National Safe Boating Week begins on May 21, 2016 and ends on May 27, 2016. This is an outstanding safety outreach event developed by the National Safe Boating Council to educate the recreational boating community on the importance of wearing a life jacket, with an emphasis on their year-round “Wear It!” a North American Safe Boating campaign.
Boaters are required to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board for every person on their boat. Boating safety advocates recommend that all boaters and passengers not only have a life jacket, but ‘Wear It!’ at all times while on the water.
The reason for this is that accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket. Drowning is the reported cause of death in three-fourths of all boating fatalities – and 84 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket in 2014.
The good news is that today’s life jackets are much more lightweight and stylish than the bulky orange style most boaters know. Life jackets that use inflatable technologies keep boaters cool and comfortable. They may resemble a pair of suspenders or a belt pack and many inflate automatically when immersed in water.
Even better news is that boaters can add an AIS Man Overboard (AIS MOB) transmitter to their life jacket to help the crew on their own vessels and boats in the vicinity locate them for rescue in the event they, or a member of their crew, fall over board. Automatic Identification Systems (AISs) are designed to be capable of providing information about the ship, or in this case the person, to other ships and to coastal authorities, to aid in a man overboard search, as well as tracking and collision avoidance.
Once activated by the user, AIS MOB devices provide immediate notification to the parent and neighboring vessels within a 4 mile radius, providing a means of location to determine the position of the MOB. Finding an MOB in the water and navigating your vessel to their location can be difficult, particularly at night or in strong tides. A survivor recovery system which uses an AIS MOB device, to send GPS coordinates to the crew member’s vessel, greatly reduces the time of identifying the MOB’s location and aiding recovery via locally orchestrated rescue. Below is a screen shot of how an AIS MOB alert displays on plotter screens.
An excellent example of the life-saving capability of AIS MOB clipped to a life jacket can be seen in the successful rescue of Andrew Taylor on March 30, 2014, after he was swept overboard during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Andrew was lost at sea in the North Pacific Ocean for an incredible one hour and forty minutes before being located and rescued. As Andrew stated, “My training and equipment undoubtedly kept me alive and allowed me to stay alive until the boat returned, but McMurdo’s AIS MOB device saved my life,” You can hear Andrew tell his riveting story in our webinar about AIS MOB by clicking here.
McMurdo is proud to support the Wear It! campaign through a special offer on wearable life jacket AIS Man Overboard devices during National Safe Boating Week 2016. These programs help educate individuals on the importance of owning and wearing a life jacket so that lives can be saved during a distress situation while on the water. Attaching an AIS Man Overboard device to your life jacket enables boats in the area to locate your position in the water for a quick recovery. Learn more about McMurdo’s participation in the Wear It! Campaign here.
When every minute counts, wear your life jacket to keep you alive and trust McMurdo to help save your life.