Real-time Weather Data in AIS Transmissions is on the Horizon

Discussions about the inclusion of real-time weather data as part of AIS transmissions is just another example of how the uses of this technology are extending beyond its original intent of collision avoidance.

The topic was on the agenda at this spring's Worldwide Ferry Safety Association's (WFSA) 2018 Ferry Safety & Technology Conference held in New York where indications are that marrying weather reporting with AIS transmissions is definitely on the horizon.

Read more here in Barry Parker's blog: https://www.workboat.com/blogs/maritime-matters/vessel-safety-and-ais/

AIS Making Trade Finance More Transparent

Although its original purpose was as an anti-collision tool, AIS has many other uses – including vessel tracking to identify those seeking to evade sanctions.

AIS satellite and shore-based transmitters provide a view of all ship movements, capturing a complete history of port visits.

Today, the use of AIS software is becoming increasing necessary for a bank or financial institution providing trade finance so that they can ensure full compliance and avoid inadvertently breaching sanctions.

For the full story go to: https://www.globalbankingandfinance.com/the-shipping-technology-making-trade-finance-more-transparent/

 

AIS Aid from Ocean Safety Ahead of the Season

AIS was high on the agenda during Ocean Safety's Lifejacket Clinic this month.

As boat owners start preparing for the season, the UK marine safety specialist and distributor for Ocean Signal opened its doors in Southampton for the first time to ensure its customers are properly equipped.

Visitors were encouraged to bring along their lifejackets and AIS beacons, such as the Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1 man overboard device with AIS and DSC. Ocean Safety's experts were then on hand to fit the devices to their lifejackets for free.

Free visual inspections of lifejackets were also provided and Ocean Safety staff answered any safety questions during the Open Day.

Ocean Safety highlights the importance of regularly servicing your lifejacket, as well as making sure that your AIS devices and PLBs are fitted correctly to your lifejacket.

Ocean Safety offer liferaft and lifejacket servicing by qualified and experienced servicing professionals at all of their branches throughout the year as well as free winter storage of your safety equipment. During the liferaft service they also encourage people where possible to go in and familiarise themselves with their liferaft. All of the branches also offer servicing for Survival Suits, EPIRBs, SARTs, Breathing Apparatus, Fire Safety Equipment and Man Overboard Systems.

A 'real-life reason' to install AIS

An increasing number of leisure boaters are now realizing the benefits of AIS and opting to install a Class A or Class B system on their boats to add to existing safety equipment. 

For the captain and crew of either a commercial or recreational vessel, this means that when a vessel has an AIS transceiver installed, they will be able to identify, locate and communicate with other AIS equipped vessels nearby by an electronic data transfer of navigational and vessel information.

Improving situational awareness and maritime domain awareness, AIS enables the identification of previously unknown radar and visual targets.

When viewing a shipboard radar or electronic chart display, each ship symbol will reveal the ship name, course and speed, classification, call sign, registration number and MMSI. Other valuable information available includes details regarding manoeuvring, closest point of approach (CPA) and time to CPA.

The potentially life-saving benefits were illustrated by a post on boating forum ‘The Hull Truth’ here: https://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-electronics-forum/915668-real-world-ais-story.html

U.S. Coast Guard Reminds Mariners to Maintain their AIS

The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center published a Marine Safety Information Bulletin in March to ensure mariners maintain their Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) in an effective operating condition to preserve the integrity of AIS data transmitted by all vessels in U.S. waters.

The broadcast of incorrect AIS data is a navigational hazard which could result in accidents, especially in congested waters, or extend the response time of assets during search and rescue operations.

Broadcasting incorrect AIS data can result in civil penalties.

The Bulletin goes on to provide information for boat owners on how to understand AIS. To assist with complying with AIS regulations, NAVCEN maintains the Vessel Information Verification Service (VIVS) found at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/vivs. VIVS is a self-help web application which allows vessel owners to validate their AIS transmitted information.

To help understand AIS errors NAVCEN has an AIS Encoding Guide found at https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/AIS/AISGuide.pdf. NAVCEN also has a tool to show current AIS discrepancies found at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/aisSearch/. 

AIS Helps Capture Global Fishing Picture

AIS technology is behind a new study which suggests fishing activity covers at least 55 percent of the planet’s oceans.

By collecting AIS data from fishing vessels, scientists have been able to capture a complete, global picture of fishing.

The study, published in Science, uses several maps to detail where fishing vessels go, when they fish and how.

