Scallywag saknade AIS

I den här artikeln i New York Times framgpår att Scallywag inte hade någon AIS-antenn när man tappade bort John Fisher.

Vi diskuterade AIS-sändarnas för- och nackdelar på säkerhetskursen senast, och tyckte det var konstigt att man inte fått det att funka. Någopn hade sett en video från ett par dagar efter start, där Libby Greenhalgh klagade över att man inte hade AIS.

Om det bara var antennenn i masttoppen, så var det konstigt att man inte riggade den obligatoriska reserv-antennen? Den ger så klart inte samma räckvidd, men i ett sådant här scenario så borde den kunnat göra skillnad?

Zooming in on digital charts and satellite phone communications with rescue services was a challenge, she said. But communication failures did not hinder the search for Fisher. Scallywag’s Automatic Identification System, or A.I.S., was broken.

This edition of the race is the first to provide personal A.I.S. beacons for the crews. The system is used on commercial and recreational ships to observe boats on navigation screens to avoid collisions. Personal A.I.S. instantaneously puts a person overboard target on the screens of the ships within several miles of the victim.

For Scallywag, this lifesaving new technology went away when, two days out of Auckland, the boat’s lone A.I.S. antenna at the top of the 100-foot mast was damaged in the strong winds.

“If we had our A.I.S., we would have found him,” Witt said. “I’ve learned that redundancies in this system is an example of change, like a second antenna.”

He added that he believed the race’s safety procedures worked well but that “we waste an awful lot of time and money” on safety equipment that is not as useful as a second antenna would be.

Lawrence, the race director, said the skippers meet at each stopover to review safety procedures and equipment, and investigate accidents. Such a meeting is scheduled for Friday.

“Race procedures can change after each race, even each leg,” he said. “We will take into account new techniques, new technologies.”