ACR ARTEX

The Science Of Survival


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ACR AIS Improves Safety for Outer Banks Fishermen

P3130061.jpgThe Customer

Captain Greg Mayer and his crew fish in the dangerous waters of the Outer Banks in Fishin’ Frenzy, a 53-foot Custom Carolina Sportfish. Well known for their role on popular National Geographic Channel show ‘Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks’, Greg and his crew spend their time targeting tuna, marlin, sailfish, wahoo, and dolphin.

 

Experienced fisherman Greg has been fishing professionally for more than 25 years and has been at the helm of the Fishin’ Frenzy since 1999. The 1977-built vessel is well-equipped and maintained to give customers the safest, most comfortable, offshore fishing experience possible. However, they still required an extra level of safety to add to equipment already in place, which includes ACR Electronics GlobalFix™ iPRO Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB),  HemiLight™3 flashing survival light and C-Strobe™ with C-Clip, plus two VHF radios, satellite telephone, two GPS units, autopilot, radar and depth sounder.

Captain Greg Mayer and the crew of Fishin’ Frenzy

The Problem

For the past few winters, Captain Greg and his crew have spent many hours on the ocean, often staying out overnight. They frequently have to deal with foggy conditions and poor visibility and usually operate in areas with a high amount of ship traffic in close proximity. Although there is always a crew member on watch and they are often communicating with other boats in the area, they wanted to further enhance their safety measures for added reassurance and peace of mind.

Greg highlights the dangers facing his vessel and others following a very close call in the fog recently. He said: “I identified a radar target as a tug and tow, calculated his heading and slowed down to let him pass.  About 20 minutes later, a fellow fisherman was a few miles behind me with no radar. He heard the tug, and narrowly missed running between the tug and tow. Had I had AIS, I could have identified the tug and informed my colleague exactly where the tug was located and direction to avoid any confusion whatsoever.”

Fishin’ Frenzy, now equipped with ACR AIS technology

The Solution

Greg wanted to make sure he could see other vessels, as well as be seen on the water, in order to increase his navigational safety. Enhancing the information he already receives with radar, the Fishin’ Frenzy captain also wanted to be able to view and track local traffic on a clear graphical interface, identify other boats, check their course and movements and establish whether he is in danger.

Therefore Greg decided to install ACR Electronics’ AISLink CA1 Class A transceiver, which demonstrates the highest AIS transmission power and the most frequent transmission of AIS information. The device enables him to send and receive wireless data to and from nearby AIS-equipped vessels including the vessel’s name, position, course or speed over the ground, heading and rate of turn. It helps the crew to keep the vessel clear of local maritime traffic and provides reassurance that Fishin’ Frenzy is visible to other vessels. Offering high reliability, performance, and compliance with regulations at a competitive price, the AISLink CA1 facilitates faster communication and navigational planning especially when vessels are hidden or obstructed from radar.

Installation was a straightforward process as the Class A device is a ‘one box’ design containing both the transceiver and display, with an external junction box provided to simplify connection of sensor and display data wiring. Greg opted to interface the AIS with his chart plotter, enabling him to view the data in a convenient, clear format. Each ship symbol on the display reveals the ship name, course and speed, classification, call sign, registration number and MMSI. Greg can calculate and predict the closest point of approach (CPA), which is the minimum distance his vessel will be from the target according to current speed and course. In this way, he will have the given time of the intercept and the distance. Fishin’ Frenzy now also has the ability to send and receive AIS text messages and set active target-specific AIS system alarms to provide advance warning. In areas of high congestion, Fishin’ Frenzy can filter and prioritize targets so that the navigator is aware of the vessels which pose a collision risk.

Captain Greg commented: “The added visibility provided by AIS is another measure of safety that I feel is invaluable with the amount of ship traffic in the area. It will be very reassuring to have this extra back up. Winter fishing on the Outer Banks is no time to be unprepared for whatever the ocean may throw at you. When my crew’s safety is on the line, I depend on ACR.”

Chart plotter view with AIS installed allowing the captain to view and track local traffic

Visit www.aismandate.com for more information about AIS (Automatic Identification System) and the new USCG (United States Coast Guard) AIS mandate or go to www.ACRARTEX.com.

 

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EPIRB’s Durability Proven Under the Hottest Conditions  

Bunt EPIRB

Photo caption: This Emergency Position-Indicating Radio (EPIRB) Beacon was on board a boat during an electrical fire.

After this EPIRB was charred during an electrical fire on-board the vessel “Sunshine Too,” Captain Keith Mc Farlane questioned whether the EPIRB was still able to function. Not wanting to take a chance, he sent the EPIRB to ACR for evaluation.  As part of ACR’s standard testing procedures,  we completed a full range of performance testing on the beacon. All the test results proved the EPIRB was still working – perfectly. This is another demonstration proving ACR Electronics indeed builds quality products knowing they are used to save lives.