An increasing number of fishing vessels are required to carry an AIS so the scientists were able to use the data from the devices about the ship’s location, identity, speed and turning angle in their work for the Global Fishing Watch..

The team took 22 billion AIS positions collected between 2012 to 2016. They then matched vessels to official fleet registries to come up with the type of vessel, size and other identification information and looked at vessel tracks to figure out when the vessel was fishing and how.

In 2016 alone, the data set included more than 40 million hours of fishing. The ships traveled more than 460 million kilometers—a distance equivalent to traveling to the Moon and back 600 times.

For more details, read the press release from SkyTruth here: https://www.skytruth.org/fishing-area-press-release/

Third Time Lucky in Amver Rescue

Ships continue to join Amver (Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System) every week, adding ever increasing value to this computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system. Sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, it is used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance for people in distress at sea.

In one of the latest reported incidents, three Amver ships assisted a lone sailor in a 45ft sailboat who was adrift approximately 700 miles west of Cabo San Lucas. First, the Coast Guard located the 587ft bulk carrier Indigo Lake which diverted from 340 miles away. The sailor declined to abandon ship and the Indigo Lake crew could not safely board the sailboat to assist with repairs to his engine, so the sailor proceeded towards Los Angeles under sail.

Rescue authorities then had to locate the Norwegian flagged general cargo ship Star Gran which diverted and was able to lower the chief engineer down to the sailboat. The sailor boarded Star Gran for breakfast before deciding to continue his attempt for California.

The following day, the Coast Guard were contacted by the sailor again and they used the Amver system a third time to locate container ship Express Berlin. The engineering crew were able to troubleshoot the engine and the sailor declined rescue. However, several hours later, the sailor was ready to abandon ship and Express Berlin was recalled to pick up the 76-year-old without injury.

Established in 1958, Amver encourages any commercial vessel, regardless of nation or flag, over 1,000 gross tons on voyages of 24 hours or greater to enroll and participate. Other vessels such as private yachts, research vessels, and even floating production storage and offloading vessels (FPSOs) can enroll.

Ocean Signal Introduces the ATB1 Class B AIS Transponder Incorporating Superior SOTDMA Technology and 5W Output Power for Increased Visibility and Safety for Leisure Boat Owners

Ocean Signal has launched the ATB1, a powerful Class B Marine AIS Transponder incorporating the superior SOTDMA technology and 5W output power to ensure increased visibility and navigational safety for leisure boat owners and captains.

The new fully-compliant Ocean Signal AIS unit uses the SOTDMA (Self Organised Time Division Multiple Access) scheme to provide enhanced navigational safety and added assurance that the vessel will be seen day or night. This complex AIS technology, which ensures increased priority for position reports with no loss or delay of transmission, has been incorporated within the ATB1 to offer boaters a high strength, yet affordable, Class B device for aiding collision avoidance and providing peace of mind in areas of high traffic or poor conditions.

The Ocean Signal ATB1 has a faster reporting rate and higher output power than standard CSTDMA (Carrier Sense TDMA) Class B units, sending AIS transmissions every five seconds instead of the CSTDMA two transmissions per minute. The unit’s 5W output power, compared to the standard 2W, allows the transmissions to reach further.

Communication and safety at sea specialist Ocean Signal’s advanced proven technology ensures the ATB1’s AIS transmissions provide the most accurate representation of the vessel’s position at all times. With 99 acquisition channels and 33 tracking channels, the powerful internal multi-GPS receiver continuously updates vessel information, including position, speed, course and heading, for accurate global positioning.

Other vessel information such as identity, call sign, type and dimensions, and MMSI is uploaded to the ATB1 via WiFi directly from Ocean Signal’s user-friendly mobile app or website to be stored for automatic transmission.

The ATB1 also receives and interprets AIS messages from other AIS-equipped vessels within range, which can then be relayed to other navigation devices such as chart plotters, laptops or mobiles using the ATB1’s NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000, USB or Wi-Fi outputs.

Providing assurance that the ATB1 is functioning with continuous AIS transmission and optimal performance, a multi-colour LED indicator light on the ATB1 signals the on-going operational status of the unit.  

Easy to use with accessible connections, the ATB1 features a sleek, yet rugged, waterproof design that is high on performance and low on energy consumption.  It is quick and simple to install and is supplied complete with an external mount GPS antenna, ready to upload vessel information using a mobile phone, tablet or PC.

The new Class B AIS unit is compatible with Ocean Signal’s award-winning rescueME MOB1 man overboard AIS/DSC device, providing immediate notification in the event that a MOB1 should be activated.

