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Old 30-04-2013, 10:42   #1
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Tracking man overboard

I have been looking for a good system for tracking a person in a Mob situation. All systems I have seen like the spot, is based on giving information to an alarm central.

I wan't something more like an Garmin astro, except the dog collar :-).With this I can find a person on the open sea. I have been thinking of buying a Garmin astro but wonder if there excist similar products for marine use?
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Old 30-04-2013, 10:51   #2
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Re: Tracking man overboard

AIS SARTs have come a long way. I am still waiting for a reasonably priced water activated one, but you can check out mobilarm for a DSC-based SART device. Panbo has a few posts on these items.
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Old 30-04-2013, 11:59   #3
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Re: Tracking man overboard

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Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
AIS SARTs have come a long way. I am still waiting for a reasonably priced water activated one, but you can check out mobilarm for a DSC-based SART device. Panbo has a few posts on these items.

You prepare your crew. They have on PFD's with strobes and whistles. You push the MOB button on your chart plotter. You throw your throwable. You put out your drag line. You circle around and grab him by one of many approaches. Maybe you have a horseshoe. Maybe he's not hurt and can just pull himself in by the drag line (mine has loops in it to make that easier). Maybe he grabs the dinghy you're towing. You drop your ladder down for him. If you're out to sea, your crew should have personal EPIRBS. Then it's not just up to you to find him.

Nobody leaves the cockpit without their (loaded) PFD on. At night, people are in PFD's and hooked in, and someone is called up to the cockpit if the person at the helm has to leave the cockpit for some reason.
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Old 30-04-2013, 13:14   #4
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Re: Tracking man overboard

I would have both of these for redundancy

East Marine - marine accessories equipment and repairs
Alarm goes off when MOB occurs

Sail-World.com : World-first AIS/GPS personal device approved for sale
AIS/GPS device to be worn on the person

http://www.iboats.com/Pull-Pin-Vest-...view_id.118155
At night MOB recovery is difficult unless you have a strobe
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Old 30-04-2013, 14:39   #5
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Re: Tracking man overboard

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Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
I would have both of these for redundancy

East Marine - marine accessories equipment and repairs
Alarm goes off when MOB occurs

Sail-World.com : World-first AIS/GPS personal device approved for sale
AIS/GPS device to be worn on the person

Pull-Pin Vest Strobe - ACR 3961.1 - iboats
At night MOB recovery is difficult unless you have a strobe

Well, if the person has a whistle -- c'mon they're CHEAP -- that can make things much easier (assuming the person isn't hurt and can do that), but strobes and personal EPIRBS -- I would not sail offshore without them.
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Old 30-04-2013, 19:05   #6
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Re: Tracking man overboard

The AIS SARTS are great, but currently must be manually activated, or be retrofitted into an auto-inflate PFD. Here's a direct link to the Kannad AIS SART (which westwinds mentioned): SafeLink R10

I equipped my crew with these for our recent Hawaii trip. For these to work as MOB alarms, you need to make sure that you have an AIS receiver (or transponder) system on board, preferably one that generates an alarm when the SART starts transmitting. The SART is new enough that many chartplotters or other AIS systems don't recognize the signal as a SART. They treat it as just another vessel. So figure out how to have an alarm go off when the SART is activated. My NavMonPc program recognizes AIS SARTs, but you may not want to use a computer program for this emergency function.

There are also small DSC/GPS-enabled VHF handhelds that your crew could wear. They would have to turn it on, then press the emergency button, and then your boat's VHF will start squawking (if it is DSC capable). Again, not automatic.

Personal EPIRBS won't notify you on the boat that someone's gone into the water, unless you have a 121.5 MHz emergency beacon receiver on board. I have a receiver, but it's not manufactured any more. Yes, this beacon frequency has been phased out as a method of triggering the international response, but all EPIRBs and PLBs still transmit it for use as a close-in homing signal.

There are MOB systems that do auto-trigger, or use a dead-man loss-of-signal alarm triggering. Raymarine LifeTag is one, and there are others. Each of these has issues or complications, so I haven't used them myself. There is still no perfect system, but I think the AIS SART is getting close.

Rakuflames is right about making sure that the old standby low-tech MOB tools are available: whistles, strobes, waterproof flashlights, etc. Once you have these in good order you can start looking into electronic gadgets.
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Old 30-04-2013, 19:15   #7
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Re: Tracking man overboard

There are handheld waterproof VHF radios with DSC SART function.
If the victim is conscious, they can talk you in...if they are not, you can see them on your plotter. ( think it has a strobe too)
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Old 03-05-2013, 17:09   #8
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Thanks for the answers. I have read that the astro burn out when nearby a VHF so that is not an option. Good suggestions here :-)
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