Wescom Group launches sMRT Alert distress beacon

Wescom sMRT Alert DSC AIS man-overboard device (2)

Survival solutions manufacturer Wescom Group has launched its new sMRT Alert DSC AIS man-overboard device.

Wescom says the distress beacon enhances localised recovery with simplified fitting, faster activation and wearer acknowledgements.

The sMRT Alert is said to represent the digitisation of man overboard (MOB) beacons, with two-way signalling, real-time location tracking via AIS (Automatic Identification System) and using DSC (Digital Selective Calling) to alert nearby vessels to the call for help.

The sMRT Alert’s user-focused safety innovations were recognised at the 2023 METSTRADE exhibition during the coveted DAME Awards, where the device picked up a special mention in the personal equipment category.

The sMRT Alert’s water activation feature also means it can be attached to any lifejacket via its clip mechanism, without specialist fitting.

In addition, the sMRT Alert includes a beacon management app to connect the beacon to your smartphone. This simplifies device use and makes it convenient to check on the activation status and the power reserves in the five-year battery.

The sMRT Alert can be activated manually or in armed mode and will automatically send an alert after total water immersion for over two seconds. Once activated, the sMRT Alert emits an audible alarm and powerful strobe to confirm activation and improve low-light detection. Most significantly, the sMRT Alert internal DSC receiver allows a confirmation when its DSC distress signal has been acknowledged.

“Over many decades, the Wescom product range has been synonymous with high quality and reliability; we are taking this experience and dedication towards marine safety into our newly launched electronics division,” says Wescom Group CEO Ross Wilkinson. “It’s been fantastic to see our first product in this category recognised for its safety innovations with a DAME nomination.”

The sMRT Alert is also one of the first products on the market designed to meet the new Class M regulation ECC Decision (22)02), which will restrict AIS-only MOB devices use of core AIS channels in certain countries from December 2024. Only class M devices such as the Alert – those with GNSS and internal DSC receiver — will be allowed to continue to use AIS channels 1 & 2.

The sMRT Alert costs from £270 (RRP) and is manufactured in the UK by Wescom Group. It will be available worldwide through Wescom’s network of international distributors.

Photo: Antje Schimanke

The group also showcased a range of survival products during the 2023 edition of METSTRADE, which ran from 15-17 November. Wescom introduced a new range of medical kits — including Category C and SOLAS Medical Kits designed to address minor first aid needs while aboard a ship or in lifeboats and life raft. The launch of the new range comes shortly after the group acquired UK-based medical supplies company ANP Pharma.

In addition, Wescom showcased a new range of Pains Wessex and Comet-branded emergency rations, described as the culmination of internal investment expanding Wescom Group’s European production facilities with a new state-of-the-art facility in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Main image: Wescom sMRT Alert DSC AIS man-overboard device.

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