Neil Jordan, Managing Director, Ocean Signal, said: “The ATB1 provides leisure boat owners with a valuable new tool to improve their safety and situational awareness. The unit’s increased power and transmission frequency and use of the SOTDMA scheme open up the exceptional capabilities and benefits of AIS technology to more people, offering a level of transmission reporting priority only previously available with a Class A AIS unit, enabling leisure boaters to see and be seen for peace of mind, especially in low visibility or congested areas.”

The ATB1 Class B AIS Transponder is priced at £590 excluding VAT.

The ATB1 Class B AIS Transponder is the latest device in Ocean Signal’s comprehensive portfolio of essential sea-safety equipment developed and manufactured in the UK for the maritime market. It adds to the new Ocean Signal ATA100 Class A AIS Transponder, a combined SOLAS and Inland approved solution for superyachts and commercial vessels.

For further information about Ocean Signal’s products, go to www.oceansignal.com.

Ocean Signal Introduces ATA100 Class A AIS Transponder

Ocean Signal has introduced the ATA100 Class A AIS Transponder, a combined SOLAS and Inland approved solution capable of exchanging dynamic and static ship data with other AIS systems to aid collision-avoidance and improve safety for both commercial and recreational vessels.

Developed to meet the latest IMO carriage requirements and IEC standards, the new device incorporates Ocean Signal’s trusted technology within a compact design which is easy to use and simple to install.

The ATA100 is the only Class A AIS transponder available rated to the IPX7 waterproofing standard and features a 7-inch high-intensity, full-colour, rapid-response LCD to clearly display real-time marine traffic information. The coastline map and radar views have various orientation display options, whilst a standard target list display can be customised according to preference to provide immediate detailed information about nearby vessels.

The Ocean Signal Class A AIS is user intuitive, featuring large illuminated keys and easy-to-grip jog stick. The simple-to-use AIS message-sending functionality ensures safety related messages can be quickly delivered or received by the user, while an instant message and alarm function provides immediate notification of any potential problems or hazards.

Occupying a minimal amount of bridge space, the ATA100 is supplied with pilot plug and is suitable for either flush panel or free standing mounting for easy installation into almost any position or location.

Data such as location, speed over ground and course over ground is calculated automatically using the integrated 99-channel GPS receiver, while the static and voyage related data such as MMSI, call sign and identity, type of ship, destination and ETA is effortlessly programmed into the AIS transponder via a user-friendly intuitive menu interface.

Neil Jordan, Managing Director, Ocean Signal, said: “The ATA100 combines our proven technical know-how with the fluid product design Ocean Signal’s customers have come to expect to create a fully compliant, single unit solution which is easy to use and install on a wide range of vessels. It has been meticulously designed to allow operators to access and interpret the information provided by AIS to simplify navigation and improve safety, with intuitive operation and features such as the large clear display, versatile mounting options and easy-to-grip jog stick.”

As expected, this new Class A unit is compatible with Ocean Signal’s award-winning rescueME MOB1 man overboard AIS/DSC device and is programmable to accommodate up to 30 MOB units, providing immediate notification in the event that a MOB1 should be activated.

The ATA100 Class A AIS Transponder is the latest product offering in Ocean Signal’s comprehensive portfolio of essential sea-safety equipment developed and manufactured in the UK for the commercial maritime market, adding to the SafeSea range of GMDSS products, including the E100 and E100G EPIRB, S100 SART and V100 handheld VHF radio, as well as the M100 and M100X professional MSLD and E101V float-free EPIRB with integrated voyage data record memory capsule.

The ATA100 Class A AIS Transponder is priced at £1999 excluding VAT.

For further information about Ocean Signal’s products, visit www.oceansignal.com.

Ocean Signal Appoints Commercial Sales Manager

Ocean Signal has appointed Kris Nieuwenhuis as its new global Commercial Sales Manager.

An experienced technical sales manager in the maritime industry with a strong background in AIS and marine safety, Nieuwenhuis will focus on launching upcoming Ocean Signal products to the commercial sector. His new role will also involve increasing awareness of the Ocean Signal E101V float-free EPIRB with memory capsule for VDRs and growing sales of the established SafeSea range of GMDSS products.

Nieuwenhuis joins the safety and communication specialist following a three-year spell as Sales Manager at world leader in AIS technology and Ocean Signal distributor True Heading in the Netherlands. He gained further technical experience and understanding of navigation and safety planning and bridge layout on large vessels through previous engineering-based roles at Amels Shipyard and Feadship Shipyards.  

