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.


Instructors Agree on OSCAR Water-Rescue Training Dummy

Recovering someone who has fallen into the water is no easy task, especially if the victim is unconscious or lethargic due to cold temperatures. Training is essential to prepare potential rescuers for how difficult it can actually be. The OSCAR Water-Rescue Training Dummy™ from Emerald Marine Products is used by safety instructors across North America for teaching people what it’s like to retrieve a lifeless, 180 lb. adult.

“It’s definitely eye-opening,” says Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) instructor and US Coast Guard civilian commercial fishing vessel safety examiner Steve Kee. “It drives the point home that it’s not easy to yank a crewmember back on board.”

US Code of Federal Regulations 28.270 calls for those in charge of a commercial fishing vessel to conduct monthly safety drills to ensure everyone is familiar with their duties, including recovering someone from the water. Kee provides the 10- and 18-hour USCG-accepted drill conductor training to those who will oversee the monthly training sessions.

Atlantic Beach Rescue department chief Jonathan Kohan agrees. “From a command and control perspective, you want to train like you operate. It’s hard to put rescuers in real time situations when they haven’t trained in critical mass. It’s very different than lifting a straw or Styrofoam dummy.”

Situated on a barrier island, the small community of Atlantic Beach, New York, swells in the summer months to 15,000 people. Atlantic Beach Rescue is a first response agency with 38 volunteer rescuers. Its technical water team trains year-round.

OSCAR is a set of rugged vinyl bladders that when filled with fresh or seawater, realistically mimic the size, weight and jointed handling characteristics of a 6′, 180 lb. adult. Fitted with a PFD or immersion suit, it imitates a lifeless MOB victim in every way. After use, it is drained and weighs a mere 35 lbs. It can even be disassembled for easy transport. A video is at bit.ly/2h3AVEY.

Emerald Marine Products’ OSCAR Water Rescue Training Dummy comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor, and costs $699.


University Readies Its Ships Against MOB Incident

Safety is important on any boat, even more so when scientists and inexperienced students are working on deck. The School of Oceanography at the University of Washington protects those on board its two research vessels with Emerald Marine Products’ ALERT Man-Overboard (MOB) Alarm Systems™. If someone should fall overboard, an alarm instantly sounds, providing critical extra time for a successful recovery in the cold Pacific Northwest waters and points beyond.

The university purchased ALERT2 systems for its 274′ R/V Thomas G. Thompson and 66′ R/V Clifford A. Barnes. Each is equipped with an ALERT2 Receiver, 18″ whip antenna, seven Transmitters with Spray Tight Pouches and a Man-Overboard Portable Direction Finder to pinpoint the victim in darkness or heavy seas.

Especially on the smaller Clifford A. Barnes, where people are often alone on deck, everyone wears a work vest and has access to a small and lightweight ALERT2 Transmitter. If the unit is immersed in water, it triggers the receiver to activate a piercing alarm in the wheelhouse. Unlike MOB systems that rely on satellites, like AIS, the ALERT2 is instantaneous.

There’s a need for immediacy. At even a mere 3 kts, an MOB will be 100′ astern in just 20 seconds. The sooner crew can launch a locally-managed rescue operation, the greater the success will be.

“We chose the ALERT system because of its simplicity and affordability—it’s a good value,” said Capt. Douglas Russell, manager of marine operations. “And, we received great customer care during the purchase process.” Package prices start as low as $1,068.

Founded in 1930, the Seattle-based School of Oceanography at the University of Washington provides its students with the academic tools and resources to study the marine environment, and its interaction with the earth and atmosphere. It offers baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. Its website is www.ocean.washington.edu.


Man-Overboard Transmitter Ideal for Shoreside Workers

Employers who invest in an ALERT418™ Man-Overboard Alarm System from Emerald Marine Products demonstrate a firm commitment to safety for their employees. Workers at marine terminals and construction sites are protected when working around water, especially when out of sight of each other.

The ALERT system also addresses the serious issue of liability. It’s an added layer of protection for both the employee and the company. It can also make recruiting and retaining quality employees easier.

Read More


Man-Overboard Transmitter Becomes the New Standard

Emerald Marine Products announces the release of the ALERT418™ Man-Overboard Transmitter. Made in the USA, the enhanced unit is based on the company’s proven ALERT2 Transmitter, and is compatible with its Man-Overboard alarm system receiver and portable direction finder.

