Confusing terms of man-overboard alerting products.

Confusion About Man Overboard Alerting Devices?

MSLD, EPIRBs, Personal Locator Beacons, are all search terms that define a device to alert of a person unintentionally in the water. Regardless of the term, our product if the most proven and defined Fall Overboard Alerting Product on the market.

There are about a dozen products on the market that are identified as fall-overboard locator beacon products. Two commonly used terms now used to market these devices are “Maritime Survivor Locating Devices (MSLD)” and a more recently introduced term, “Personal Man Overboard Beacons”. They are generally placed in five different categories:

    1. Automatic Identification Systems (AIS)
    2. VHF DSC frequency 156.525 (Channel 70)
    3. 121.5 MHz distress channel
    4. Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon ( EPIRBs) transmitting to the Cospas-Sarsat Satellite
    5. Proximity transmission

In our article that goes into detail about these different type of alerting devices, we hope to clear up some of the confusion. To read the article, click here.

 


United States Coast Guard

United States Coast Guard Issues Safety Alert Reassessing Man-Overboard Risks

On April 24th, The United States Coast Guard released a Safety Alert reassessing man-overboard risks in response to a fatality that occurred while a personnel exchange was taking place at sea. You can read the full Safety Alert here  In the Alert it was stated, The ship’s Boatswain and Ordinary Seaman (OS) were manning the port side shell access port and pilot embarkation space behind a hydraulically operated bi-fold hatch door and were preparing for the pilot’s arrival. The port was located forward of the house and approximately 13-feet above the waterline. The Boatswain and OS were unable to monitor the seas from their position behind the hatch door. As the two crew members were in the process of opening the door, seas unexpectedly struck and violently forced it open, flooding the space. The OS was not wearing a harness or safety line nor a personal flotation device; he was subsequently swept out to sea. The Boatswain was forced onto the deck whereby the pilot ladder fell on him, fracturing his leg. The side shell door also sustained structural damage during the incident. Coast Guard Sector New York launched an extensive search and rescue mission that was terminated with no success after 28 hours. The OS was lost and presumed dead.”

The Safety Alert goes on to state, “This casualty reiterates the dangers of personnel exchanges at sea, especially in heavy weather conditions”. Emerald Marine Products agrees that casualty can occur in heavy weather conditions but we have historically seen casualties and near fatalities relating to man-overboard incidents occurring even in calm weather conditions. As reported in the past, man-overboard incidents are caused from many conditions, such as tripping on misplaced objects, dehydration, exhaustion, poor training. Regardless of weather, actions should be taken by companies to assure their employees are protected.

The Safety Alert goes on to state; “The Coast Guard strongly recommends owners and operators of deep draft vessels:

  • Review vessel Safety Management Systems, procedural manuals and guidance that relate to pilot transfers and update as appropriate, considering risks revealed by this casualty;
    • Reinforce the importance for crew members to wear personal protection devices and safety lines when working over the side of a vessel, when exposed to the elements or when there is an absence of a barrier that prevents an accidental water entry;
    • Ensure officers and crew identify potential hazards and conduct a risk assessment, to include consideration of weather conditions, prior to opening the side shell port hatches;
    • Ensure crew communications between Navigation Watch Officers and crew are clear and provide suitable supervision of activities, considering sea state and other changing conditions.”

Emerald Marine Products has heard that more Form CG-835V have been issued to companies that don’t fully comply with Management Safety Systems (SMS) or Towing Safety Management Systems (TSMS). In light of this latest Safety Alert, we are sure the US Coast Guard will be actively looking at many companies compliance with SMS or TSMS.

When companies review their SMS or TSMS policies they should seriously look at the ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System. In the case of the tragedy outlined earlier, the use of the ALERT system would have helped to track the seaman who was swept out to sea. The ALERT Man-Overboard System is recognized as the leading and fastest indicator of a man-overboard situation. Our automatic water activated transmitters report to the wheelhouse or other monitoring station within seconds of a MOB. A visual of a person in the water will assure a quick response and will be integral in the execution of your MOB recovery outlined in your SMS or TSMS. Why not invest in an alerting system that compliments your mandated MOB procedures? The investment is a fraction of your cost to implement a SMS or TSMS and will pay dividends by providing your employees with the confidence that in the event of a man-overboard incident, the crew will be notified within seconds, and tracking in the event that the MOB is lost will help in their quick recovery.

For more information about our products and how we help companies comply with their Safety Management System or Towing Safety Management System procedures, contact Emerald Marine Products via this contact link or call, 800-426-4201.


Best Man Overboard System Isn’t Just for Falling Overboard

From the Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies comes this startling statistic; “Workers at marine terminals have higher fatality, injury and illness rates than other workers in the U.S. In 2016 there were approximately 98,000 marine terminal and longshoring workers employed at U.S. ports. From 2011–2016 fatal injuries occurred at an annual rate of 17.0 per 100,000 workers, a rate more than five times that of the U.S. workforce overall. In the same period, there were also an average of 5,015 nonfatal injuries/illnesses per 100,000 workers each year, nearly double that of the U.S. workforce overall.