Kris said: “After gaining real knowledge and insight in the field from my time at True Heading, I am looking forward to channelling my experience and my interest in safety and navigation into promoting Ocean Signal’s leading devices to the commercial market. I am already very familiar with the compact and well-designed Ocean Signal products from my work at True Heading. The Ocean Signal train is gathering momentum and I am very happy to be jumping on board.”

From his base in the Netherlands, Nieuwenhuis will work with the company’s network of distributors and dealers, and develop and strengthen connections with OEMs and partners across the world.

Managing Director Neil Jordan said: “Kris brings an impressive technical and engineering background in addition to his sales and client relations experience to his new role with us. I am confident he will be able to use his knowledge and connections to launch our new products, strengthen the presence of our established portfolio and consolidate Ocean Signal’s position as a trusted and innovative supplier to the global maritime commercial market.”

Continuing to strengthen its presence in the commercial sector, Ocean Signal recently launched the new M100 and M100X Maritime Survivor Locating Device (MSLD) and collaborated with AMI Marine to introduce the new float-free E101V EPIRB with integrated voyage data recorder (VDR) memory capsule. Its SafeSea range of GMDSS products, include the V100 hand-held radio, S100 SART and E100 EPIRB.

Ocean Signal and Florida-based ACR Electronics, Inc. form a strong partnership to provide global leadership in safety and survival technologies. The companies combine two of the most highly experienced electronic engineering teams in the marine communication industry to offer a comprehensive portfolio of reliable, innovative and easy-to-use survival gear.

Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1 Voted Winner for Gear Innovation

The popular Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1 has picked up another award after it was voted as the winner in the ‘Gear Innovation’ category of the Sailing Today Awards 2017.

Announced on the opening day of this year’s TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show, the latest accolade adds to a DAME nomination, Pittman Innovation and Fisheries Supply award.

The Sailing Today Awards recognise the best the marine industry and the cruising world have to offer across 12 categories. In the weeks leading up to Southampton Boat Show, voters selected the Ocean Signal device as their favourite from a short-list of leading marine products in the category of Gear Innovation in association with Kingfisher Yacht Ropes.

James Hewitt, Ocean Signal’s Sales and Marketing Manager, said: “We are delighted that the readers of Sailing Today voted for the rescueME MOB1 next to the other exceptional products in this category. It is always good to know that people appreciate and understand the importance of our products in helping to ensure their safety out on the water.”

The rescueME MOB1 incorporates both AIS and DSC technologies within the most compact product on the market to ensure the best chance of rapid rescue for someone who has fallen overboard.

The device provides two methods of communicating the location of a person in the water back to the boat and other nearby vessels, plus visual indication. Once the MOB1 is activated, it transmits an alert to all AIS receivers and AIS-enabled plotters in the vicinity. Secondly, the MOB1 will activate the DSC alarm on the vessel’s VHF radio to alert fellow crew members. The integrated strobe light with moulded lens ensures the survivor is easily spotted in poor light conditions.

Measuring just 134mm (height) by 38mm (width) by 27mm (depth) and weighing 90g, the MOB1 has been designed to integrate easily into most lifejackets ready for automatic activation on inflation and sending the first alert within 15 seconds. The device can be pre-armed quickly and the activation tape then connected and placed around the deflated bladder of the life jacket. Operating within a temperature range of -20C and +55C, the rescueME MOB1 has a comprehensive self-test facility and a 7-year battery life. 

Priced at £209, the rescueME MOB1 is included in Ocean Signal's range of safety products.

Ocean Signal Joins Forces with Spinlock to Enhance Safety for 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race Crew

Ocean Signal’s award-winning rescueME MOB1 man overboard device and rescueME PLB1 Personal Locator Beacon will be integrated with Spinlock’s unique custom designed lifejacket and personal equipment packs for the crews in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 edition.

Communication and safety at sea specialist Ocean Signal has joined forces with Official Race Supplier Spinlock to supply two MOB1s with integrated AIS and DSC and a PLB1 for each Volvo Ocean 65 crew member. Every new Spinlock Volvo Ocean Race lifejacket will be integrated with an Ocean Signal MOB1, plus the Spinlock personal equipment pack will contain an additional MOB1, a PLB1 and also an ACR Electronics Firefly PRO emergency strobe light.

Nick Bice, Chief Technical Development Officer at Volvo Ocean Race, said: “The Volvo Ocean Race is the toughest test of a team in professional sport – and when you're racing at full speed through the places that our sailors go, safety is paramount.

