By Ben Ellison
Sea Marshall SMRS8-LR
Further confusing the already overly acronymic world of safety equipment, this device and similar ones from other manufacturers are sometimes called PLBs. But the Sea Marshall Rescue System is not a PLB as the term is now being used; it will not call for help via satellite. Instead, it is specifically designed for man-overboard situations.
The size of a cigarette pack and weighing less than five ounces, it starts sending a 121-MHz signal when turned on or when submerged for 20 seconds. The antenna built into the neck strap, which is also capable of electro-luminescent blue flashing, is said to work even when the MOB is unconscious. This model costs $254, and there is another version meant for divers separated from their mothership. Sea Marshall will soon introduce a compatible direction-finding receiver, already available from other vendors. A boat should be able to pick up the signal from one-half mile to three miles away, depending on wave and receiver heights; if help is called, a search-and-rescue plane should be able to see the Sea Marshall 35 miles away.
Sea Marshall US Phone: (772) 388-1326. www.seamarshall-us.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.