 


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Introducing the New ARTEX ELT 1000 Emergency Locator Transmitter with Built-In GPS Navigational Interface

Fort Lauderdale, FL – ACR Electronics, Inc. announces today that the all-new ELT 1000 (Emergency Locator Transmitter) has received its Cospas-Sarsat and FAA approvals and is now available for sale. The ARTEX ELT 1000 is competitively priced and designed with multiple installation configurations to reduce overall installation cost.

The state of the art electronics maximize frequency stability and power while incorporating a new, built-in GPS navigational interface. Including GPS data in the emergency transmission allows Search and Rescue personnel to know your location within 100 meters in less than a minute. Designed to accommodate multiple installation configurations, the new ELT 1000 is a quick, easy and affordable retrofit for obsolete 121.5 MHz ELTs.

ELT100_ISO_2Built under the exacting standards of AS9100C quality certification, the ELT 1000 exceeds all government and regulatory standards including the latest FAA guidelines with its new robust stainless steel mounting strap.

The ARTEX ELT 1000 features and specifications are listed below:

  • Quick and easy retrofit for general aviation aircraft
  • Single antenna output for emergency transmission on both 406 MHz (Cospas-Sarsat) and 121.5 MHz frequencies (local Search & Rescue)
  • Enhanced positional accuracy with a built-in GPS interface that does not require aircraft power
  • Encoded digital message broadcasts aircraft identification/registration and owner/emergency contact details
  • New stainless steel mounting strap for increased stability that complies with the most current FAA guidelines
  • Simple self-testing from the cockpit. When combined with 406Test.com, the self-test will provide SMS/e-mail confirmation within seconds that the ELT signal reached the satellites successfully
  • New hermetically sealed G-Switch for increased reliability

ARTEX designs and manufactures an array of ELT’s, battery packs and ELT accessories. ARTEX products serve a wide category of aircrafts ranging from general aviation to the world’s leading airframe manufacturers, large commercial airlines and government aircraft.


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Len & Lisa, ACR Survivors Use TWO Beacons for TWO Different Rescues

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ACR Electronics shares a first: within just six months a SurvivorClub replacement Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) saves a crew of three and their dog from the raging seas of the North Atlantic.

Just this past October, and without warning, Len and Lisa Rorke’s sailboat rudder broke and drifted away leaving the sailboat without any means of steering, forcing Len to activate their EPIRB. Their ACR GlobalFix iPRO EPIRB signal was received by the USCG who coordinated their rescue with a local fishing trawler which was 20 miles away. The good Samaritans aboard the trawler pulled the Rorkes, and their Jack Russell Terrier, Dexter, up on board and took them back to safety.

To everyone’s shock and disbelief not even six months later, lightning struck again. This time the couple, Dexter and a crew mate Henri Worthalter were 13 days into crossing the Atlantic Ocean, from the Turks and Caicos Islands, heading to the Mediterranean via The Azores. Their journey ended with two days of gale force winds and high seas which broke the rudder and aft bulkhead on their sailboat,The Blue Pearl. “We were 950 nautical miles from the Azores (about halfway between the Azores and Bermuda), and could not have been further from land if we tried. We had been battling heavy weather for a week and the last two days of storms battered our boat so badly that it sank right in the middle of the North Atlantic in huge seas, strong winds and in the dead of night”, stated Len, Captain of The Blue Pearl.

ImageForced into a life raft 900 miles north of Bermuda, the couple watched as their home sank before their eyes.  As fate would have it, their new EPIRB given to them just months before by ACR Electronics as part of the SurvivorClub program was put to proper use.  They activated the EPIRB once they got into their life raft and within minutes the EPIRB sent the USCG the exact location of the displaced crew.

The USCG District Command Center located two ships to help with the rescue the Tilda Kosan, a 351′ tanker, which was 32 nautical miles to the south of their position and an automated mutual-assistance vessel rescue ship (AMVER). The tanker reported they were six hours away from the EPIRB’s location and would divert off course to assist the distressed mariners. Around 12:30 a.m. the tanker located the life raft with Len, Lisa, Henri and Dexter whom the USCG previously identified.

Clearly relieved, Len said “We were extremely lucky to have survived but that luck came because we did everything right and without a question because we had properly registered our EPIRB, once again, with the US Coast Guard.”

Rescued, recovered but now homeless, the Rorkes are in good and grateful spirits despite watching their sailboat, their home just drop to the bottom of the ocean.  Their crewmate, Henri returned home to Europe but the Rorkes and Dexter were transported to Bermuda and then flown into South Florida. Currently they are residing at a good Samaritan’s home in Jupiter, FL while regrouping and raising money to join their family in the United Kingdom.

To read both of the Rorke’s survival stories please visit SurvivorClub.com.