"The integration of Ocean Signal's lifesaving devices into the bespoke lifejacket designed especially around our racers by Spinlock means that our crew can head to the Southern Ocean safe in the knowledge that they have the best possible equipment." 

Spinlock designed the custom-made lifejacket as part of an Official Supplier Scheme which has seen the Race work closely with the sailing and marine industry leaders to develop new and innovative products capable of withstanding the toughest conditions on the planet. The new Spinlock lifejacket includes a range of new features but is durable enough to withstand mile upon mile of Southern Ocean slamming as well as lightweight and comfortable.

James Hewitt, Ocean Signal’s Sales and Marketing Manager, said: “All ocean racing can be dangerous, even for the most experienced crew, so we are delighted to provide the crew in the Volvo Ocean Race with our reliable life-saving devices which will provide reassurance that they can be located quickly and recovered if they fall overboard.”

The compact and light Ocean Signal devices can be easily integrated into the lifejackets without hampering crew’s movement.  In the event of a person falling into the sea, the rescueME MOB1 is automatically triggered the moment the life jacket is inflated, sending the first alert within 15 seconds. The device transmits an alert to all AIS receivers and AIS-enabled plotters in the vicinity, with the integrated 66-channel GPS ensuring accurate position data is sent back to the boat and any other assisting vessels for at least 24 hours. Secondly, the MOB1 will activate the DSC alarm on the vessel’s VHF radio to alert fellow crew members. The integrated strobe light with moulded lens ensures the survivor is easily spotted in poor light conditions.

Ocean Signal’s rescueME PLB1 is the world’s smallest personal locator beacon and is specifically designed to be small and light enough to carry or attach to clothing for instant access to emergency services at the press of a button. Once activated, the PLB1 provides three methods of communicating the location of a survivor to search and rescue services – the designated 406MHz Cospas-Sarsat satellite system with position provided by a 66 channel GPS, a 121.5MHz homing beacon, plus high intensity (1 candela) strobe light.

The Firefly PRO rescue lights by ACR Electronics are extremely bright, reliable LED strobe lights which ensure the best chance of visually alerting rescue services for accurate location in an emergency.

The 2017-18 fleet sets off from Alicante on 22 October and will race 45,000 nautical miles in search of the trophy.

Ocean Signal Backs Rowing Brothers with Package of Leading Safety Equipment for Fund-Raising Atlantic Crossing

Communication and safety at sea specialist Ocean Signal has joined forces with 3Si Group company Ocean Safety to supply vital lifesaving equipment for two brothers preparing to row the Atlantic Ocean in memory of their father.

Jude Massey and Dr Greg Bailey are preparing to set off from Gran Canaria in January 2018 for the unsupported 3000-mile crossing to Barbados to raise funds for the British Skin Foundation. Two years ago, the brothers launched their campaign to raise £100,000 for skin cancer research and generate awareness after Peter Massey, Jude’s father and Greg’s stepfather, passed away after a 16-year battle with the disease.

Ocean Signal is supporting the rowers with a package of essential products for the eight to 11 week challenge, all developed to be easily activated in an emergency to provide reassurance that assistance is at hand. The brothers will be equipped with three Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1 man overboard devices, three Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 personal locator beacons, an Ocean Signal SafeSea S100 SART (Search and Rescue Transponder) and two Ocean Signal rescueME EDF1 electronic distress flares. Ocean Safety, UK distributor for Ocean Signal, will also be providing an Ocean ISO 4-man liferaft.

The row will take Jude and Greg many miles from any potential rescuers, so the PLBs and SART are essential devices for alerting search and rescue services quickly and for providing an accurate position in the event of a capsize or if someone falls overboard. The brothers also wanted the award-winning MOB1 devices with AIS technology to locate a man overboard using the on-board chart plotter.

James Hewitt, Ocean Signal’s Sales and Marketing Manager, said: “We hope our products provide Jude and Greg with reassurance that they can reach the rescue authorities at the press of a button, as well as alert each other or nearby vessels. All our devices are developed to be exceptionally light, compact and easy to use, so they are ideally suited for such a small boat in which the rowers have to think about the weight of every item.”

Rowing day and night in one-hour shifts, the rowers will rely on freeze-dried meals to fulfil their high calorific needs, with the extra complication of opting to follow a vegan diet for personal and ethical reasons.

Greg explained the driving factor behind their challenge, which has particular relevance to everyone who enjoys spending time at sea, explaining: “Skin cancer is not listed as the number one most common cancer in the UK on cancer research stats. This is because they separate skin cancer into melanoma and non-melanoma categories. When combined, skin cancer is four times more common than breast which is the second most common. We hope to make a change to that.”

