Mercury launches 1st Mate: a marine integrated MOB alarm and proximity-based theft deterrent system

From Brunswick Marine in EMEA, and in particular from Mercury and Quicksilver, it’s the first alarm for man overboard and proximity anti-theft for outboard engines.

From Boot Düsseldorf, here’s another news from the tech world made to help and not just to create awe. It’s called 1st Mate, and it’s the world’s first engine-integrated man-overboard and proximity based theft deterrent system. It has been developed by Mercury Marine and Quicksilver, both brands of the Brunswick Group, for the EMEA markets.

It uses a wearable device (bracelet or key ring) for up to eight people, and turns the engine off or sounds an alarm during a man overboard event (MOB). Optionally, it also sends notifications to emergency contacts. If the proximity of the fob is not in range, the system disables or puts engine in guardian mode. All these functions are covering boaters’ most important needs: safety and security.

1st Mate is composed out of a smart hub, a set of wearable products and a mobile app that integrate with a boat’s propulsion systems to provide potentially lifesaving safety features and to help secure property.
The three main features are, as mentioned: man-overboard monitoring and warning system, distress-calling capability, and deterrence against theft of the boat and/or its engine(s). Let’s see how they work in detail.

Man overboard monitoring and warning system

This system protects a boat’s captain and up to seven passengers. If it detects that the captain has fallen overboard, the device sends alerts to the system’s hub, its app and all the passengers’ wearables.

The system then cuts the engines and sends specific instructions to the passengers’ cell phones via the app. The instructions guide the passengers through restarting the engines and safely steering the boat back to the location of the MOB event. If not the captain, but a passenger falls overboard, the system likewise sends alerts to the captain and all the others. The captain receives heading instructions to return the boat to the MOB location.

Distress messaging

If a boat’s captain is alone and the system detects that the captain has fallen overboard, it sends a distress message to a list of emergency contacts that the captain had entered into the app. The distress message includes the GPS location and the time and date of the man-overboard event.

This function is also useful where the captain is not alone and falls overboard, but the passengers for whatever reason are unable to return the boat to the location of the man-overboard event or are unable to pull the captain aboard.

Theft deterrence

Some of the system’s theft-deterrence capabilities vary according to the boat’s engine technologies; in all cases, the system provides engine-locking functions. For boats powered by Mercury outboards with Mercury SmartCraft technology, the system not only requires an “unlock” command from the captain’s app or wearable device to operate the engines, but also requires engines that have been removed from the boat to detect a “handshake” from the system before they can be restarted.

Brunswick’s 1st Mate will be for sale from the end of March, but Mercury accounts can place orders already.

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