A Search and Rescue boat’s critical electronics

10 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Adam! I think that recreational boaters — particularly ones with fast boats, and/or venturing out in limited visibility — can learn from the team approach developed by SAR organizations like yours.
    It’s interesting, though, that the very capable Flir/Ray T453 dual thermal/daylight pan/tilt/zoom camera system doesn’t seem to get used much. I suspect that would be different if it was integrated with an MFD system that could “slew to cue” it to radar targets, AIS targets, etc. Maybe even an AIS MOB device attached to the datum buoy? More on slew to cue here:
    Flir PTZ cameras do this integration now with Garmin, Furuno, and Simrad MFDs, as well as Raymarine’s current models.

  2. Howard says:

    Thanks for the information and knowledge. I am attempting to train the family and kids to be the navigators. I have added secondary navigation screens at passenger seat and mirror the display on an iPad. I cannot safely operate the boat and watch the radar/charts.
    Good to know you are out on the water, well trained and well equipped.

  3. Adam Hyde says:

    Ben, I guess it’s partially because of a lack of screen real estate. Our current standard operating procedures have us using radar on two screens (full screen) and the chart on 1. Lots of gear for a limited space which kind of precludes us from showing the FLIR screen as well, unless moving at a slower speed on a search. In this case we are seldom searching for anything moving on radar or transmitting via AIS. So slew to cue becomes more of a nice to have rather than mission critical feature.
    An AIS MOB device on the DMB has been considered but is not allowed because it transmits on standard AIS channels which will cause too many false alarms for other vessels seeing it on their displays. We do have another project under way to solve this but early days yet…

  4. The Whelen speaker looks like what I need for the fog signals my VHF offers to generate.
    What’s wrong with an ordinary AIS on the DNB?

  5. Howard says:

    Norse, I don’t know why they are using the Whelen speaker. It is typically used with a 100watt siren/pa system from an emergency vehicle. They don’t last as long as a marine loud hailer speaker due to the salt, but they are more rugged. A 100 watt PA is always an option on the boat, but you don’t get the auto fog signals.
    Furuno and Sea Marine make a loud hailer that has a front and rear driver option.

  6. Adam Hyde says:

    Norse: Yes the Whelen is pretty loud!
    I checked on the Whelen loudhailer and it seems that although it is capable of broadcasting voice, it is only connected as a siren/horn presently. What I missed when I took the roof pic was a Raymarine speaker barely visible behind the Flir. It does the hailing forward along with another speaker on the aft deck.
    Although the Whelen isn’t specifically for marine use we have had it on various RCMSAR vessels for quite some time and it seems to be handling the salt air ok. We are expecting a second boat for our unit next month and it will be configured with the Whelen as siren/horn/speaker.
    Other misc stuff I omitted include a video camera on the aft deck for monitoring our tow lines and crew — connected to our MFDs.
    If what you mean by “ordinary” is something transmitting on standard AIS frequencies, I believe someone in our unit checked with Industry Canada and they wouldn’t issue an MMSI number because the datum marker buoy wasn’t a vessel, red tape stuff. In any case we’d prefer not to broadcast its location publicly. We are working on a solution and will have something to share soon.

  7. Howard says:

    That makes more sense about the Whelen now. It is its own separate “system”. The traditional marine loudhailer is still of great value as it has a listen back feature which is helpful in a pilothouse boat to hear other fog signals.
    You need the Whelen style speaker for the 100 watt siren/pa.

  8. Alex says:

    Do these type of response vessels have any type of monitoring system onboard (siren marine) where they know a head of time if they are arriving to a dead battery onboard. In most cases there is a life at the other end of these calls. Do you know of any kind of police,fire, or CG type boats that have systems on them to let them know of any malfunctions or dead batteries. It almost seems like common sense for these guys
    Awesome write up….again

  9. Adam Hyde says:

    Alex, I wrote the article so I thought I’d respond. It’s never a bad thing to have more monitoring but we have to self-fundraise. There has to be priorities in terms of equipment purchases and a monitoring system hasn’t made it to the top of the list yet. The boat is in use almost every day of the year so it is closely watched. A second boat comes in a few weeks so we will have more redundancy at that point as well.

  10. Howard says:

    Yes, they are on some response boats.
    I know the City of Seattle has them on all their pilothouse boats, they include door sensors plus a myriad of other sensors and inputs.
    Open a door and don’t disarm the system and the entire marina will know.

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