Every now and then I climb up on a soapbox and “preach” a little boating safety. With fall and cooling waters approaching, this might be a good time to do that again. I especially like to remind us “tough guys” who might be on the water hunting, fishing or trapping by ourselves, that you really should be using a life jacket and your motor’s kill switch ALL THE TIME. I have been on the water by myself at times too, and I have been around long enough to realize how quickly something unexpected can happen and you find yourself swimming. Usually that is no problem, other than the inconvenience of some wet clothes, but if you are alone in a boat with the motor running and that happens, you suddenly could be in peril. Here is what happens:
Do not blow it off, take the time to read that story, look at the photo. Think about it.
As an angler and fisheries biologist, I realize how much of a hassle the kill switch can be. This release from The Fishing Wire caught my eye:
Wireless Boat Kill Switch
July 5, 2016
POMPANO BEACH, FL – FELL Marine is in the business of saving lives. At this year’s ICAST Show, attendees will be introduced to the MOB+ (which stands for man overboard), a wireless cut-off switch that is packed with features to enhance safety, making the old cord-based system obsolete. Join the team from FELL Marine at ICAST in Booth #4060, in the NMMA Pavilion, to learn more about the MOB+.
Every year there are many boating accidents with tragic outcomes. Now one company’s aim is to make a difference. FELL Marine’s MOB+ stops the boat if the driver falls overboard. Created for maximum wearability, it can be worn as a wristband, in your pocket, clipped to your life vest/belt or around your neck on a lanyard – all designed with the mariner in mind.
It is well known that the cord-based system which exists in most boats today is rarely (or never) used. Sadly, due to operator inattention, improper lookouts and operator inexperience, there are over 4000 boating accidents that involved more than 600 deaths each year in the US alone*. FELL Marine hopes to be able to lower these statistics with this new innovative product, tailored in order to get people to wear safety devices without compromising their style, look, and comfort, great design is imperative. But behind great design lies great technology. The MOB+ uses the proprietary WiMEA Protocol developed by FELL
Marine. With its lightning-fast reaction time, 4D Antenna Diversity and AutoMOB features, it is like no other wireless protocol out by using state-of-the-art electronics and UniqueID technology, MOB+ does not interfere with existing systems in the boat and will not be affected by other adjacent wireless systems. AutoMOB stops the engine automatically if the pilot falls over board and allows remaining passengers to restart the engine after 6 seconds to pick up the person in the water. The system can be universally installed in all boats with all engine configurations with simple plug-and-play connections.
FELL Marine ́s mission is to create products that engage and contribute to increased freedom and experience for their users and customers. FELL insists on the highest quality materials that can endure rough maritime use and are durable enough to withstand the abrasion from salty water and blazing sun.
“FELL Marine has a wealth of experience in the Low Power RF industry, and we ́re excited to have applied this expertise to enhance safety on the water with the MOB+, a wireless cut-off switch for boats. An intelligent man overboard system with wearable accessories for every occasion. Wear it as a wristband, in your pocket, on your life vest or around your neck as you please. Perfect for an active lifestyle with no obstacles limiting your freedom.” – Christian Frost, CEO of FELL Marine.
Fell Marine’s MOB+ will be available summer 2016, with a suggested retail price of $179. Pre-orders will be taken on the Fell Marine website starting the week of ICAST.
FELL Marine Inc. is a subsidiary of FELL Group AS. FELL Group AS is incorporated in Norway, and its principal subsidiary is located in the US. FELL, FELL Marine, WiMEA, AutoMOB and UniqueID are trademarks of FELL AS and/or its subsidiaries.
*USCG 2014 Recreational Boating Statistics
You see a brand name, company mentioned several times in that article, check ’em out: Fell Marine. Here is the basic idea behind their product:
Their website has more information on their products and installation. Looks pretty versatile and easy to install and use. A wrist band is the transmitter that will activate the kill switch and that looks really convenient. I imagine if you do not like it on your wrist you could attach it to the life jacket you are wearing.
I got to looking around the ole interwebby and found another similar product, AutoTether. That product works a little bit differently, but is the same principle–a wireless kill switch. Here is another promotional video:
I am not sponsored by anyone and in fact have no experience using either one of those products. All I am saying is if they make it easier to use your boat’s kill switch, then they would be well worth the investment!
The price of not using your kill switch could be really steep.
Kill-switches, life jackets, use ’em. All the time.