Man Overboard – Are AIS SARTS the Best MOB Devices? was an article written on March 2, 2012, by gCaptain’s John Konrad. It’s been over seven years since this article was written. As a manufacturer of Man Overboard MOB devices, we wanted to see how the MOB personal beacon market has changed in those seven years.
Has the Reason for a Man Overboard Incident Changed?
Reasons a Man Overboard incidents occur haven’t changed. The most obvious fact that has not changed in the past seven years is “If the man overboard is not found, he or she will not be recovered.”
Mr. Konrad writes about two different systems on the market to increase the chance of a man overboard recovery, AIS SART devices, and DSC systems. Generally led by aggressive marketing budgets by AIS SART device manufacturers, many maritime writers are unfamiliar with our MOB alerting solution that has been on the market for over 20 years. Emerald Marine Products has worked hard to educate mariners about the pros and cons of these systems. Twelve years ago, Mr. Konrad did not cover our product. Suffice it to say, our ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System is better than these two technologies because it provides the most important function of MOB recovery – speed in the notification of a man overboard.
Why is the ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System Different from AIS SARTS Systems?
The ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System is an automatic water-activated beacon. Within seconds the boat the person fell off of is notified of a MOB. Those seconds are the difference between a successful rescue and a prolonged search and rescue. The devices Mr. Konrad outlines in the article are not automatic, and not capable of doing what it reports to do unless properly registered and understood. The actual time of MOB awareness with these devices could be in the minute range as opposed to seconds.
In the 2012 article, Mr. Konrad asked, “What is the future?” He then goes on to write…
“While some believe that DSC based SARTS are the answer, I’ve seen too many false alarms broadcast over the system in recent years. I like the AIS SARTS a lot but I think the ultimate solution will be a hybrid of the existing systems and I believe that AIS will soon replace the 121.5 homing signal still present in most 406 epirbs.”
Mr. Konrad’s prediction is correct that more 406 epirbs are on the market than 121.5 homing signals as the 121.5 Mhz frequency is no longer monitored for SAR. Just recently gCaptain reported that Sea Tow, a respected maritime rescue company, will no longer offer VHF Marine Radio checks. Again, we see technology that is being replaced or abandoned at an alarming rate. Our ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System’s technology is simple to use and doesn’t require third party support to function.
Has Technology of ManOverboard Personal Beacons Changed in the Past Seven Years?
Mr. Konrad then writes…
“But what I like most is a simple waterproof radio so I can talk to nearby ships from the water. So the perfect system for me would be a bluetooth handheld VHF with integrated AIS that I can clip to my lifevest. Here are the features I’d have in my ideal unit I would like to clip to my lifejacket:
- I’d like the unit to serve as a microphone to a base VHF (I have the RS-82 system abroad the gCaptain test boat) when in bluetooth range. When out of bluetooth range (like if I fell overboard) an alarm sounds on the base unit.
- Water Activated, I’d like the following to go off when the unit is immersed
- Strobe light
- AIS tracking
- Integrated GPS EPIRB
- Two batteries
- One for the emergency functions & one for the rest”
Emerald Marine Products’ Refresh of Personal Beacon Technology
In 2017, Emerald Marine Products began the development of its new generation of the ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System. We too looked at some of the technology that Mr. Konrad requested in 2012 but three very important reasons made our decision to stick with our 418MHz technology.
Number one was the ability to provide automatic alerting. The ability to alert a mariner within seconds, and not a minute, was imperative to a successful MOB rescue. Hundreds of companies that use our product agree.
Second, cost. We understood that to put in some of the technical components Mr. Konrad outlines in his article, it would drive the production costs up so high, even mariners willing to spend “the big bucks” on life-saving equipment would be turned off by the cost.
Finally, our third reason is we already had technology in our product that could extend the alerting of a MOB far beyond the boat itself. Our man overboard personal beacon is not dependent on third-party software, hardware, certification, or registration to operate properly.
ALERT Portable, DIY Man-Overboard Alarm System
ALERT Portable, DIY Man Overboard Alarm System ™, combines ALERT2 Receiver, two ALERT418 Transmitters, heavy-duty stand, antenna, cable, and 110volt power converter. Set-up within minutes. No programming needed. No third-party installation required. You are ready for any fall-overboard alert within seconds. In addition to the internal alerting, the unit can be wired to perform engine kill or other external alerting capabilities.
The best chance of surviving a man overboard incident is rescuing from the boat itself. Isn’t it imperative that the alerting of a man overboard happens within seconds and the boat launches the rescue? In the event, the boat can’t launch the rescue, the captain or able-bodied crew member can get on the radio and broadcast coordinates of the MOB within seconds, again less time than any other technology would offer. The chances of both a visual of the MOB and a coordinated rescue can happen quickly with the ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System.
ALERT Portable, DIY Alarm System, making it even easier to protect your crew
Recently we introduced the ALERT, Portable DIY Alarm System which allows you to walk on a vessel with our system, plug it into a 110-volt outlet, hand out the transmitters for the crew to attach to themselves, and the crew is protected. Within minutes. No need to register technology or teach how the technology works or send the items back for annual certification. Mentioned in National Fisherman.
It’s always gratifying to see members of the Maritime Industry write articles about Man Overboard awareness and the solutions that are in place to help a MOB from becoming a fatality. At Emerald Marine Products our total focus in Man Overboard Alerting. Next time you look into a MOB solution for your crew, look at our solution before you simply pick-up a box at the local marine supply store.
No Commitment Trial
Still don’t believe that the ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System is the easiest and quickest response MOB alerting product? Contact us to explore a trial usage of our man overboard alarm system.