MOB Guardian, & a cruise ship alarm?
While on the subject of PLBs, MOB Guardian is an interesting combination of proactive personal MOB transmitters, like Raymarine’s LifeTag, with a satellite-based (Iridium apparently) communications station. So it can alarm both a boat and the authorities of a man overboard, or some other critical situation.
I just read about it in the latest Soundings but apparently it was first announced way back in Jan., 2006; reading the MOB Guardian Web site indicates that it took a while to perfect, but now it actually works. The FAQ also suggests that this system will eventually be capable of of geo tracking from shore, fleet management, engine and security alarms, etc. At the moment it is only available for U.K. commercial fishermen, at a substantial discount, but will supposedly become a recreational marine product soon.
Meanwhile I spent some time today explaining PLBs, EPIRBs, MOB alarms, etc. to the gentleman who founded International Cruise Victims. It really is phenomenal how many people disappear off those ships. But I don’t think any of these electronics make sense for thousands of passengers, though maybe some day when they can fit a souped up LifeTag type transmitter right into a passengers “cruise card”. But we got talking about thermal cameras and how good they are at seeing a human in the water (the temperature difference is major, even in tropical waters). We ended up wondering if there could be a system of thermal cameras monitoring the wake of a cruise boat, which would be displayed on the bridge but also run to software that would look for “hot” targets. What do think?