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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ACR Electronics Supports Windsurf Round Britain

ACR Electronics sponsored Jono completed his windsurfing trip around Britain trip at Clacton. Although this is a first attempt at a Windsurf round Britain without boat support, Jono had strong product support and endorsement and ACR Electronics is proud to be one of them. As well as being the first person to do this without an on-water support boat, so far Jono has also raised £3,500 for Pancreatic Cancer and £1,500 for Supporting Tanzanian Orphans and Widows, the two charities he set out to support and raise awareness for.

To learn more about Jono and his adventure please visit http://www.windsurfroundbritain.co.uk
Also please note these links below for some additional coverage of Jono’s trip:

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4554707.ece

http://www.windsurfroundbritain.co.uk/update/last-leg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-34226047

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-34237999

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/11860824/Daredevil-completes-his-bid-to-windsurf-around-Britain.html


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Rescued Hang Glider!

Meet Mr. Dietch and read his first hand survival story:

On Friday July 10, 2015, I launched my hang glider from Crestline overlooking San Bernardino, CA and headed 13 miles east toward Running Springs. From an altitude of 7,100′ MSL, I decided to cross the gap toward 7,800′ Keller Peak. I have made this flight numerous times over the past 6 years with only a few close calls but no major incidents. During the summer of 2010, a friend crashed his hang glider in a rural area and was lost. Although he was rescued while still unconsciouis the following morning I decided to fly with a NOAA-registered SARSAT beacon. After careful research I chose ACR SARLink 406 for my specific needs. From July, 2010 through July, 2015, I have carried that PLB on approximately 500 flights spanning a thousand hours of flying time. Most of my hang gliding consists of flying as far as I can for the given conditions; which is known as cross-country or X/C flying. I am accustomed to landing places I have never seen and calling friends for a retrieve ride or being followed by vehicle using 2-meter radio for communication.

On this flight the lift rapidly began to fade out as I reached Keller Peak at 6,400′ MSL. It is an 8-mile long glide to clear the Seven Oaks earthen dam located at the source of the Santa Ana River in Mentone, CA. I was already too low to glide out and failed to climb more than a few hundred feet before it was clear to me I wasn’t leaving by hang glider. I glided back toward Running Springs but only continued to bleed altitude. I opted to return toward the foot of Keller Peak where there is an unoccupied hydro-electric plant. My landing strip would be in the boulder-filled, dry Santa Ana River bed. I managed a safe landing between large boulders but was faced with a long hike out late in the day. There is a local population of mountain lions, rattle snakes, coyotes and assorted predatory beings. I had a long hike out down a canyon defined by mountains on either side of the riverbed. Nobody knew my whereabouts as I had been flying solo. Nobody responded to my 2-meter radio calls and there was no cell reception. This was during a recent rash of fires due to the drought but between fires at the time. There are USFS and Sheriff’s helicopter pads are located in a 15-mile radius. Rather than trying to hike out into the night with inadequate supplies, I opted to activate my SARLink as soon as I got out of my harness before I began to break down my equipment.

After 40 minutes without the sound of a helicopter I opted to leave my packed up glider in an obvious spot on the access road and hike out. I had the SARKLink PLB in my harness bag on my back and it was left on and transmitting. After several hours I hit a dead end behind the dam. I began to backtrack to the correct fork in the road when a helicopter finally flew into the canyon toward my landing spot. I continued backtracking as the helicopter flew back out and over my head as I waved in plain sight. I reached for my glass signal mirror with retro-reflective aiming center and lit up the chopper with reflected sunlight as it continued its egress over the dam. Finally, the copper did an about face as the sun was kissing the ridgeline to the West and I was about to go into shade. I was picked up and dropped off by the Mill Creek Ranger Station in Yucaipa, CA without incident. Although my SARLink PLB is equipped with a strobe, there would have been an interval of dusk in which I had no way to signal other than by whistle. Once we exited the helicopter, the pilot showed me his own, well-worn signal mirror and thanked me for using mine along with the PLB. The next day I called the Air Force base where NOAA-registered PLBs are tracked and verified that my beacon signal had gotten picked up two minutes after activation. This was reassuring to me as a significant portion of the sky was blocked by surrounding mountains. The following morning I was able to drive back in with a friend on his Jeep 4X and recovered my glider. I went flying that afternoon.

– See more at: https://www.acrartex.com/survivors/stories/2015/dietch-long-beach-ca#sthash.uOKGTa5E.dpuf


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Piper Planes and ACR Electronics Beacons Make for Safe Partners in the Sky

Piper_logo.svg

July 21, 2015 #OSH15 ACR Electronics, Inc. announced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh their newest safety collaboration in the sky. From now until the end of the year, the Piper Meridian M500 will come equipped with two ACR 406 MHz beacons. In addition to the ARTEX ELT 1000 Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), standard safety equipment on Piper M500 aircraft, an additional manually activated ACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) for the pilot will also be included with each aircraft delivery. Having both 406 MHz beacons is the perfect combination for a pilot and plane to be located expeditiously.

This safety collaboration between ACR Electronics and Piper Aircraft will bring together two reputable companies which prioritize safety. The M500 is repeatedly recognized for its advanced safety implementations and intuitive interface. “Piper Aircraft has long been regarded as a leader at the forefront of quality and safety in aviation,” said Drew McEwen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We welcome the opportunity to further advance safety measures, while enhancing existing and superior safety features of the M500.”

Accompanying the M500 are the best brands in safety equipment available on the market, including ARTEX’s ELTs and ACR’s PLBs. Both Piper and ACR Electronics are Florida-based manufacturers with long-standing reputations of building quality products.


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Rescued on Land!

