Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Automatic alert technology to mitigate loss of lives at sea

The majority of man overboard (MoB) incidents go unnoticed, and detection often comes too late. An EU initiative has introduced new sensor technology with MoB detection capabilities.
Automatic alert technology to mitigate loss of lives at sea
The longer it takes between the time an incident actually occurs and the time it takes to alert the crew, the more complex and costly search and rescue operations become. Most importantly, early detection increases the chance of a successful recovery.

With EU funding, the SOS ((Multi-) sensor offshore safety system) project developed a new sensor technology for the maritime transport industry that detects any person who falls overboard and alerts the bridge or control room immediately.

Project partners addressed the main gaps in existing systems and made extensive use of new technologies to combine commercially available state-of-the-art sensors with tailored software solutions. Then, they implemented the sensors and installed the system on a commercial platform. The system uses technology that has never before been available commercially.

Team members successfully validated, demonstrated and verified the feasibility of a modular and scalable product that is intended to be a reliable and cost-effective MoB detection and alert system with accompanying sensor components and software.

The SOS solution integrates several advanced sensor technologies to instantaneously detect where and when a person is falling overboard. Its communication infrastructure ensures that no unnecessary time is lost from the time an incident takes place until the crew and others are alerted. The type of alerts and the way they are presented is optimally adapted to the situational awareness on the bridge. In this way, the surveillance system has the greatest opportunity to successfully alarm the right crew members in time.

Ship operators have an accurate overview of the vessel’s surrounding environment thanks to the sensors. The all-weather innovation is robust and reliable with minimum false alarms. It is specially designed to detect falling or moving objects close to a ship’s hull, and has an extended range to identify the exact location of a person in the water.

Due to its instantaneous alerting capabilities, SOS technology will reduce both the loss of lives and excessive expenses involved in search and rescue operations.

Related information


Man overboard, sensor technology, search and rescue, SOS, offshore safety
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top