Wescom announces first sMRT Alert products

Wescom sMRT ALERT DSC Man Overboard beacon

Survival solutions specialist Wescom Group has released the first of its new series of distress beacons. The firm says the Alert AIS DSC Man Overboard device offers enhanced localised recovery with simplified fitting, faster activation and wearer acknowledgments.

The Alert is the first in a series of new beacons produced at Wescom Group’s new manufacturing facility in Hull, UK.

The new purpose-built safety electronics factory, which opened in March, is a culmination of Wescom Group’s investment after the 2022 acquisition of MRT Ltd, which developed the sMRT brand for the offshore safety market.

Wescom Group says the site allows the increased capacity of its current offshore range and will accelerate the delivery of the new sMRT distress beacons for the leisure and commercial marine markets.

The sMRT Alert’s features include two-way signalling, and real-time location tracking via AIS (Automatic Identification System). It uses DSC (Digital Selective Calling) to alert nearby vessels to the call for help. The sMRT Alert’s safety features were recognised at the METSTRADE 2023 exhibition DAME Awards with a special mention accolade.

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 January 2025. Only class M devices such as the Alert — those with GNSS and internal DSC receiver — will be compliant with the new regulations.

The device also includes a beacon management app to connect the beacon to a user’s smart phone, to check on activation status and to review the power reserves in the five-year battery.

“Wescom’s product range is synonymous with high quality and reliability and we are taking this dedication to marine safety into our newly launched electronics division,” says Wescom Group CEO Ross Wilkinson. “It’s fantastic to see the first of our new distress beacons leave the new factory and we look forward to introducing the full range in the coming months.”

At the factory opening, Ryan Petitt, the site’s managing director, said: “It’s an incredibly proud moment for the team. We have been a Yorkshire-based business since the 1980s and the new Hull factory reflects both Wescom Group’s confidence in our future and the demand for our innovative life-saving beacons like the new sMRT Alert.”

The sMRT Alert costs from £270 RRP and is now available worldwide through Wescom Group’s network of international distributors.

Earlier this month, Wescom Group confirmed its emergency rations have now received global approvals from Lloyds Register. The new products are the culmination of internal investment in expanding Wescom Group’s European production facilities in Bremerhaven, Germany.

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