Not the Denmark Strait


In the 2007 Ocean Voyager issue of Ocean Navigator we discuss wireless man overboard alert systems. These devices set off an alarm should a crewmember fall overboard (or is left behind on a dock, for example). At the Miami Boat Show this year we saw a demonstration of the Raymarine Lifetag system that underlined how effective these systems can be for the voyager.

Of course, the conditions under which the test was conducted couldn’t have been better: Florida sunshine, calm seas, and a complement of boating journalists knowing what was about to happen. Still, you can’t fault Raymarine for not running the demo in the midst of a gale in the Denmark Strait &mdash a bit difficult to plan for that sort of thing.

At the appointed time, a black bumper with a LifeTag attached was thrown overboard as our 53-foot Viking sportfish rumbled along. When we were sufficiently far (a few boat lengths) from the LifeTag unit to cause the base station to lose its signal, the alarm sounded and we were directed back to the bumper, which was quickly snagged with a boat hook. The demo showed us how the system works and since we weren’t in far reaches of the North Atlantic we didn’t have to dodge any ice bergs.

By Ocean Navigator