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Solo Fisherman Prepares for Man-Overboard Situtation

Photo: Emerald Marine

Posted by Michelle Howard

The cold, shark-infested waters off the Farallon Islands are no place to fall overboard. While steaming down a swell at 16 kts on his 31' F/V Destiny, Jim Colomy's seat post broke, almost sending him over the rail. A solo commercial fisherman when going after salmon, he decided a self-rescue solution was needed. He chose Emerald Marine Products' ALERT2 Man-Overboard system to protect him should the unexpected happen.


"You never expect anything to happen at sea, but it usually does. It only takes one little whoops to become catastrophic," he said. "It was close enough for me to realize I needed a little more safety. My main goal was to have something to shut the boat off if I fell over the side. I researched and came up with the ALERT system. It works." Colomy also added a higher rail and permanent boarding ladder.


The ALERT system includes a small, lightweight transmitter. Worn on a life jacket or tucked inside an inflatable PFD, it instantly transmits a signal when immersed in water. The receiver then stops all engines, allowing the fisherman to climb back aboard. For crewed vessels, it will sound a piercing 95dB alarm, and can set a waypoint, and/or activate external strobes and speakers.


Unlike AIS systems that rely on satellite signals or smartphone apps that use the vagaries of a cellular network, there is no lag time with the ALERT system; it's instantaneous. If trolling at three knots, a man-overboard victim will be 50' astern of the vessel in only 10 seconds. The sooner an engine can be stopped, the faster a solo fisherman can climb back onto the vessel.


Package prices including a transmitter, receiver and 18" whip antenna start as low as $1,068.

Jul 28, 2017

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