EPIRB: What are they & cost

TRI-CITIES, WA - The summer heat is here which means you may be looking to cool down and swimming is usually at the top of our lists. Here is one device that could help save your life if you get into trouble on the water.

An EPIRB is an emergency position indicating radio beacon that can help search and rescue authorities pinpoint your position in an emergency. They are also known as distress beacons and emergency beacons because that is their primary function.

They have them for hiking, water activities, and snowmobiling. Whether you have an emergency while fishing or you are caught in an avalanche, you activate the device. It then sends out a distress signal. Some EPRIBs are activated by a lanyard that is pulled or pushing a button. When the signal goes off the Air Force Search and Rescue Watch Center is able to get a name and a phone number for the owner of the device.

"It is certainly an option for anybody. They do work very well they are pretty reasonable price for people that enjoy activities. They work in areas that cell phone wouldn't," Cpl. Randy Loyd with Benton County Sheriff's Office said.

Some emergency beacons attach to a vest, others attach to a person. They are handheld like a GPS and they cost around $200.

You can buy a device at any outdoor shop, Marine shop, or online.