April 2011 Issue
A Close Look at 2 New MOB Alarms
BriarTek system links to VHFs; Mobilert upgraded
There are several different man-overboard alerting systems that represent different approaches to the challenges of an MOB event. Testers reported on the long-term testing of the MobiLert 7200, tested BriarTeks ORCAdsc, and evaluated the upgraded Mobilert. Both of the new man-overboard alarm systems are designed to alert crew when any crew member goes overboard. The ORCAdsc is a water-activated, wearable MOB beacon that sends out an alarm via a VHF radio's DSC function. Any boat in the vicinity of the MOB that has a DSC-capable VHF radio will receive an alert that there is a man overboard. The wearable Mobilert beacons activate an alarm when the radio signal between the beacon and its base station is interrupted, typically because the beacon is either in the water or out-of-range. For cruisers who spend most of their time in regions with well-established search-and-rescue support, we still recommend a third-generation 406-Mhz personal locator beacon (PLB) such as the ACR ResQFix.
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