AST, (Applied Satellite Technology Ltd) the installation and airtime provider partner for the new RNLI MOB Guardian, has been used to equip 18 fishing vessels in Jersey.
MOB guardian has been developed by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to reduce the risk of fishermen in the UK and Irish waters dying every year.
MOB Guardian is a ground breaking confidential reporting system which transmits hourly signals via satellite to the RNLI's operation centre. Information relayed includes location, course and speed of the fishing vessel. Any anomalies in the reporting frequency are automatically detected by the system. If a report doesn't arrive, the RNLI will contact the fishing vessel. If it's confirmed that the vessel is at sea, details are passed to the coastguard to enable search and rescue (SAR) agencies, including RNLI volunteer crewed lifeboats, to respond quickly, therefore reducing critical response times.
Fishing crew can also wear Personal Safety Devices (PSD's). If a fisherman falls overboard, the PSD is immersed in water, which breaks radio contact between it and the base unit. This activates an audio alert on the vessel and an MOB alert is automatically sent via satellite to the RNLI who then transmits this to the coastguard. The PSD is also proximity sensitive and will automatically activate when 70 metres from the unit on the vessel. The system can also be activated manually via the emergency button on the PSD or on the base unit.
Don Thomson, Skipper of the Jersey based fishing vessel Sylvies Grace-PLN J11 has recently had the RNLI MOB Guardian system installed on board. Mr Thomson quoted; 'My crew's safety are of paramount importance. A reliable hardware solution, coupled with a professional installation and rigorous test procedure from AST now provide both the crew and myself with great reassurance when out at sea'.
MOB Guardian was only launched at the start of the year and the RNLI has already received more than 150 orders for units that AST is currently installing. Steve Wilks, AST's Technical Services Manager commented; 'We anticipate being very busy as the product launches and gains momentum. Interest in this unique and innovative safety product is very high and I can see the roll out continuing well into 2009'.
The RNLI and AST are certain the new MOB Guardian will make a major contribution to improving safety at sea for fishermen.