Man Overboard Detection – Revised Ruling

A recent article appearing in Travel Weekly discussed the issue of man overboard events in the cruise industry.  The article explains that in 2010 the US Coast Guard issued a Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act addressing the issue of man overboard incidents.  The need for such a law is driven by the fact that the Coast Guard report about 2.2 deaths or missing persons a year result Man Overboard Detectionfrom overboard incidents on cruise ships around the world. However, the law stopped short of requiring the implementation of such systems, as it was unclear as to their availability and reliability.

Since that time, significant technology improvements have occurred, and several man overboard detection systems exist in the marketplace.  However, CLIA, the Cruise Line International Association, and the US Coast Guard still have concerns as to the feasibility of such detection systems and as such, the Coast Guard recently proposed a rule change that would allow cruise lines to use recording technology to address the problem of passengers going overboard while at sea.

As a provider of a man overboard system, Larry Bowe, PureTech Systems President commented, “Given our extensive testing to date, we do feel the technology is readily available and can be deployed in the near future.”

The new ruling provides the option for cruise lines to utilize detection systems or to capture video images for later use in a search-and-rescue operation.  In response to this, Mr. Bowe further commented, “If you have cameras onboard and you’re capturing imagery, why not add detection?  These events can take as little as half a second. What’s the likelihood that someone is going to be watching that imagery in a half a second time during a seven-day cruise to happen to catch them?”

The Coast Guard is accepting comments on the new ruling until April. Further discussion about the recent ruling is available at Travel Weekly.  You can view how video analytics detects a man overboard event by viewing this video.

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