OLAS, the man overboard location alert app from Exposure Lights is now available on Android as well as through the App Store.
Exposure Lights have also released a daunting new MOB video, showing how easily things can quickly go wrong, even in relatively calm conditions. Exposure’s research revealed that typically in many sailing partnerships at least one person has the underlying dread “what would I do if my partner went overboard”, meaning they find it difficult to relax or rest when the other is on deck alone.
With over 80 per cent of the population now owning a smart phone, a wearable, MOB tracking system now becomes an affordable ‘no brainer’ for yacht sailors.
In a second video, Peter Hart, Elite Windsurfing coach, Journalist and Film-maker explains how OLAS works. “OLAS is a cost effective portable MOB alarm to help with crew rescue. I tested OLAS during April and it really works. Within five minutes of being in the water I really started to deteriorate and swimming was difficult. Time really is of the essence. A man overboard procedure always takes time, and the OLAS alarm allows you to respond immediately saving valuable seconds.”
When it is paired with an OLAS wrist tag the App creates a virtual tether with your mobile device, and will instantly set off a piercing alarm if someone has gone overboard breaking the connection. The screens then clearly and simply direct you back to exactly the point where the incident happened.
OLAS does not replace the normal MOB procedure, however it does take the stress out of the situation and enable the chance of an early self-recovery. You must still hit the DSC button, stop the boat and call the coastguard.
In a state of high anxiety even experienced sailors can experience a ‘mental blank’ and lose critical time. Recognising these issues, OLAS also acts as your personal MOB coach walking you through the process as well as directing you back to where the incident occurred. So when the coastguard is asking where and when the incident occurred, and your current position, all you have to do is swipe to the VHF screen and OLAS gives you the exact information to read out.
How does OLAS work?
OLAS converts your smart phone or tablet to become part of your life saving inventory using low energy Bluetooth, which is embedded into Exposure’s proprietary ‘Alert and Find’ technology. The App can be ‘paired’ with up to eight OLAS Tags which can be worn as a wrist band, attached to back of a floatation device, a dan buoy or a dog’s collar.
The pairing creates a ‘virtual tether’, which is broken when the OLAS tag goes in the water, or beyond a range of 30m, sounding the alarm. The App immediately switches from normal navigation mode to MOB mode. The screens then provide easy to read and visual directions pointing to the direction of the incident, the course to steer, bearing and distance.
The App has been specifically designed for the inexperienced or less confident sailor as an aid to helping them through the entire MOB procedure, to save time and reduce panic levels.
OLAS App is available from the App Store and Google Play.
The OLAS Tags retail for £45 each and are also available, as four pack at £171 and are available from Exposure Lights stockists and from www.alertandfind.com.