Ocean Signal, the British marine communications and safety at sea specialist, has launched the world’s smallest AIS man overboard (MOB) device with an integrated digital selective calling (DCS) transmitter. Called the rescueME MOB1, it has subsequently been nominated for a DAME award at the 2015 Marine Equipment Trade Show, METS.
While this type of device is not entirely new, the MOB1 is around 30 per cent smaller than competing products, an important factor in terms of its practicality. Any personal safety item that is cumbersome or restrictive to the wearer is less likely to be used, so making the MOB1 as small and easy to wear as possible can only be a good thing.
The MOB1 is available preinstalled on lifejackets. However, it can also be purchased separately and manually installed on a number of lifejackets with welded-in bladders. Activation of the MOB1 automatically occurs upon lifejacket inflation with the first signal to be sent within 15 seconds.
During a man over board scenario the MOB1 utilises two different forms of communication to increase chances of rescue.
It is widely accepted that the greatest chance of rescue in a MOB situation comes from your own vessel. Upon activation the MOB1 will transmit an alert to all AIS receivers and AIS enabled plotters within, or up to, a five-mile radius. An integrated GPS ensures a precise location, accurate to within a few metres, is sent to your yacht and other yachts in the vicinity.
The second form of communication, which is subject to differing international regulations, is the ability to trigger the DSC (Direct Selective Calling) alarm of nearby vessels. This is a standard method for delivering pre-determined digital messages via medium, high and very high frequencies in maritime distress situations. This system can be used to contact your vessel only, or it can be used to contact many at a time. How this system is allowed to be used is subject to international regulation.
The rescueME MOB1 also comes with a high-intensity strobe light to attract as much attention to the wearer as possible. This year the DAME awards is celebrating its 25th anniversary and the rescueME MOB1 has been nominated for an award in the ‘life saving and safety equipment’ category.