Meet Mr. Hill and read his first hand survival story:

I set out by myself for what for what I considered to be a medium length, day hike of five hours in the bush in the Tararuas, in New Zealand. I initially followed an unsignposted trapline track that, although a little rough, was reasonably well defined. My trek took me to the top of a peak of 890 metres called Pinnacle, which was supposed to be the halfway point, where I stopped for lunch. I then set out along the neighbouring ridge with the intention of branching off about half an hour along and heading down to the Atiwhakatu River and following a very clearly sign posted track back to my car.

Part way along the ridge the track became rather overgrown and then disappeared completely. This was where I made my first mistake. I should at that point have headed back the way I had come and completed my five hour hike that way. However, I decided that I didn’t need a track because if I headed down I would eventually reach the Atiwhakatu River. I started to head down for what should have been a forty five minute trip to the river. The going was easy at first but then the bush thickened and I encountered some steep drops and started veering off my straight line to find an easier path. Mistake two. I eventually came across a stream and decided to follow it as it would surely lead me to the Atiwhakatu River. Mistake number three.

– See more at: https://www.acrartex.com/survivors/stories/2015/david-hill-carterton-wairarapa#sthash.93ErO5zb.dpuf

David Hill


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7 Minute video on an ACR Electronics AIS Class B Transceiver installation.

The ACR AISLink Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) Transceiver ensures you can see and be seen on the water. Perfect for areas of boating congestion or for those times when visibility is poor, the AISLink Class B allows users to transmit important information about their vessel while also receiving real-time AIS transmissions from others.

See more at: https://www.acrartex.com/products/catalog/automatic-identification-systems-ais/aislink-cb1/#sthash.aSMLclEw.dpuf


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Rescued at Sea!

Meet Mr. Cook and read his first hand survival story:

We left the boat ramp Sunday morning at 4am in search of Dolphin and Sailfish, and we rode out to Georgetown Hole (about 60nm East of Charleston, SC) without any problems at 20-25 kts. Both bilge pumps were working, both bilges stayed dry for the ride. About 20 minutes after we started fishing, the boat took on too much water and quickly sank out from under us.

While I don’t know exactly what caused the boat to sink, my guess is this:

Once we slowed down to trolling speed, the waves were spaced out to where we would take a wave over the bow every once in a while, but nothing that seemed too terrible. I’m guessing that the waves coming over the bow filled all of the bow lockers, and those small drains were blocked by leaves and/or all the gear inside the lockers.

I think that once the water in the lockers weighed the bow down, any water in the bilge drained to the bow, away from the pumps. It seemed like it happened so fast at this point — once the bow got heavy, it plowed more, causing more water to collect in the bilge, making it heavier, in turn causing it to take more water over the bow. Before we knew it, there was standing water on the deck. We cut all of the lines that were out and I got one, maybe two Mayday calls out from the boat’s VHF. Everyone got their life jackets on and I grabbed the ACR ditch bag (emergency bag) that I keep readily available, at arms length right on top of the console.

Once we were in the water, the boat was completely gone almost immediately. We all stayed together. I got the handheld VHF and the PLB out of the ditch bag and resumed communication with the CG. I was a little worried at first since they wouldn’t verify that they were seeing my beacon — they were asking me to deploy a device that had already been deployed. That was probably the worst feeling of the day. After about 10 minutes, they said they saw the signal, and broadcast our coordinates on the radio. Communication was tough from a handheld — since VHF is Line of Sight, you lose comms when you are right on the water and in the trough of a wave.

Luckily 2 boats were in the area and headed our way. The Office out of Georgetown got to us first, and picked us up. The CG chopper arrived a little while later, and the CG vessel made it out to pick us up and take us home.

Aside from the obvious, everything went really well. It was less than 1 hour from the first Mayday call until we were on board The Office. The crew stayed composed and nobody panicked. The fact that this happened in June instead of January was a blessing. I can’t thank the boats that responded enough for their support. Larry, Tom, and Charlie (the crew of The Office) were incredibly accommodating, and offered us water, gatorade and food if we needed. They were running a charter, and pulled lines in to run over and help us.

– See more at: https://www.acrartex.com/survivors/stories/2015/cook-north-charleston-south-carolina#sthash.VmEyUiRA.dpuf


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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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Mom to the Rescue

Learn how one mom proactively took it upon herself to make sure her family’s boat was well prepared in case of an emergency.  The results…. 6 Lives Saved!!

ACR Survivorclub Billy Moody

“When I was shopping for EPIRB’s I remember reading all the features of each type and deciding that I did NOT want to be that person at home worrying for days on end about where my family might be while the Coastguard searched for them (A needle in a haystack). I wanted to make sure that if that day ever came I would not think “why did I not buy the better EPIRB”. Well that day came,” said Jeannette Moody talking about her son Billy Moody’s recent rescue off the coast of Florida.

“Those EPIRB’s are PRICELESS to me now. The entire situation could have turned bad fast had the Coastguard not found them as quickly as they did. I had gone through all the possible things that could happen at sea while deciding which devices to buy. The boat capsizing before anyone could call for help. This is why I bought the Global Fix Pro with Manual Release which would call for help when it got wet. And what if someone falls overboard but the boat does not sink, so I bought the ACR ResQLink+ which you wear around your waist. I had also placed a survival raft on board and remember asking my son as he was walking out the door “you know where the survival raft is?” As it turns out when they deployed the raft it too had an ACR EPIRB in it. WOW!!!”

“I have to tell you that when I originally got all these EPIRB’s my son (being 18 years old) told me that I had probably wasted my money. I told him at the time that I hoped I had wasted my money and that I hoped he never needed to use them. He thanked me when I picked him up from the Coastguard station that night.”

Read the complete first hand story from Jeannette at ACR Electronics SurvivorClub