The compact and light Ocean Signal devices can be easily integrated into lifejackets or other clothing without hampering movement.  In the event of a person falling into the sea, the rescueME MOB1 is automatically triggered the moment the life jacket is inflated, sending the first alert within 15 seconds. The device transmits an alert to all AIS receivers and AIS-enabled plotters in the vicinity, with the integrated 66-channel GPS ensuring accurate position data is sent back to the boat and any other assisting vessels for at least 24 hours. The integrated strobe light with moulded lens ensures the survivor is easily spotted in poor light conditions.

Ocean Signal’s rescueME PLB1 is the world’s smallest personal locator beacon and is specifically designed to be small and light enough to carry or attach to clothing for instant access to emergency services at the press of a button. Once activated, the PLB1 provides three methods of communicating the location of a survivor to search and rescue services – the designated 406MHz Cospas-Sarsat satellite system with position provided by a 66 channel GPS, a 121.5MHz homing beacon, plus high intensity (1 candela) strobe light.

The rescueME EDF1 flare burns for six hours and is suitable for one-handed operation in difficult conditions and waterproof to 10 metres. It has a visibility range of up to seven miles and up to six hours’ operation.

The SafeSea S100 SART is designed to assist in the rescue and recovery of the crew in liferafts and survival craft and transmits a series of pulses which provide a bearing.

Ocean Safety Kru lifejackets to be integrated with Ocean Signal’s rescueME MOB1 for improved safety of Clipper Race Crews

Ocean Safety and Ocean Signal have joined forces to supply the award-winning Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1 AIS man overboard device to all the crews taking part in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race as part of a new level of safety standards that have been set by the organisers. The compact MOB1 will be integrated into Ocean Safety’s specialised Kru lifejackets that are supplied to crewmembers following the introduction of measures that mean all competitors will carry an Automatic Identification System (AIS) device for the first time.

Ocean Safety, a 3Si group company, is an Official Supplier to the Clipper 2017-18 Race and will supply the rescueME MOB1s on behalf of Ocean Signal to integrate into the Kru lifejackets.

In the event of a person falling into the sea, the rescueME MOB1 is automatically triggered the moment the life jacket is inflated, sending the first alert within 15 seconds. It then provides two methods of communicating the location of a person in the water back to the boat and other nearby vessels, plus visual indication. The device transmits an alert to all AIS receivers and AIS-enabled plotters in the vicinity, with the integrated 66-channel GPS ensuring accurate position data is sent back to the boat and any other assisting vessels for at least 24 hours. Secondly, the MOB1 will activate the DSC alarm on the vessel’s VHF radio to alert fellow crew members. The integrated strobe light with moulded lens ensures the survivor is easily spotted in poor light conditions.

Ocean Safety’s addition of the life-saving Ocean Signal device to the standard safety equipment on board each of the 70ft yachts reflects the wishes of the organisers to offer the highest safety standards to their crew.

James Hewitt, Ocean Signal’s Sales and Marketing Manager, said: “All ocean racing can be extremely dangerous, even for the most experienced crew, so we are delighted to provide the crew in the Clipper Race with a reliable life-saving device which will provide reassurance that they can be located quickly and recovered if they fall overboard.

“In a man overboard situation, your first and best chance of rescue will always be from the vessel from which you have become separated. The immediate priority is to ensure that your fellow crew members are aware of the emergency and to do everything possible to make sure they have sight of you or know where you are relative to the vessel. The rescueME MOB1 is very small and unobtrusive, and, significantly, it features the additional DSC alarm, as well as the AIS alert.”

Alistair Hackett, General Manager at Ocean Safety, comments “Ocean Safety has a long standing partnership with Ocean Signal and the Clipper Race and so for both the suppliers to join together to provide the Clipper Race with a key next step in safety solutions is a natural outcome.” In fact Ocean Safety, a 3Si Group company is returning as safety supplier for an impressive sixth consecutive race.

Held biennially, the 11th edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race gets underway in August 2017 for the fleet of twelve identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew, who undertake four pioneering levels of training before taking part in the race. The overall race route spans 40,000 nm and is divided into a series of global races with the team having the best cumulative score winning the coveted Clipper Race Trophy.

Coast Guard Helps AIS Users Confirm Compliance

The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) has created a voluntary service that enables mariners to verify compliance with AIS carriage requirements.

