Integrated MOB/SAR systems

Time for a new approach?

Integrated Man Overboard SAR Systems Needed

By Abdelkhalik Kamal Eldin Soliman Selmy

There are many risks relating to man overboard (MOB) accidents including drowning, hypothermia, which can lead to death within 20 minutes in cold water, and the loss of the person as a result of propeller wake, high waves, poor visibility and the speed of the ship. Often they are not wearing a life jacket, adding to the risk, and there can be a delay to rescue operations as emergency teams are assembled. However, a problem of critical importance is not seeing the moment they fall overboard.

The international maritime conventions SOLAS and STCW cover emergency procedures for MOB incidents, but there are two gaps. First, there is no requirements for any automatic systems on board to detect MOB at the moment of falling even though statistics illustrate that up to 75 percent of MOB finally died or went missing due to the fact that nobody saw them at the moment of falling.

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