Ocean Safety have recently included the simple and easy to use ACR Nauticast Class B AIS Transponder into their range, which has the advantage of being ‘plug and play’.
This Class B transponder is a low power, lower cost version of the Class A unit and is specifically aimed at the non IMO workboat, tug and leisure market. It transmits and receives, is water resistant, incorporates an internal GPS receiver and most importantly has a remote safety related message switch. If necessary, the unit can be switched to a ‘stealth’ mode which will receive only.
AIS is primarily a collisions’ avoidance system, yet it can also provide vital information for a Search and Rescue (SAR) team to find a stricken vessel. Details broadcast every few minutes include location with latitude and longitude, navigational status (under way, at anchor and even ‘not under command’), speed over the ground, heading, rate of turn, name of the vessel, call sign, cargo, size of vessel and draft and even destination with ETA and last port. It also provides the movement and identity of other ships or yachts in the vicinity who are equipped with the AIS facility.
A data cable directly interfaces the AIS unit with a chart plotter or normal laptop, providing all the information on a clear display which gives a quick and simple reference.
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