The Vessel Identification Verification Service (VIVS), which went live on April 3, is available at https://navcen.uscg.gov/vivs

The VIVS is a web application in which commercial vessel owners/operators can verify the accuracy of their AIS broadcasted information per 46 U.S. Code Chapter 125. This includes the vessel name, call sign, vessel type, Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI), length, and beam.

Most commercial vessels traveling through U.S. navigable waterways are required to have an AIS.

ACR Electronics and Ocean Signal AIS Bundle Kit to the Rescue

Global leaders in safety and survival technologies ACR Electronics and Ocean Signal, Drew Marine companies, offered a unique AIS (Automatic Identification System) kit for boaters at this year’s Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show.

The comprehensive package provides boaters with life-saving access to advanced AIS technology through three compact and easy-to-use devices. Providing both personal and navigational safety benefits, the kit, priced at just $1,099.99, consists of two ACR Electronics AISLink Man Overboard devices, an Ocean Signal AIS Alarm Box and an ACR Class B AIS transceiver. Additional MOBs can be added, as one MOB per crew member is recommended.

Installing an AIS transceiver on board greatly increases navigational safety by ensuring you can see and be seen on the water. In addition, wearing an AIS Man Overboard (MOB) device will allow both your vessel and nearby boats to identify through their AIS connection on their chart plotters the exact location of the person who has fallen overboard.

Introduced for the first time at Miami International Boat Show, the ACR Electronics AISLink MOB transmits MOB emergency messages along with GPS coordinates to vessels with AIS receivers and/or plotters within a five-mile range. The ACR locating device also has the ability to alert crew to the emergency by activating the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) alarm on a vessel’s VHF radio. Manually or automatically activated upon inflation of the lifejacket, it will begin transmitting distress signals within just 15 seconds of activation and can continue to transmit for over 24 hours.

Compatible with AIS MOB devices, is the new Ocean Signal AIS Alarm Box which provides visual and audible indication the moment any AIS-MOB or AIS-Search and Rescue Transponder (SART) signal is received to ensure that everyone on the vessel is alerted to a possible Man Overboard (MOB) or a crew member is in need of rescue. As soon as an AIS transmission is detected, a tone-specific internal alarm is sounded to identify the source – AIS-SART, AIS-MOB, active or test message.

With a rugged and waterproof design, the fully featured ACR Electronics AISLink CB1 transceiver is ideal for recreational boats and a viable option for certain commercial vessels, such as fishing and small passenger vessels. Small, rugged and waterproof with low power consumption, the Class B device is reliable and easy to use with an internal GPS antenna to save space.

For more information, visit www.acrartex.com or www.oceansignal.com.

ACR Electronics Introduces New AISLink Man Overboard Device

ACR Electronics, a Drew Marine Company, has launched the new AISLink MOB – its first Automatic Identification System (AIS) Man Overboard (MOB) device.

Developed to ensure the best chance of rescue from the water, the ACR Electronics AISLink MOB will begin transmitting distress signals within just 15 seconds of activation and can continue to transmit for over 24 hours.

The AISLink, which is manually or automatically activated upon inflation of the lifejacket, transmits MOB emergency messages along with GPS coordinates to vessels with AIS receivers and/or plotters within a five-mile range.

The ACR locating device also has the ability to alert crew to the emergency by activating the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) alarm on a vessel’s VHF radio.

An integrated high-intensity strobe light assists rescuers with accurate positioning even in low visibility conditions.

Mikele D’Arcangelo, Marketing Director for ACR Electronics, said: “Visual sighting of a man overboard can be lost very quickly, even in moderate seas. AIS MOB technology can make a huge difference as it is engineered to quickly facilitate the rescue of someone in the water.

“Having an AISLink MOB on a lifejacket in a man overboard situation, when every second counts, will give the fastest, best chance of a local rescue by nearby vessels which are equipped with AIS.”

  • ACR’s AISLink MOB highlighted features include:
  • Dual alert via AIS and DSC
  • Integrated GPS for exceptional location accuracy
  • Simple life jacket integration
  • Manual or automatic activation
  • Ability to alert AIS-equipped vessels within a radius of 5 miles or 4.3 nautical miles
  • 24+ hours operational life and 7-year battery life
  • 5-year warranty
  • Ultra bright LED strobe light
  • Rugged and waterproof up to 10 metres

Adding to ACR Electronics’ already expansive line of personal maritime survival gear, the new AISLink MOB is a locating device specially designed and priced at €253 ($268) for both the recreational and commercial marine markets.

