Category: Safety & SAR

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Furuno DRS2DNXT Delivers Big Radar Features In A Small, Compact Package

Boaters with NavNet TZtouch, TZtouch2, or TZtouch3 systems and limited space for a Radar antenna will be excited to learn about a new option from Furuno that encompasses all of the Solid-State Doppler features that make their NXT Radars a must-have. The DRS2DNXT, just announced by Furuno, delivers all the features of the larger NXT Radars in a compact 19″ Radome. The DRS2DNXT is the perfect solution for smaller vessels or those desiring a compact backup Radar with the same features and modes their larger Radar provides…

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Bivy Stick, ACR’s new satellite tracker with strong outdoor roots

For years ACR has touted the merits of EPIRBs and PLBs as the preferred way to summon help when lives are on the line. So, when ACR announced they’d purchased Bivy, the maker of the Bivy Stick two-way satellite messenger, I was immediately anxious to get my hands on one. Let’s see what got ACR into the two-way satellite messaging business.

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EPIRB and PLB Return Link Service, what’s the holdup?

Over 15 months ago, I got excited about the first PLB with Return Link Service (RLS), a Cospas-Sarsat system improvement that would let a boater know that their distress signal had been received ashore along with their location. And it was supposed to be operational in early 2020, at least for some regions, and RLS capable EPIRBs would soon follow. But you still can’t purchase Orolia’s FastFind ReturnLink or any other RLS beacon in the USA and some of the countries that do permit them only allow RLS PLBs while others only allow RLS EPIRBs. What happened?…

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Garmin buys GEOS, good or bad for SEND distress services?

SEND is not a commonly used acronym, but it’s especially worth understanding because Garmin just acquired GEOS Worldwide, the company that runs “the only global Search and Rescue Coordination Center for Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (S.E.N.D.).” If you own a Garmin inReach this is almost undoubtedly good news, but what about boaters who use other SEND distress, tracking, and messaging systems like Globalstar Spot, Iridium GO, Inmarsat IsatPhone, Zoleo, Skymate Mazu, and others?…

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World’s First Truly Global, Real-Time Maritime Emergency Service Launched by Iridium

Iridium Communications Inc. ) today announced a historic achievement with the launch of the Iridium Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) service. The system commenced operation on Friday, December 11th and with it, for the first time in history, Iridium has given seafarers a real-time emergency response and rescue service that works everywhere in the world. No other maritime emergency response system…

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OSCAR: artificial intelligence at your masthead

The product name “OSCAR” is an acronym for the very valuable, though challenging, collision avoidance work attempted by the multi-camera masthead pod above, along with its processing unit and display apps. Which is Optical System Cognition And Ranging. But the developers also anticipated the usage I’ve noticed in videos showing extreme offshore racing sailors using the system: The skippers tend to call the system “Oscar” like he’s an extra crewman they’re really glad to have on board…

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Vendée Globe 2020, all hail Jean Le Cam!

Great to see an AIS MOB device helping with the amazing rescue of Vendée Globe solo racer Kevin Escoffier early this morning (Universal Time). At 14:00 UTC yesterday afternoon, he’d had to transition from surfing his foiling IMOCA 60 PRB at 25+ knots in 10-13 foot seas about 840 miles southwest of Cape Town — 3rd in what was then a 32-boat fleet — to grabbing a survival suit and jumping into his liferaft, all in about two minutes. Yike!…

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ACR Electronics Introduces ResQFlare and Distress Flag as USCG-Certified Alternative to Pyrotechnic Flares

One-time purchase of new high intensity LED electronic distress flare and accompanying daytime flag provides US boaters with a comprehensive and safe distress signaling solution. Ideal for US recreational boaters looking for a safe, convenient and cost-effective electronic device to replace traditional pyrotechnic flares, ACR Electronics is introducing its new ResQFlare package…

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Why marine VHF, and the call you never want to make

Recreational boaters are using marine VHF radio less and less, which seems worrisome because VHF channel 16 is often the quickest and best way to ask for help. And, wow, can I offer a vivid example! Imagine the sheer terror of suddenly finding yourself without propulsion while right in front of the unrelenting wall of steel that is the bow of a commercial barge being pushed at about six knots, no brakes. I not only heard the unforgettable VHF call — and the following calls from the successful rescue boat, thank goodness — but also recorded most of them thanks to a great Icom radio feature…

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Sirius Signal C-1002 & C-1003 SOS distress signal testing begins, future bright

The Sirius Signal C-1002 — the first electronic Visual Distress Signal Device (eVDSD) built to the new RTCM two color standard — is now a shipping product, and Panbo testing has commenced. Also in hand is the new C-1003, which meets the existing USCG white eVDSD standard with minor improvements over the original Sirius Signal (Weems & Plath) model that trail blazed a legal alternative to mandated pyrotechnic flares. I haven’t tested either device on the water yet, but I’m already convinced that smarter, brighter eVDSDs are here, but now with a distinct better/best choice…