Safety 'net ' for RNLI

TECHNOLOGY managed by an Ipswich firm is set to be used to help stricken vessels around the UK.

TECHNOLOGY managed by an Ipswich firm is set to be used to help stricken vessels around the UK.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has signed a 10-year agreement with Active Web Solutions, an IT consultancy, to manage a system which sends an automatic alert when a vessel is in trouble or a man has fallen overboard.

It helped further develop the charity's innovative satellite-based safety system, culminating in a new product called MOB Guardian. The product is set to be launched in Glasgow at Fishing 2006, which runs from May 17 to 19.

The RNLI has appointed AWS to host, manage and develop the software applications and provide the terrestrial technical infrastructure and satellite airtime for it over the next 10 years.

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McMurdo Ltd, a marine electronic and safety equipment manufacturer in Portsmouth, will produce, promote and distribute the on-board equipment.

AWS has been involved in the project from the start, initially in research and development. It led to a 100-boat pilot scheme, involving fishermen from around the UK coast, being carried out.

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Following the successful pilot, the RNLI approved the development of the full system in March 2005, and appointed McMurdo to manufacture the equipment and take it to market.

Jim Cullumbine, RNLI business development manager for MOB Guardian, said their relationship with AWS had been “extremely important” for the project.

“They have provided technical and development expertise of the highest order and we are delighted that they will be working with us for the foreseeable future on this very important safety system,” he said.

Richard Anscombe, commercial director at AWS said: “We are pleased to continue our strong relationship with the RNLI.

“This is a testament of our ability to be flexible to their evolving needs, and we too are excited about our contribution to such an important project.”

Mark Day, marketing communications manager at McMurdo, said: “Signing the contract with Active Web Solutions marks the formal beginning of a relationship that should ensure crews on fishing vessels are safer.

“We look forward to working together with the RNLI and Active Web Solutions to provide seamless service, production and distribution of the MOB Guardian.”

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