WHAT ELECTRONICS CAN BE USED IN A MAN-OVERBOARD SITUATION?
You can activate the MOB (man overboard) function found on most chart plotters. It will mark the incident and automatically plot a course back.
Personal AIS (automatic identification system) transmitters, like the McMurdo S20 ($249), transmit a signal that triggers an audible alarm on all AIS-equipped boats within a 4-mile radius and places a flashing icon on navigation screens.
Some newer personal
MOB devices, like the ACR AISLink MOB ($335), combine both AIS and DSC (digital selective calling) to signal both AIS sets and DSC-equipped VHF radios.
The Ocean Signal MOB1 ($270) also transmits dual AIS and DSC emergency signals. When fastened to a life jacket, the MOB1 automatically sends emergency alarm signals unassisted when the life jacket is inflated.
Handheld waterproof, floatable VHF radios, such as the Icom M93D ($299) or Standard Horizon HX870 ($249), with built-in GPS can send a Mayday alarm with position coordinates at the push of a button. You also have the added benefit of being able to talk directly to rescuers or any boat in the area. —Ken Englert