Emerald Marine Products has seen a significant increase in the use of our ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System due to the concerns for employees higher than average fall rate and industries moving to do more with less, which means some marine terminal locations may only have one or two employees doing the work. The “look out for your buddy” system of being aware of a person in the water isn’t very effective.

Marine Terminals specializing in transferring fertilizer, aggregate, or other agricultural products are seeing the cost-effectiveness and increased safety awareness by placing an ALERT Man-Overboard System at their location. The product not only alerts any individuals at that location that a worker is in the water, it can also be connected to other devices. Providing a regional or national center to be aware of an employee in the water and launch a rescue operations within seconds!

Originally the ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm system was developed for commercial fishermen and crew members of vessels where their chance of falling in water was great due to hauling gear on board, handling gear on deck, tripping, slipping or getting entangled in gear. But more and more Marine Terminal Operators are understanding the fact that their shore-side workers vulnerability is just as great, if not greater. Any fall in the water is scary and could be fatal, so the awareness of a person in the water is vital to a fast and successful rescue. Don’t let the term Man-Overboard Alarm System misguide you, our ALERT system is meant for any responsible company that has employee’s working near water. If your company has employees at any risk of falling in water and that event is undetected, you are at risk of significant liability issues. The ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System is the best man overboard system and could be a wise and financially prudent investment. For more information about our product and how it can keep your employees safe contact Emerald Marine Products via this contact link or call, 800-426-4201.


Fall Overboard Tragedy Can be Prevented

ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System

ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System protects all people on or near water.

As a manufacturer of products specific to fall overboard alerting and retrieval, we monitor the news for fall overboard incidents. Just today we read about two fatalities that occurred, each when a worker fell into the water and no one was aware of the issue until it became tragic. The Maritime Executive Online reported, “In the early hours of Saturday morning, a deckhand disappeared from a moored towboat on the Mississippi River at St. Joseph, Louisiana. The Coast Guard, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and the local sheriff’s department conducted a search of the river all day Saturday – including dragging the river and scanning with sonar – but without success. The search resumed Sunday morning.” In the same online issue of The Maritime Executive Online reported , “At about 1700 hours Sunday, Sector Honolulu received a distress call from the master of the fishing vessel Kawaiola, who reported that one of their crewmembers had gone overboard. The missing fisherman was last seen on the deck of the vessel at 1430 hours, and the crew did not realize that he was no longer aboard until several hours had passed.”

Two different locations, two different industries, two different work environments but both ended in the same outcome – a person fell into the water and no one was aware of this fall-overboard until minutes, even hours passed before this person was missed. We don’t know the details of these tragedies but we do know the use of an ALERT Man-Overboard transmitter on that worker could have averted the tragedy by altering the crew and vessel of a man-overboard (MOB).

Even if the person is wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), which definitely can give the person a greater opportunity for survival, there is still a need to alert the vessel that the person fell from, as this is the greatest chance of survival. The ALERT Transmitter immediately notifies the boat that a MOB has occurred, quickly calling into action all eyes and able bodies to rescue the man-overboard in minutes.

Emerald Marine Products is moved by these tragedies to reach out to the fishing community and to other small business that rely on the health and safety of their workers to continue to prosper in a very competitive and physically challenging work environment. We ask these enterprises to seriously consider investing in wearing and using PFD’s. We promise to do all we can to make our ALERT product available to you at a discount so finances are not the issue in preventing fishermen or small businesses from using a fall overboard alarm system. Because our ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System is automatic and water activated, when the person falls overboard, conscious or not, PFD wearer or not, the device when it gets wet will begin to transmit to the ALERT Receiver and within seconds the alarm is alerting all those in the area of a fall overboard situation.

We encourage solo fishermen, small fishing companies, non-profits catering to the commercial fishing industry, and other small businesses with employees working on or near water to contact us and see if we can help protect their fleets, We’d love to see these all too familiar headline’s about “Disappearing Deckhand” and “Search for Missing Fisherman” to have a better end to the story. A headline that reads, “Fisherman Falls Overboard and is Rescued by Crew”. Life saved, a story with a much better ending than the one’s we read all too often.


Fall Overboard Situations Presentation


Now available is a presentation given to the Signal Mutual Safety Meeting about Fall Overboard Situations, their cause, and solutions for fall overboard alerting and retrieval.


ALERT418 Man-Overboard Alarm System Introduction Video Now Available

Curious about our two ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm Systems? This new video provides information about the ALERT2 and ALERT418 systems. Their similarities and the improvements made with the new ALERT418 system.


Good News about OSCAR!

OSCAR – Water Rescue Training Dummy available in two colors.

