Light specialist Exposure has expanded its award-winning OLAS man overboard system with the new Olas N2K MOB tracker unit.
The Olas N2K MOB tracker is a small black-box unit that detects when someone falls overboard and raises the alarm. Like the other Olas equipment, it relies on Bluetooth to do this.
All crew members must be wearing an OLAS tag (£59 – sold separately) around their wrists. These are synchronised with the N2K unit before leaving the berth. Worn like a watch, the tag is a simple Bluetooth transmitter which sends out a ping several times a second.
The signals are picked up by the N2K unit and checked against the list of synchronised devices. So if any of the tags fail to report in, the virtual tether is broken and the alarm triggered.
The range of a Bluetooth signal is sufficient for the system to work reliably on yachts up to 100ft in length. If the signal carried for further than that, however, there would be a risk that a flailing MOB wouldn’t trigger the alarm immediately.
The system works because water absorbs electromagnetic waves very efficiently. So, the tether is broken even if the tag is just under the surface.
The Olas N2K MOB tracker unit is, as its name suggests, connected to your boat’s NMEA instrument network. This means it can activate the MOB alarm on the chartplotter, giving you a course to steer back to the casualty.
And it can alert other crew members too. The N2K will play an alarm over the ship’s speakers, for instance. It can flash a light and even stop the engine if it is fitted with a kill switch function. This is something usually only seen on outboards.
The Olas N2K MOB tracker costs £240 and will be on shelves early in the New Year. As well as the standard MOB tag, a new rechargeable T2 tag will be available in March at an RRP of £80.40.
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