 Pro has one key difference from its sibling the RescueME EPIRB1 and that is the Automatic Release Housing (commonly referred to as ‘float free’).

Safety on the water should always be a top priority, and the EPIRB1 Pro adds a significant layer to your emergency protocols with its compact size, long battery life, and robust feature set.

Ocean Signal RescueME EPIRB1 Pro Category I GPS EPIRB
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My Review Of The Ocean Signal RescueME EPIRB1 Pro

Here are my five main takeaways from having recently reviewed the EPIRB1 Pro. In a nutshell, it’s compact but still packed full of features.

We all know how vital space is on a vessel. The EPIRB1 Pro capitalizes on its modest size to deliver safety without taking up excessive room.

With dimensions of just 10.4 x 7.9 x 5.1 inches and weighing less than 1 pound, it’s super lightweight compared to any other Category I EPIRBs out there.

What stands out with the EPIRB1 Pro is its clever integration of the automatic release feature giving you peace of mind that it will perform even if you can’t reach it.

The practicality extends to the installation process, where the included adapter facilitates easy mounting, especially if you are transitioning from older models.

While stowed, it remains compact and out of the way, but in an urgent situation, the beacon doesn’t hesitate to rise to the occasion – literally floating free to broadcast your SOS.

The EPIRB1 Pro comes equipped with GPS, which is a significant feature, offering highly reliable and accurate positioning.

This is crucial in a distress scenario where every second counts.

The device’s ability to communicate via the 406MHz frequency to the dedicated satellites of the Cospas-Sarsat network ensures a rapid, global response.

Its compact design belies the power it packs for emergency use—when activated, it provides search and rescue services with updates on your location for a prolonged period, thanks to its extended operational life.

The built-in 121.5MHz homing beacon further aids rescuers in pinpointing your location, working in tandem with the intense LED strobe light that significantly increases visibility, especially under the cover of darkness.

This sophisticated mix of precise GPS functionality, automation, and durable design adds a layer of reassurance to any voyage, whether it’s for leisure or commercial purposes.

In a recent self test, the strobe’s vivid flashes were clearly visible for the few flashes to acknowledge the test.

This isn’t just about being seen by nearby vessels, but also for being spotted from the air by search and rescue teams.

What stands out to me is the combination of this strobe functionality with its compact design.

The inclusion of this high intensity strobe inherently enhances survival odds by bolstering visibility.

The unit’s Automatic Release Housing (ARH) is designed to deploy the EPIRB automatically—a critical feature if you find yourself unable to release it manually.

Imagine, in the worst-case scenario, your vessel capsizes or takes on water; the ARH activates when submerged, freeing the EPIRB, which then promptly floats to the surface and begins transmitting your distress signal.

This automatic deployment is thanks to the included Hydrostatic Release Unit, which works flawlessly, ensuring activation and signal transmission even in challenging conditions.

It’s important to remember, that proper maintenance and regular checks are essential for ensuring the ARH remains operational.

This device promises 10 years of serviceability thanks to its long-lasting battery, eliminating the frequent need for replacements.

On the flip side, if activated, the operational battery life spans >48 hours @ -20°C

This duration is standard for this type of emergency beacon. In real-world use, the robust construction of the EPIRB1 Pro suggests it can weather harsh marine conditions.

Pros and Cons

Its compact design is about 30% smaller than similar models, which won’t take up significant space on your vessel.

The high-intensity strobe light is built to grab attention when search and rescue reaches you during the night.

One of the standout features is the impressive 10-year battery life, sparing you from expensive replacement worries.

Ocean Signal is priced at a premium and you can get other Cat 1 EPIRBs with Return Link Service for the same price point.

I’m also aware that a few forum threads have pointed out build issues, especially with their red distress button cover.

Its sturdy build and reliable GPS functionality contribute to your safety on the open water. The 10-year battery life ensures long-term readiness, and the automatic release bracket is a practical feature, activating the EPIRB in emergencies without needing hands-on intervention.

Alternatives EPIRBs to Consider

The obvious comparison to make is the EPIRB1 which is the sibling of the Pro. The most fundamental difference is the automatic release present in the Pro.

Another option is to look at ACR’s GlobalFix V5 which is priced similarly and comes with additional features such as RLS.

Frequently Asked

The manufacturer assures a battery life of 10 years before a replacement is needed.

It’s important to note, however, that the device should still undergo regular checks to ensure it’s functioning properly as part of your safety routine.

Yes, the EPIRB1 Pro fully complies with the MED (2014/90/EU) standards. This means it meets the necessary criteria to be used internationally, ensuring worldwide safety compliance.

Based on my experience and what I’ve gathered from the device’s capabilities, it is designed to withstand harsh maritime environments.

The high-intensity strobe and accurate GPS show reliability during testing in adverse weather, demonstrating that performance is not significantly hindered.

You can manually activate the EPIRB1 Pro in an emergency.

To do this, remove the unit from its bracket, slide the protective cover away from the buttons, and press the ‘ON’ button.

It’s straightforward, designed to be easily used even under stress.

I’m the founder and chief editor here at Sailing Savvy. I spent a decade working as a professional mariner and currently, I mix those experiences with digital publishing. Welcome, and I hope that we can be the hub you need for safe passage.