The people at Emerald Marine Products realized early on that covid-19 would make third-party installations more complicated on boats. To that end, they developed the ALERT (Automatic Lifesaving Emergency Radio Transmitter) Portable DIY Man-Overboard Alarm System, a “walk-on” system that eliminates the need for electricians to come onboard and install an independent system.

Emerald Marine’s system includes an ALERT2 Man-Overboard Receiver and two ALERT418 transmitters that crew members wear on their work vests, with additional transmitters available to protect larger crews. When a crew member goes overboard, the water-activated alarm emits a piercing sound. The ALERT receiver can also be set up to stop engines, set a plot on the chart and/or notify the entire vessel.

According to Emerald Marine, the need for such safety features is even greater in the industry now as the pandemic forces companies into smaller, physically distanced crews that may be working on more solitary decks for longer hours.

“I knew a month into covid-19 that work conditions would change drastically. I was already concerned about the lack of fall-overboard alarms. A reliable solution was needed that would make it incredibly fast and easy for companies to protect their employees. People are filled with uncertainty and worry; a fall overboard doesn’t have to be one of those concerns,” said Robert Linder, Emerald Marine Products president.

Several other man-overboard systems rely on Bluetooth or satellite and may be unreliable, or have a costly delay.

And unlike permanently installed systems, ALERT can easily be moved between vessels. It can also be customized to fit the needs of specific vessels and fisheries. The system with the receiver and two transmitters costs $1,250, and Emerald Marine is currently offering a free 30-day trial.

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Brian Hagenbuch is National Fisherman's products editor, a contributing editor to SeafoodSource and a Bristol Bay fisherman. He is based in Seattle.

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