Now available for special order is a high visibility Orange version of our popular OSCAR – Water Rescue Training Dummy(TM). Please specify the Orange version when ordering. Buy now as OSCAR – Water Rescue Training Dummy price increases to $749 on February 1, 2018.


Man-Overboard alert on Rosepoint Softwware.

COLD WEATHER COMPOUNDS MAN-OVERBOARD SITUATION

Man-Overboard alert on Rosepoint Softwware.

Man-Overboard alert on Rosepoint Software.

Whether on deck or shoreside, frigid weather is fatiguing and increases the chance of falling, especially when restrictive clothing that hinders normal balance is worn. If someone goes overboard, the situation is compounded by cold water shock. Emerald Marine Products’ ALERT Man-Overboard System is a simple, proven solution that instantly notifies those within the immediate area. It provides rescuers the extra seconds needed to keep the fall from becoming a fatality.
Water that’s only 60° is cold enough to generate muscle spasms, a gasp reflex and hyperventilation if fallen into. Sudden immersion can paralyze muscles and even cause a cardiac arrest. Unlike warm water, the MOB victim is unlikely to be able to shout. That’s what makes the ALERT System ideal for cold-weather workers.
In its most basic form, the ALERT system is a water-activated transmitter worn on a lifejacket and a receiver, typically installed in a wheelhouse or job office. When the device is submerged, it triggers the receiver’s alarm and flashing light, instantly notifying coworkers. The system can be wired to kill engines, set a chartplotter or GPS waypoint, and activate external strobes and speakers.


ALERT418 at WorkBoat Show!

ALERT418 Receiver and Transmitter

ALERT418 Receiver and Transmitter.

Emerald Marine Products announces a significant advancement in MOB protection: the state-of-the-art ALERT418® Man-Overboard Receiver. Integrating fully with current and first-generation ALERT transmitters, it’s ideal for commercial applications such as workboats, gas and oil platforms, ports and marine terminals, and shoreside construction sites. The innovative device leverages the latest advancements in electronics technology, while maintaining its predecessor’s proven and enviable safety record.

When an ALERT transmitter is submerged, the ALERT418 receiver instantly flashes and sounds a piercing alarm in a wheelhouse or shoreside office.

The ALERT418 Man-Overboard Receiver interfaces with popular NMEA 0183-compliant chartplotting software, so a waypoint can automatically be set upon transmitter activation. Additionally, it can be wired to kill engines, and activate external strobes and speakers.

What separates the ALERT system from AIS is its immediacy. It uses a radio signal, so there’s no satellite lag or waiting for an open channel. With a moving vessel, or river or tidal flow, an MOB victim can be swept out of sight quickly. The ALERT418 Man-Overboard Receiver provides the added seconds needed to keep a simple fall from becoming a fatality.

The ALERT418 product line will be available for demonstration at the Byrne, Rice & Turner Booth 1521 at this year’s Workboat show being held from November 29th through December 1 in New Orleans.

For further information contact Emerald Marine Products at 800-426-4201. Hope to see you at the show!


All Too Common Headline

Fishermen's Terminal

Blessing of the Fleet at Fishermen’s Terminal

Once again the headline reads, “Man Vanishes from Fishing Boat.” Unfortunately, this story repeats throughout the year. Either a lone fisherman or someone working their watch falls overboard and no one is aware of the situation until far too late.

Recently a 55-year old fisherman from New Bedford, Massachusetts became the latest fisherman fatality due to a fall overboard. This fisherman left behind a wife and daughter. Coming from a family of fishermen, he knew of the dangers of the industry, having both of his grandfather’s lost at sea. What makes this story all too familiar and tragic is this fisherman’s life may have been spared if he simply wore a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Taking it a step farther, the small investment in a fall overboard alarm system could have alerted the crew of a fall overboard situation or have killed the engine of the boat for the opportunity to get back onboard.

The staff at Emerald Marine Products always feel a personal loss when a death occurs from a fall overboard. Our products are built to protect mariners and their families. We are driven every day by the motivation that our products can help to save lives, companies, and a source of income for those dependent on them.

Emerald Marine Products is moved by this tragedy to reach out to the fishing community, especially to those solo fishermen or small family-owned fishing fleets to seriously consider investing in wearing and using PFD’s. We promise to do all we can to make our ALERT product available to you at a discount so finances are not the issue in preventing fishermen from using a fall overboard alarm system.

We encourage solo fishermen, small fishing companies, non-profits catering to the commercial fishing industry, such as Fishermen’s Wives Groups, to contact us and see if we can help protect their fleets, We’d love to see the all too familiar headline have a better end to the story. A headline that reads, “Fisherman Falls Overboard and is Rescued by Crew.” The crew was alerted in time to find the fisherman who was afloat thanks to his PFD. Life saved, a story with a much better ending then the one’s we read all too often.