EPIRBs help rescuers find boaters in trouble.

Unlucky boaters who had to leave a sinking vessel have been saved by a device no bigger than a TV remote control: the hand held Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (or EPIRB).

A story on Fox30online.com reports that next to a life vest, an EPIRB might be the best life saving device on your boat.

If you are stranded in the ocean, with or without a boat, turn on a handy EPIRB and your location can be tracked by overhead satellites.

EPIRBs are small devices, thanks to recent advances in shrinking the size of electronics they are about the size of a cellphone, but they are not cheap. An EPIRB can cost from $500 or up in the thousands.

That might seem like a lot of money, but that is not much more than the price of a deluxe MP3 player or high-end laptop. Neither of those devices will be much help to you if you are bobbing in the water far from shore. An EPRIB might be the best value you get for your boating dollar.

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