I'm starting to do some solo hiking here in Italy, and I'm going to buy a PLB soon. I was wondering if I went to Germany or Australia for example, if I activate the beacon will the beacon still get me the emergency services I would need? Thanks!

  • Please note that you should try to use cellular services first, if available, as you'll be able to give much more precise information about your situation. When not in some depressed area surrounded by mountains on all sides, I've often had coverage in the Alps.
    – helm
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 15:27
  • According to the data provided by the accepted answer, the result is ambiguous, and you should be careful and act under the assumption that the German authorities may not heed your beacon. Be careful!
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


The call would be routed to the international COSPAS-SARSAT network.

Here are the Beacon Regulations Handbooks for each country: http://www.cospas-sarsat.int/en/documents-pro/beacon-regulations-handbook

They have an INCOMPLETE and somewhat contradictory summary of countries: http://www.cospas-sarsat.int/en/beacon-ownership/national-beacon-regulations-for-serial-coded-plbs

  • This is interesting. Thank you. However, even after looking up Germany in the "Beacon Regulations Handbooks for each country" link you provided, I'm still confused: if you take a serial-coded PLB with you to Germany and use it (let's assume you were unaware of this restriction), will you receive emergency services (end then possibly be fined), or will they just ignore you because yours is serial-coded? Ie: "Serial-coded PLBs are not allowed in Germany"
    – Loduwijk
    Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 17:51
  • Yeah @Loduwijk I was pondering on the same question myself :) I guess Herr Hauptmann would get an alert, come over, fine you and drive back home ;) Seriously though - I reckon you would not have ANY rescue at all. I would be conservative and assume it to be this way.
    – Alexander
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 17:16

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