Panbo

MOB Guardian, & a cruise ship alarm?

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Aug 8, 2007

Mobguardian

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?

Comments

I think that if the cruise industry were interested then of course anything is possible. Your idea of the thermal camera seems quite 'doable'.

But just like GM fought Ralph Nader tooth and nail saying seat belts would be the end of the auto making industry, so too the cruise industry says they have no real problem.

Nowadays, automakers tout extra safety features to their competitive advantage. Eventually we can only hope that the cruise industry realizes there is money to be made in being proactive. The first cruise line that 'gets it' will be a vanguard and will rake in the dough.

Posted by: Aaron Lynch at August 9, 2007 1:07 PM | Reply

Hmmm ... wonder what the thermal image of dolphins and big fish might be?

Terry

Posted by: yachtvalhalla at August 9, 2007 9:00 PM | Reply

Some sharks and tuna can be detected because they generate heat in their 'red muscles.' see http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=104543 Acquatic mammals are warm blooded, but some are so well insulated that their thermal image might be less discernable. Anybody got pictures?

Posted by: Sandy at August 13, 2007 4:27 PM | Reply

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