gCaptain has long been a proponent of Personal Locator Beacons (PLB), the handheld sized versions of EPIRB’s and we have even gone as far as saying “gCaptain believes that one of these devices should be required inside every lifeboat and liferaft that goes to sea“. We also believe, due to their diminutive size, these devices belong clipped onto the lifejackets of all persons who go on deck in rough weather.
But, as great as they are, EPIRBS are a global locational system meaning they are great at notifying the Coast Guard of your location but are poor in helping nearby vessels track MOB victims. In the past we have suggested throwing both the EPIRB (you do have more than one aboard, right!?) and SART overboard to help track a victim’s progress through the water, this way you have both global (EPIRB) and local (SART) tracking abilities. But wouldn’t it be better if you could identify the exact location of a Man Overboard? Now you can.
The Easy Rescue is a personal Automatic Identification System transmitting beacon. With a built in GPS it transmits an emergency AIS-SART sentence (MOB) which triggers an alarm on all AIS enabled chart plotters / PC’s within range, along with the Lat/Long of the victim. The GPS is a new generation fast acquiring type and the VHF AIS transmitter repeats the message and position several times per minute. This enables all vessels within range to assist with the rescue if they have an AIS receiver or transponder.
Apart for an AIS receiver or transceiver connected to a chart plotter / PC, nothing. The Easy Rescue maybe attached to a life jacket or kept on a lanyard. To operate just slide the safety cover off (releasing the coiled antenna) and press ON. A test button allows regular test of GPS function, battery state etc. Continue Reading…
gCaptain looks forward to testing this technology in the near future, and we will reserve our final judgement for that time, but we do whole endorse the idea and look forward to the time when a Portable AIS SART is clipped on the lifejacket of every mariner battling heavy seas.