A new piece of kit is in development for both the commercial and leisure marine markets that uses a smartphone to alert crew members to a man overboard situation.
PanPan is a smart crew watcher that constantly checks if all crew members are still onboard. If someone were to go overboard, it automatically sounds an alarm.
In addition, PanPan will provide everything needed for a swift recovery and rescue - coordinates of the point of loss, time of the event and constant updates on the rescue heading.
One of the unique things about PanPan is that it works with any smartphone or tablet. All devices that run the app work together, extending range and ensuring the crew’s safety.
The system works like a virtual life line and is made up of two components which includes a smartphone application and a small beacon that can be comfortably worn by the crew.
Jason Schot, PanPan's developer, said that unlike competing products, the beacon does not require complex manual activation. The alarm will trigger automatically in a man overboard event but is smart enough to distinguish from rain or splashing waves.
“Current solutions are often too expensive for the individual, let alone an entire crew. PanPan will enter the market at a price that makes safer sailing affordable for all,” he said.
The first alpha series of PanPan are now complete. The team is currently coding, sailing, crash testing and getting ready to go into commercial production before summer 2017.
By Anne-Marie Causer