Also worth con­sid­er­ing…

Motorboat & Yachting - - Boat Test -

NEW RE­LEASES

Two other AIS SARTS have been launched into Europe since our tri­als – the AMEC TB-520 (£220, www.all­tek­ma­rine.com) and the Wam­blee W420 Res­cue-me (£260, www.wam­blee.it). Both are fully com­pli­ant with EU stan­dards and can be man­u­ally or water-ac­ti­vated, and both will fit into a life­jacket.

AIS MOB ALARM

It’s one thing to spot an AIS MOB icon on your dis­play when you’re at the helm but not all AIS re­ceivers emit an au­di­ble alarm too, so if some­one slips over­board when the crew’s at­ten­tion is else­where, how long will it be be­fore you no­tice?

Dig­i­tal Yacht, has re­cently launched a ded­i­cated alarm, the AIS Life Guard, which de­tects the trans­mis­sion from any ac­tive AIS SART and emits a very loud alarm and warn­ing light. Sim­i­lar de­vices are avail­able from Ocean Sig­nal (AIS Alarm) and Wam­blee (W402).

THE UL­TI­MATE RES­CUE BEA­CON?

Now that var­i­ous ap­provals have fi­nally gone through in Europe, we are New AIS SARTS from Wam­blee and AMEC and alarms from Ocean Sig­nal and Dig­i­tal Yacht move the game on about to see a clutch of new Ais-en­abled EPIRBS hit the mar­ket. While MOB AIS res­cue bea­cons have been a great ben­e­fit to safety, they’re not ideal for some­one cruis­ing alone, un­less they hap­pen to be in a busy ship­ping area where there are plenty of Ais-equipped ves­sels to spot them.

In more re­mote lo­ca­tions, you would ideally want a com­bi­na­tion PLB and AIS bea­con, and the next gen­er­a­tion of AIS/406MHZ EPIRBS has proved that the tech­nol­ogy ex­ists. How­ever, there is one snag – AIS bea­cons are al­most all de­signed to ac­ti­vate au­to­mat­i­cally, whereas a PLB has to be trig­gered man­u­ally. The only rea­son for this is to avoid flood­ing the res­cue ser­vices with false alarms should they be trig­gered ac­ci­den­tally. But to our mind, hav­ing built-in AIS might ac­tu­ally help mit­i­gate this prob­lem by its abil­ity to show up on any AIS dis­play when ac­ti­vated, en­abling the skip­per to can­cel the 406MHZ dis­tress call be­fore a pricy army of res­cuers hit the air or water. Watch this space…

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