MOBILARM WELCOMES CHANGES TO ITU MARINE SAFETY DEVICE IDENTITY RECOMMENDATION

Mob V100 In Water

Crewsafe V100 provides instant alerts and constantly updated location information to rescue assets via VHF DSC.

Perth, Western Australia: Global marine safety equipment provider, Mobilarm Limited has welcomed the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) decision to amend its Recommendation ITU-R M.585, concerning identities of AIS-SART, EPIRB-AIS and man overboard (MOB) devices, at a meeting in Geneva on 23rd June 2011. The amendments address the regulatory issues of allocating MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) numbers to MOB devices, which has impacted the adoption of sophisticated new personal safety devices.

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MMSI numbers are usually reserved for radio telecommunications equipment such as handheld and fixed VHF radios. Some national telecommunications authorities have refused to issue them for any other type of equipment, preventing customers from purchasing and easily using new and advanced MOB devices that require unique identity numbers. This doesn’t affect 406 EPIRBs or PLBs, as they already have a unique numbering and registration system.

The ITU amendments pave the way for more operators to take advantage of new safety technology, such as the Mobilarm Crewsafe V100 Maritime Survivor Locating Device (MSLD), which provides instant alerts and constantly updated location information to rescue assets via VHF DSC should an MOB incident occur, therefore supporting the fast location and recovery of the casualty in the water.

Devices transmitting on VHF frequencies and/or AIS for the purpose of distress and location signaling will, according to the new recommendation, be clearly identifiable by a new numbering system. The unique number transmitted in every distress alert will identify the type, manufacturer and a serial number of the device. Responders will know immediately whether they are searching for an AIS-SART – probably a life raft; an EPIRB-AIS – a stricken vessel; or an MSLD – a person in the water. Manufacturers must keep a database to record owners of devices issued.

“The new system ensures that every device is assigned a unique identity prior to use,” comments Lindsay Lyon, CEO, Mobilarm. “We will use a quality-controlled, automated process to program each device at time of manufacture, which means that the additional cost and inconvenience for customers who previously had to apply for an MMSI number from their national telecommunications authority and program it into the device, has been wiped out completely.”

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