New marine device to save more lives

Mobilarm V100 VPIRB transmits its distress signal to nearby vessels, rather than an onshore location.

(APPLECROSS, AUSTRALIA – MAY 9, 2008) – Australian marine technology innovator, Mobilarm, launched its new commercial marine product to coincide with the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, May 5-8, 2008.

The Mobilarm V100 VPIRB (VHF Position Indicating Radio Beacon) is designed to provide commercial mariners with a man overboard (MOB) rescue system faster and more efficient than traditional personal EPIRB devices.

The Mobilarm V100 is a fully automated, position indicating radio beacon that transmits a MOB distress call via VHF, DSC and VHF voice to all VHF radio equipped vessels and land based receivers within range, including the distressed mariner’s vessel. The pocket-sized VPIRB is attached to clothing or lifejackets and will automatically activate if the wearer goes overboard, sending out a distress call and real time GPS coordinates of the casualty’s current position.

The Mobilarm V100 VPIRB automatically sends out the initial “Mayday, Man Overboard” alarm via DSC data using VHF DSC channel 70. As soon as a GPS lock is obtained via the integrated 24 channel GPS receiver, usually within 30 seconds, the device transmits the distress call again, complete with position coordinates, and also in a synthesized voice on VHF channel 16. The message is repeated at regular intervals to update the rescuers on its current position. This continues until the device is deactivated; the Mobilarm V100 battery will support transmission for at least 18 hours in normal conditions.

Sending an emergency signal to nearby vessels, rather than an onshore location, means that the other crew members, who are usually in the best position to conduct a rescue, are alerted and deployed virtually immediately. This reduces the casualty’s time in the water and represents a quantum improvement in their chances of survival.

Another tangible benefit to the Mobilarm V100 is that as long as a VHF radio is onboard, no other equipment need be installed. Unlike 121.5 MHz direction finding beacons and satellite locating systems, which demand dedicated receiving base stations, direction-finding equipment or satellite time rental, the Mobilarm V100 VPIRB uses only existing industry standard VHF marine radio networks.

By Professional Mariner Staff