At this year’s London Boat Show we were interested to see a brand new AIS Man Over board device from UK manufacturer Ocean Signal. The MOB1 is Ocean Signal’s first AIS MOB device, but its specifications, small size and unique integrated DSC function (triggers a DSC Alarm on the boat’s VHF) put it firmly ahead of the McMurdo and Kannad devices.
AIS MOB devices are designed, either to be fitted to self inflating life jackets for automatic operation or carried and manually operated by each member of the crew, should they fall over board. On the assumption that the best vessel to save the MOB is the vessel that he/she fell from, AIS MOB devices transmit a special AIS message that can be picked up by all AIS equipped vessels within 4-5 miles of the MOB.
With a suitable AIS enabled chart plotting device, the position of the MOB is clearly and accurately plotted on the electronic chart, making it very easy to locate and steer back to the “poor unfortunate”. As the MOBs position is constantly being transmitted and received in real time, the fear and uncertainty of trying to predict where the MOB has now drifted to, is completely removed even in rough seas with strong tides.
All Digital Yacht AIS receivers and transponders are compatible with AIS MOB devices, correctly receiving and passing on the special AIS MOB messages to other displays and devices on the boat. For any vessel that does not have an AIS MOB compatible chart plotter or who simply want the security of having an independent AIS MOB alarm system, Digital Yacht’s AIS Life Guard product is ideal.
Connected to the NMEA0183 output or the boat’s AIS receiver or transponder, Life Guard will immediately sound its internal 97dB alarm when it detects an AIS MOB signal and also drive an external alarm, relay or klaxon. What is more, LifeGuard can also detect the AIS MOB test message, sounding a short internal beep, ideal for testing the AIS MOB devices before leaving port.