Possible Auto-Activation Failure of The MOB1 AIS Person Overboard Beacon

14 Jan 2019: We have now updated the information in this article.

As most of you already know, I believe that AIS person overboard beacons are the biggest advance in person overboard (POB) recovery in my lifetime.

In fact, Phyllis' and my enthusiasm for this technology has led us to change our POB recovery strategy to be 100% reliant on the Ocean Signal MOB1 beacons that we bought in the spring of 2017.

That said, we recently discovered that for much (maybe most) of the first season after we fitted them to the Spinlock lifejacket/harnesses that we wear at pretty much all times when underway, they would not have self-activated.

And, while much of the fault lies with us, our experience does bring to light two potential problems that others relying on the auto-activation features of this beacon, particularly those who bought before mid-2018, need to be aware of.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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