We're always thrilled to hear that an owner is taking an interest in the safety of their crew, so when the owner of S/Y Antares sent us over a product review of the Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1, we were only too pleased to share it.
To evaluate which safety products we needed on board, we recently carried out some real-life man overboard (MOB) exercises with the Antares crew and the KNRM (the Dutch RNLI) in the Netherlands. Based on this very useful exercise, we made the decision that alarm and position reports of an MOB are crucial, so we chose the Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1. Due to the high freeboard on our yacht, we also realised that it was important to get people safely on board once we have located them, or make sure they are kept afloat while waiting for professional rescue services, so we have two Jonbuoy devices on board.
The MOB position on screen during testing carried out by Antares
After selecting the Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1, we integrated the device into two Spinlock 5D 275 deck vests. The main reasons we selected the rescueME AIS device are that it is the smallest on the market and can be integrated into the life jacket, so it is unobtrusive. It is easy to operate and is automatically triggered in the event of a man overboard situation, sending the first alert within 15 seconds. Another important factor is the integrated DSC functionality which gives an additional, loud alarm on board in case of a MOB. (We found the generic alarms from our AIS transponder and plotter screens are not very loud.)
The Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1 attached to an Antares deck vest
As we frequently operate a single person night-watch system on board, any alarm is most welcome in the event of a MOB. The first and best chance of rescue if someone falls over board will always be from their vessel, which is why we felt the alarm was so important to ensure the crewmembers are aware of the emergency immediately.
My first impression after testing the device, both AIS MOB and via DSC, is really good, with everything working perfectly. Both the AIS transponder and plotter provide a good visual MOB logo and accurate position on the screen. The device also has a strobe light to provide added reassurance that we will spot someone in poor visibility.
Don't miss our review of the latest and greatest safety products for superyacht crew in issue 78 - download now.