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ACR Electronics declares April 6th (4/06) to be “406 MHz Beacon Awareness Day” and ACR is asking our beacon owners, survivors and partners to help spread the word and share their stories! The *406 MHz technology has saved 35,000 lives since early 1980’s, certainly a statistic to be celebrated! Visit http://www.survivorclub.com to read some first-hand testimonies.

Please do your part to promote 406 MHz beacon use by sharing your specially tailored message and photo on your social media accounts. Tell everyone what your PLB or EPIRB frees you to do. Include a picture of the activity or place where your beacon gives you the confidence and freedom to go. ACR will be giving random participants prizes for sharing their 406 MHz message.

How to enter?

Tweet or Facebook post titled “what my 406 beacon frees me to do”. Include a picture of the activity or place your beacon gives you the confidence and freedom to go.

*You must use one or all of the key terms below so we can find your entry:

  • @acrartex
  • #406MHz
  • #406SurvivorClub
  • #ACRARTEX
  • “406 MHz Beacon Awareness Day”

For more information on “406 MHz Beacon Awareness Day” please contact:

Nichole Kalil, Public Relations and Media Specialist

T: +1-954-862-2180 or nichole.kalil@acrartex.com

Source: http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/statistics.html

 


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ACR & George Poveromo

ACR Electronics, Inc., a leader in safety and signaling technologies, announces their newest brand ambassador – George Poveromo, nationally recognized saltwater fisherman and host of the NBC Sports Network TV series, “George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing”.

A world-renowned angling authority and long-time customer of ACR, George Poveromo has also experienced his own close call at sea. While off the Florida Keys in 2012, George was pulled overboard while hooked to a 256 pound swordfish, which he ultimately went on to catch. With this experience serving as a prime example that the unexpected can happen even to the most experienced fisherman, Poveromo now touts the merits of safe boating and fishing among his strong following of saltwater fishing enthusiast.

“The very first EPIRB I purchased was an ACR, and every one since has been an ACR, because of their untouchable reputation in the marine safety field”, said Poveromo.

Together, ACR and Poveromo are getting the word out to offshore boaters that 406 MHz beacons are a small price to pay for lifesaving technology and should never be viewed as optional gear. “People tend to associate boating mishaps with sinking,” said Poveromo. “But what if there’s an electrical fire and you need to abandon the vessel, or if you fall overboard at night and no one notices? There are inherent dangers associated with offshore fishing and boating, and that’s why every sea-going vessel should carry an ACR EPIRB as well as personal locator beacons.  You can’t put a price tag on the safety of your family and friends who are on board for a fun day of fishing,” added Poveromo.

Learn more about ACR’s 406 MHz beacons on George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing show on NBC Sports or at his Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series.


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Whats the difference between a Personal Locator Beacons and Avalanche Beacons?

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Learn more about Personal Locator Beacons

We often get asked the question; what’s the difference between an Avalanche Beacon and an ACR 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon?

The answer essentially comes down to the fact that each beacon has 2 different jobs.  The easiest way to think about this is while both beacons are designed to aid in Search and Rescue, an avalanche beacon does the Searching, while a Personal Locator Beacon brings the Rescue.

Avalanche beacons are specifically designed to locate other 457 kHz signals buried under the snow.  An avalanche beacons is constantly transmitting a low powered pulsed signal during your skiing/snowboarding/snowmobiling trip and should you get caught in an avalanche, anyone in your party that is safe will switch their beacon from the transmitting mode to the receiving mode which allows use as a radio direction finder.   The searchers in your party use their beacons to find your location and dig you out of the snow.

Surviving the avalanche and getting out alive is the first major hurdle to overcome, but quickly your attention must turn to assessing injuries.  According to the US National Library of Medicine, the most frequent injuries are to your extremities, chest and/or spine.  Getting medical attention is imperative, but can also be extremely difficult in the backcountry depending upon your location and the extent of the injuries.  That is why a 406 MHz beacon is the perfect complimentary beacon to an avalanche beacon, it calls in the cavalry.

Avalanche sign and mountains at the backgroundAn ACR 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon, like the ResQLink,  utilizes the Cospas-Sarsat Search and Rescue Satellite System and provides the closest Search and Rescue Agency to your vicinity with your registration data, emergency contacts and location information.  Search and Rescue (SAR) forces use the GPS position (or coordinates based on triangulation if GPS data is not available) from the beacon along with the information you provide when you properly register your beacon to immediately set out on the rescue mission.  There is no subscription or activation fees with a Personal Locator Beacon, the only thing required is mandatory registration, which is what tells SAR forces who activated the beacon.

On average, 150 people lose there lives to avalanches each year.  While predicting and avoiding avalanches are becoming more and more reliable, anyone in these areas is always still at risk and should be well-trained in avalanche safety.  For more information and safety tips on Avalanche please check out National Ski Patrol, or find an avalanche safety course in your area.

Sources:
National Geographics
US National Library of Medicine