Man Overboard alarm readies for export

The Man Overboard Marina Alarm System, designed by Melbourne-based Paul Williams, was developed in prototype form in 2018. In 2019, Williams partnered with fellow Australian manufacturer, DEK Technologies, to deliver a high tech alarm system with an intuitive user interface.

Installing the Man Overboard alarm on its orange pole.

Installing the Man Overboard alarm on its orange pole.

Now, having undergone 18 month tests at Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (Australia) – where it has already saved a life – and Westhaven Marina (Auckland, New Zealand), the system is ready to go into full commercial production.
The concept is a deceptively simple solution for marina owners and operators to mitigate risk if someone falls into the water from the dock or a berthed boat. The person in distress pulls on a rope (pull switch) that runs underneath the whole length of the dock edge. This activates an audible alarm and strobe light that alerts anyone nearby, and sends a signal to the base station.
Immediate texts and emails are then sent out to up to six people that the marina has pre-programmed into the system, along with cascading phone calls. If no one is available, emergency services are contacted.
The completed project.

The completed project.

The system is completely wireless and powered by renewable energy, and has a ‘heartbeat’ that signals every hour to reassure the monitors that the alarm is live.
Williams, who was actively discussing the concept at Metstrade last November, cautiously eyes export opportunities. “I believe we are ready to go global,” he tells Marina World. “[However], this is a technical system that requires a fair amount of installation work and pre-programming from a technical end. As our technology evolves, hopefully so will the ease of installation.”


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