Australian CoastGuard using Boat Beacon

We were asked if we could help out with a new Australian Coast Guard radio log  system using Boat Beacon. The system is now live and made it onto Australian TV.

Boat Beacon being used with the Australian Coast Guard.

N.B. The clip where they accredited Pocket Mariner with making Boat Beacon is on the cutting room floor unfortunately – you have to love reporters ūüôā

Boat Beacon – “Your app may have saved our lives”

¬†Captain Ian Engelbrecht and First Mate¬†Ibolya Palko from¬†Worldwide Yacht Deliveries¬† sent us a report today¬†on how Boat Beacon helped them when they were caught in fog 4NM off the South African coast. They were sailing a Jaguar 36 Catamaran on a 900 mile,¬†12 day voyage from¬†Cape Town to Durban, South Africa. There is a map showing their planned route to the right.¬†They had just passed Hamburg on their route¬†up the East South African coast when they lost visibility. ¬†Their primary AIS system had failed. ¬†They did the right thing and diverted¬†in close to shore to find shallow waters and avoid any commercial shipping (see the ¬†track map below). They¬†were hoping there wouldn’t be ¬†anything else so close in. They¬†decided to power up Boat Beacon on their Android smartphone¬†and leave it running to keep a look out.

Boat Beacon alerted them to a container ship, also close in, going in the opposite direction!  At a range of 21 NM ( well over the normal VHF AIS horizon) Boat Beacon gave them plenty of time to assess the situation and take the necessary avoiding action.


They also had some very useful feedback. Having no visibility and due to the specific courses involved, they weren’t too sure on how the Closest Point of Approach (CPA) would pan out. In other words what would the CPA be in relation to their vessel – port or starboard? That made it difficult to decide on the correct avoiding action to take. Captain Iain Engelbrecht asked if we could add a new feature to Boat Beacon to¬†give the bearing of the closest point of approach with respect to one’s own boat (e.g. 0¬į is dead ahead, 90¬į to starboard,¬†270¬į is to port etc.).

Captain Engelbrecht was impressed by Boat Beacon’s real time performance – that may have saved their lives – and our immediate response to his suggestion. ¬†We are now adding the new CPA Bearing feature, continuing Pocket Mariner’s commitment to providing useful, professional and affordable aids to navigation and safety.



PocketMariner at the Southampton Boat Show

We popped down to the Southampton Boat Show to share our wares and look for new App ideas. We also got a chance to take Boat Beacon out for a spin on a $1M Speed boat and test at high speed!

 

 

Here are some real time screen shots from the boat and of Boat Beacon’s display. All lined up in real time perfectly. We are on the purple boat in the centre of the screenshot doing just over 20Kts overtaking Red Falcon which is to port.

We chatted with McMurdo about their new and very popular¬†S10¬†¬†and¬†Kannad R10¬†Personal¬†AIS Beacons (see¬†Panbo’s article)¬†– flying off the shelves like hot cakes. They appear on Boat Beacon when activated and in test mode, but were showing up as unknown ships! Time to add some proper support. Show them with the correct AIS SART symbol (red cross) , show the Safety message sent by the device and alarm if one appears within range. The typical range quoted for these beacons at sea level is 4 miles. With Boat Beacon using shore based receivers we should be able to see them further away at upto 10 miles out! Any volunteers for testing?
The latest Android version (1.2) of Boat Beacon now has AIS SART support and it will be included in the next iOS release.

We met up with Yachting Monthly Editor, Keiran Flatt and he is going to publish our Marine Apps survey on-line and in the next print edition and he also had some ideas for new Marine Apps he would like to see. He is thinking of setting up a photo shoot and story about our company with a trip down the Wye to the Severn from our offices on Sarita.

A fantastic day and some great new ideas and opportunites for Boat Beacon and for some new Apps.