John happened upon a claim made by the manufacturer of the CrewWatcher smartphone-based person overboard alarm, that is, in his opinion, rubbish.
A chat with Steve Moore, Product Manager at Ocean Signal about potential problems with the MOB1 Beacon and how to make sure these beacons work. Also a couple of other thoughts on water activation for AIS beacons and AIS/PLB combo beacons.
John believes that AIS person overboard beacons are the biggest advance in person overboard (POB) recovery in his lifetime.
That said, we have recently discover two issues that meant 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 most of the fault lies with us, our experience does bring to light two potential problems that others relying on the auto-activation features of the MOB1 beacon from Ocean Signal, particularly those who bought before mid 2018, need to be aware of.
We write a lot about safety here at AAC: person overboard, storm survival, fire at sea, and so on.
All important stuff but we do worry about how this all relates to our primary goal here at Attainable Adventure Cruising of helping you go cruising.
So, here’s how John and Phyllis balance safety and actualy getting out there.
So now that we have bought AIS Person Overboard Alarms, all is safe and good, right? No, not really. We also need to make sure that we are going to get an alarm on the boat that will set a rescue in motion. And that’s a lot more complex than just relying on a beep from our AIS receiver or plotter. But never fear, John has done the research, come up with a good solution, sailed with it for a season, and even made a video of a live alarm test.
John has long advocated for preventers rigged from the boom well outboard to the bow as the only right way. We now have solid engineering, and a tragedy, to show how important this is.
Based on the great comments from experts on a previous post, Phyllis and John have substantially changed their thinking on fighting a fire aboard.
Fire at sea. Those three words strike fear into the heart of any prudent mariner. John takes a look at a new fire extinguisher that may be uniquely suited for use on cruising boats.
A recent tragedy, together with excellent work by Drew Frye over at Practical Sailor, has exposed a dangerous weakness in a snap hook used on tethers by many offshore sailors. John explains the problem and calls on manufacturers to take the lead on getting these hooks off boats.
The availability of comparatively inexpensive, and proven effective, AIS/DSC POB beacons means that all of us must think long and hard about what changes we need to make in our Person Overboard (POB) procedures. John and Phyllis share the recovery technique they will be practicing in future.
The Quick Stop person overboard recovery maneuver has become the standard taught in most every safety at sea seminar. But how effective is the method really likely to be, particularly for short handed crews offshore? John takes a look.
Assuming that we have decided to buy and use auto-inflated lifejackets, we have yet another decision to make: Which of the two available activation devices should we select, hydrostatic or dissolved tablet? John interviews an expert and makes a selection.
Can we stay safe just by following generally-accepted rules like “always wear a lifejacket”? John doesn’t think so and takes a deep dive into the issues we need to think about.
John provides an in-depth analysis and comparison of Bluetooth smartphone-based person overboard beacons as against AIS beacons. Brace yourselves, he is not pulling his punches.
Most of us know about the risk of electric shock drowning in fresh water, but what about in sea water? Should we be concerned?