Ocean Signal has won the Overall DAME Design Award 2022 for its rescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).
Jury Chair Andre Hoek presented the world-renowned award to the Ocean Signal team at the METSTRADE Breakfast Briefing following judgment by an international panel of leading design and user experts.
Described as “the standout product in the Jury room”, the next generation Cospas-Sarsat approved PLB offers boaters the most powerful safety solution for rapid rescue in a MOB (Man Overboard) Emergency, even if the survivor is incapacitated.
Ocean Signal Managing Director James Hewitt said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition from the DAME jury for the rescueME PLB3. We are proud to offer our customers a new level of safety with a Personal Locator Beacon offering more features than ever before. The team here at Ocean Signal dedicated many hours to perfecting an advanced PLB to save thousands of lives, so it is hugely rewarding to receive this prestigious industry award. We set out to combine the latest technologies, including RLS, AIS and mobile connectivity with NFC, while retaining the compact, innovative and user-friendly design that Ocean Signal customers expect.”
The official DAME Jury comment said: “The headline news of the compact PLB3 is its combination of an AIS man overboard device and GPS with a Cospas-Sarsat personal locator beacon, Galileo Return Link Service and even visible and infrared signal lights. In a rescue situation speed is always of the essence and this unit provides the very best chance for survival through this combination of long- and short-range detection. The design detail goes even further though, in items like the well-illustrated instruction manual and in a Near Field Communication app that enables you to test the PLB3 using your mobile telephone.
“Its harnessing of multiple technologies to save lives in such a small unit and obvious attention to design detail made the Ocean Signal rescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator Beacon the standout product in the Jury room and a worthy DAME Award 2022 winner.”
In an industry first, the mobile connected device offers an unprecedented level of safety and reassurance by combining the global response capabilities of the 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat satellite rescue services with AIS (Automatic Identification System) technology to alert nearby vessels of a MOB (man overboard) emergency.
The rescueME PLB3, once activated, sounds an alarm transmitting an AIS MOB signal to all vessels within VHF range indicating a MOB emergency, while simultaneously, quickly and accurately relaying your location to a worldwide network of search and rescue satellites – ensuring survivors are given the best chance of a rapid rescue on both a local and global scale.
Ocean Signal has also integrated Near Field Communications (NFC) and Return Link Service (RLS) compatibility into the device. Using the free Ocean Signal mobile app and NFC technology, users can monitor and track the performance of their beacons – the benefit of using NFC in the PLB3 is that the power used for communication comes from the mobile and not the beacon. The critical addition of RLS alerting technology provides assurance to users by verifying that their distress signal has been received by the authorities, a feature which has proven to be extremely valuable in the past.
Designed to be installed within a life jacket, the beacon is capable of automatically activating upon inflation and offers GNSS positioning, 406 MHz and 121.5 MHz signals, and visible and infrared strobe lights for final location in low visibility rescues.
With Ocean Signal collecting the winning honours in the ‘Lifesaving and Safety Equipment’ category, there was a double celebration as sister brand ACR Electronics was awarded a Special Mention for its ACR GlobalFix V5 AIS EPIRB.
The official Jury Comment said the AIS EPIRB is a “Well-designed very fully featured EPIRB offering AIS, Near Field Communication technology, GNSS positioning, 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat distress signals with Return Link service and 121.5 MHz local homing”.
Launched in 1991, the DAME Design Award is now the largest marine equipment competition in the world. The award raises awareness of all aspects of marine equipment design, from aesthetics to functionality, integration to packaging, and price efficiency to lifecycle management.
A total of 48 products in seven categories were shortlisted for the 31st DAME Award competition, from a field of 104 entries spanning 14 countries. This year, six products took Category wins, 13 more received Special Mentions and the Jury named its first Environmental Design Award.