People eagerly await the winners of METSTRADE’s annual DAME awards, and 2022 offered some great products. Ocean Signal’s rescueME PLB3 personal locator beacon claimed the top award as DAME Overall Winner at the show in November 2022.
The mobile-connected PLB expands global and local rescue possibilities. “Designed for installation within a life jacket for semi-automatic activation upon inflation, it benefits from the global response capabilities of the Cospas-Sarsat rescue services, while also using AIS technology to indicate an MOB position to any nearby vessels or aircraft for immediate aid,” says Mikele D’Arcangelo, vice president of Global Marketing and Product Management at ACR Electronics and Ocean Signal.
(Ocean Signal’s rescueME PLB3 is only available in Europe, but ACR Electronics’ ResQLink AIS PLB has the same features and will be available in the U.S. and Canada in Q1 once FCC authorization is received.)
“In an industry first, the next-generation ResQLink AIS PLB (and rescueME PLB3) integrates GNSS positioning, 406 MHz, 121.5 MHz signals and AIS transmissions, the new Galileo Return Link Service (RLS), and mobile connectivity within a single compact unit,” D’Arcangelo says. Before, it might have taken multiple beacons to alert to your position, but now in an MOB situation, D’Arcangelo points out, being able to use both 406 MHz and AIS provides the best possibility for rescue.
“If this signal is not received by a vessel within range, then the 406 MHz global satellite system will trigger a response suitable for the location,” D’Arcangelo says. As both the ResQLink AIS PLB and rescueME PLB3 are compatible with RLS alerting technology, they can confirm that the distress signal and location was received.
ACR and Ocean Signal also offer more product safety features in response to demand for a user-friendly and compact AIS MOB device and Cospas-Sarsat PLB. “The multiple levels of integrated signal technology within one package will help save more lives, while also aiding the rescue services in locating and helping survivors,” D’Arcangelo says. “This advanced unit offers superyacht professionals the most comprehensive communication set on the market for a rapid response and rescue in a man overboard emergency.”
By also integrating Near Field Communications (NFC) into the mobile connected PLBs, ACR Electronics and Ocean Signal are offering new ways for owners to monitor their products, from accessing self-test results, viewing GNSS test locations, and monitoring beacon performance and maintenance. They also added a 121MHz homing signal, plus visible and infrared strobe lights for final pinpointing in low visibility rescues.
The ACR Electronics ResQLink AIS PLB will be available in Q1 in the U.S. and Canada at $499.95. The Ocean Signal rescueME PLB3 is available in Europe only for £475.94, excluding VAT.