ACR’s new AISLink MOB is available at local or online recreational marine retailers.

For more information, visit www.acrartex.com.

European Approval for New M100 MSLD

Ocean Signal has announced that its new M100 Maritime Survivor Locating Device (MSLD) is fully certified for use in Europe.

The man overboard device with Automatic Identification System (AIS) and 121.5MHz homing beacon has now started shipping to customers and is available from Ocean Signal’s European network of dealers and distributors.

The latest device by the communication and safety at sea specialist is developed for the professional marine market and suitable for all offshore and lone workers. Designed to unobtrusively attach to immersion suits and inflatable life jackets, the rugged man overboard device is ready for automatic activation on inflation of the jacket or on submersion when fitted to the suit.

Once activated, the M100 will transmit an alert to all AIS receivers and AIS enabled plotters in the vicinity, as well as sending a 121.5MHz homing signal, for a minimum of 12 hours. Waterproof up to a depth of 10m, the devices are operational between temperatures of
-20°C and +55°C and can be stored at temperatures between -30°C and +70°C.

The M100 device is suitable for commercial use such as wind farm users, off shore workers, fishing fleets and fish farm workers, and helicopter transfers.

The Ocean Signal MSLD has been developed to withstand the harsh commercial environment and has a resilient, sturdy design to ensure ease of use and simple installation.

With a 2-year warranty, the compact MSLD measures 132mm x 53mm x 28mm to ensure it can be comfortably worn whilst in a working environment.

New Ocean Signal AIS Alarm Box Available to Customers

Ocean Signal has announced that it started shipping its new AIS Alarm Box to customers across the world in April 2016.

Developed to ensure that everyone on the vessel is alerted to a possible Man Overboard (MOB) or a crew in need of rescue, the AIS Alarm Box is available from Ocean Signal’s global network of distributors and dealers.

The device is the latest addition to the UK communication and safety at sea specialist’s range of compact and easy-to-use products, expanding the company’s innovative portfolio of GMDSS and safety equipment for commercial, fishing and recreational users.

James Hewitt, Sales and Marketing Manager, Ocean Signal, said: “We are delighted to confirm we are now shipping the new Ocean Signal AIS Alarm Box. We are confident that this device will be of significant benefit to our customers as it detects any AIS MOB or AIS SART signal, including our rescueME MOB1, and sounds an audible alarm to provide crucial indication in the event of an emergency.”

Ocean Signal’s waterproof AIS Alarm Box has been developed to help save lives in the event of a man overboard incident by providing visual and audible indication the moment any AIS-MOB or AIS-SART signal is received.

The Alarm Box receives NMEA0183 input from an AIS receiver and detects all received or specific AIS SART and MOB devices, including Ocean Signal’s award-winning rescueME MOB1. Ensuring the source can be immediately identified, the Alarm Box can be programmed by USB from a Windows PC to alarm on all SARTs, all MOBs or up to 30 individual SART/MOB MMSI numbers or combinations of these. As soon as an AIS transmission is detected, a tone-specific internal alarm is sounded to identify the source – AIS-SART, AIS-MOB, Active or Test Message.

Measuring 90mm x 72mm x 72mm, the Alarm Box operates within a temperature range of
-15°C and +55°C and is waterproof up to a depth of one metre.

It is compatible with Ocean Signal’s rescueME MOB1 - a compact Man Overboard locating device incorporating both AIS and DSC technologies.

For more information on Ocean Signal’s range of products, please visit the website at www.oceansignal.com.

AIS Man Overboard Devices

AIS is a maritime navigation safety communications system, operating in the VHF maritime band. It provides vessel information such as identity, type, position, course, speed and navigational status to appropriately equipped shore stations and other ships and also receives similar information.

For the captain and crew of either a commercial or recreational vessel, this means that when a vessel has an AIS transceiver installed, they will be able to identify, locate and communicate with other AIS equipped vessels nearby by an electronic data transfer of navigational and vessel information.

The use of AIS for collision avoidance, tracking and security is well known, but AIS, along with digital selective calling (DSC), is also used by devices to locate a man overboard. For example, the Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1 incorporates both AIS and DSC technologies and is 30% smaller than similar products.

While a PLB is vital in order to alert rescue authorities when far out to sea and many miles from other boaters, it is also important to consider improving personal safety by also carrying an AIS MOB to alert nearby AIS-equipped vessels, including the boat from which the person fell overboard.

See full article in ‘Boating’ here: http://www.boatingmag.com/ais-man-overboard-devices.