Compact, easy-to-use devices such as the rescueME MOB1 provide the best chance of rescue in a man overboard emergency
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As sailors prepare for the 2019 season, safety at sea leader Ocean Signal is raising awareness about a rule within the 2018-19 World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations requiring every crew member to carry a personal AIS device when taking part in Category 2 yacht races of extended duration, even if much of the route is close to shore.
Events covered by the rule include RORC races, such as the Rolex Fastnet Race as well as the recently completed Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, in which all participants carried devices such as Ocean Signal’s rescueME MOB1.
The Portable Equipment section 4.22.3 of the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) 2018-19 stipulates mono and multihull boats in Category 0, 1 and 2 races (MoMu0,1,2) have an AIS MOB for everyone on board. Enhancing chances of survival for a man overboard, these devices are automatically triggered when a life jacket is inflated, transmitting an alert to all AIS receivers and AIS-enabled plotters in the vicinity.
The annually-released safety regulations apply to upcoming Category 2 races including the 50th anniversary Rolex Middle Sea Race, around Sicily and surrounding islands in October and the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race in August. Category 2 events in France include the Normandy Channel Race in May and the Mini Fastnet in June. Personal AIS was also among requirements introduced to raise safety standards for the latest Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 edition and Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, in which the award-winning rescueME MOB1 with integrated AIS and DSC was carried by all competitors.Designed specifically to suit racing conditions, the Ocean Signal device can be fitted to the latest racing lifejackets, like Ocean Safey’s Kru range, carried in a pocket or fitted to a growing number of foul weather jackets that feature personal MOB pockets, without hampering movement.
James Hewitt, Ocean Signal’s Director of Sales for EMEA and APAC, said:“Ocean Racing can be dangerous and this rule is evidence of a global commitment to ensure crew have the best possible equipment to raise safety standards even further.
“The Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1 is the smallest and best equipped device to fulfil the rule on personal AIS, providing reassurance that the sailors can be located quickly and recovered if they fall overboard. In a man overboard situation, your first and best chance of rescue will almost always be by the vessel from which you have become separated, or in some cases from nearby vessels. The immediate priority is to ensure your crew members are aware of the emergency and have sight of you.”
In the event of a person falling into the sea, the rescueME MOB1 is automatically triggered the moment the life jacket is inflated, sending the first alert within 15 seconds. The device transmits an alert to all AIS receivers and AIS-enabled plotters in the vicinity, with the integrated 66-channel GPS ensuring accurate position data is sent back to the boat and any other assisting vessels for at least 24 hours. Secondly, the MOB1 will activate the DSC alarm on the vessel’s VHF radio to alert fellow crew members. The integrated strobe light with moulded lens ensures the survivor is easily spotted in poor light conditions.
The rule requiring personal AIS devices for Category 2 races was unanimously approved at World Sailing’s Special Regulations sub-committee in November, after it was raised by the French delegation. Putting forward the French Sailing Federation’s proposal, Christophe Gaumont cited an incident from the 200-boat ArMen Uship Race of May 2017 off the coast of Brittany, when a man fell overboard while dealing with a twisted spinnaker in the dark hours of the early morning. Luckily, he was carrying a personal AIS locator and his signal was detected by another vessel, ensuring he was recovered safely at least five minutes before his own boat was able to return to his position. Writing about his rescue, the sailor described his personal AIS as “a providential tool”.
The rules state that crew in Category 0 races also carry a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) equipped with 406Mhz and 121.5Mhz which trigger satellite-based alerts to MRCCs, such as the Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 or ACR Electronics ResQLink+ PLB.
The World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) govern offshore racing for monohulls and multihulls, structural features, yacht equipment, personal equipment and training.
For further information about Ocean Signal’s products, visit www.oceansignal.com.
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Tel: +44 (0)1843 282930
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About Ocean Signal
Communication and safety at sea specialist Ocean Signal™ is dedicated to providing the technology and quality of product that will set industry standards.
Ocean Signal’s product portfolio consists of the rescueME range of products, including the rescueME PLB1, the rescueME MOB1, the rescueME EPIRB1 and the rescueME EDF1 electronic distress flare, plus the AIS Alarm Box, and the SafeSea range of GMDSS products, including the E100 and E100G EPIRB, S100 SART and V100 handheld VHF radio, as well as the M100 and M100X professional MSLD and E101V float-free EPIRB with integrated voyage data record memory capsule. They provide both recreational and commercial mariners with simple to use, compact and affordable life-saving solutions. All products are engineered by a highly experienced team of marine electronics professionals.
Ocean Signal products are trusted by high-profile sailors, rowers, surfers and powerboat racing teams. Providing some of the world’s best competitors and adventurers with vital safety and communication devices, the rescueME MOB1 and rescuePLB1 were integrated with the Spinlock lifejacket and personal equipment packs for the crews in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 and the rescueME MOB1 was also selected to enhance safety standards for crew taking part in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race. Ocean Signal has also sponsored the crew of Simply Fun with rescueME MOB1s, rescueME PLBs and a rescueME EPIRB1 in the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 16-man crew of Triton with rescueME MOB1s in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,record-breaking sailor Andrea Mura in the single-handed OSTAR race, Mini Transat 2015 solo sailor Lizzy Foreman, ocean rowing teams including Ocean Valour, Ocean Brothers and Carbon Zerow and solo rower Lia Ditton, Venture Cup offshore powerboat race team Cinzano, kite racer Gina Hewson and canoeist Adam Weymouth.
Safety and communication products from Ocean Signal offer exceptional value, meeting or exceeding international technical and safety standards. Careful design and innovation provides commercial shipping, fishing and recreational users the confidence that their Ocean Signal equipment will work to, and beyond, their expectations when it is needed most.