If you regularly boat far from shore, an EPIRB ranks as an essential safety item. Yet if you have one, aren’t PLBs a waste of money? Not really. PLB stands for personal locator beacon, and that’s an important distinction. PLBs from companies such as ACR, McMurdo and Ocean Signal are designed to secure onto your life jacket. In rough seas, souls can quickly become separated during a catastrophe. So while an EPIRB helps rescuers locate the general vicinity of the emergency, PLBs help them find the crew members. And ultimately, isn’t that what really matters? Selling for as little as $250 each, it’s a good idea to have a PLB for every soul on board.