Designed for working mariners, the ALERT418 Man-Overboard Transmitter is smaller and lighter than its predecessor: only 4.25? L x 1.5? W x 1? D and 3.6 oz. For normal working conditions, it’s worn attached to a PFD. A Spray Tight Pouch is available for wet environments. 

Read More


ALERT2 Man-Overboard Alarm System™ versus AIS

There is a lot of hype about an AIS (Automatic Identification System) device as being the solution of a Man-Overboard Alarm device. The truth is, an AIS device is not necessarily the best solution for a Man-Overboard (MOB) situation because of the lag-time associated with its technology. The ALERT2 Man-Overboard System is all about knowing a MOB has occurred in seconds, the greatest chance of rescue is from the vessel the MOB fell from. Here are the differences:
EventALERT2 Man-Overboard Alarm SystemAIS
Fall Overboard (event)Upon immersion the MOB wonders what the heck happened.Upon immersion the MOB wonders what the heck happened.
MOB comes up for air (+10 sec.)Luckily MOB is coherent and now above the waves. MOB looking at surroundings trying to get barrings. At this point the ALERT2 is already transmitting to ALERT2 Receiver.Luckily MOB is alert and now above the waves. MOB looking at surroundings trying to get barrings. Hopefully not panicked, MOB needs to remember how to activate AIS.
What is happening on vessel? (+20 sec.)ALERT2 Receiver howls and crew take action to search for MOB. If the boat has ALERT2 Receiver wired for engine kill, the boat has stopped moving.If MOB is successful, AIS is turned on. If first attempt fails, other manual activation may be required. Once activated AIS searches for GPS coordinates.
Search & Rescue (+30 sec.)Crew on vessel are looking for a visual of MOB. Once sighted, a crew member will lock-on to MOB as others begin rescue.Once GPS coordinates are located, the transmission to AIS-enabled receiver receives broadcast. Furthermore, the AIS icon may appear on the chart plotter as a vessel, not a MOB – so crew may still not be aware of person overboard.
1 minute has passedVessel traveling 6 knots has separated 600 feet from MOB! ALERT2 MOB has either been sighted or ALERT2 Portable Direction Finder is able to home in on signal.Because of lag-time, MOB will probably no longer be in sight. All rescue will be dependent on following GPS coordinates.
3 minutes have passedWith transmission of alarm automatic, evasive action has commenced and rescue is well on way.In reality rescue is probably just beginning.

Check out the ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm Products.

The ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System is made up of:


Dredger

When Mere Seconds Count

There are a dozen products on the market that are identified as fall-overboard locator beacons. Our product, the ALERT2 Man-Overboard Alarm System™ has two functions that differentiate from the other fall-overboard locator beacons on the market.

For a vessel moving 6 knots, a person who has fallen overboard will drift 100 feet in 10 seconds, 600 feet in 60 seconds. In between that 10 and 60 seconds, even on a clear day, they are no longer visible to the crew on the boat they just fell off of. When time is of the essence, ALERT2 is far superior to the other fall-overboard locator beacons.

Read More


The Value of ALERT2 Man-Overboard Alarm System

  • 30% of all marine fatalities on United States Coastal Waters were from a fall overboard*
  • #1 reason for a fall overboard was trip/slip, #2 reason was lost balance, and #3 is unknown*
  • Most fatalities could have been prevented if two actions occurred: 1. victim wore a Personal Flotation Device and 2. Crew were aware the victim fell overboard

Read More


Coast Guard Releases Towing Industry Safety Data from 1994 – 2014

In 2014 there were four crew fatalities, which is the lowest number on record. Three of the four were a result of crew-members falling into the water. In the past 20 years, 72 fatalities have been a result of falling into water. Emerald Marine Products is glad to see that the number has been reduced over the years, thanks to better prevention and heightened awareness. On average, three fatalities a year occur due to falling in water. In the past eight years, an average of 15 fall into water accidents occur each year, of which six tend to be serious (if not fatal) occurrences.

Read More


Though AIS Is Required, It May Not Be the Best Solution for Your Safety

The ruling, “Vessel Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure and Automatic Identification System”  becomes effective March 2. However, you have until March 1, 2016 to install the AIS.

AIS or Automatic Identification System is now required on all vessels 65 feet or longer. Primarily for the benefit of being able to identify boats in the area, AIS has also been touted as a life-saving technology with fall-overboard (FOB) awareness and location of person who fell overboard using GPS technology embedded in the AIS device. However, the truth is that AIS is not the best solution for FOB awareness or for that matter, the location of the person who fell overboard.

Read More