FLIR cameras increase safety margins

FLIR cameras increase safety margins The FLIR thermal camera mounted on board Vigo trawler Argos Cíes has become a key aid to navigation, as well as increasing safety at sea. Photo: Nautical

When Vigo-based marine electronics specialists Nautical were asked to supply a fleet of trawlers with thermal cameras, they had no hesitation in recommending FLIR products.

Operating from Vigo, these trawlers work high latitudes in both northern and southern hemispheres, and include the Argos Cíes which targets squid in the Southern Ocean, and the waters around the Falklands Islands can present mercurial weather changes which can see rain, sleet, fog, snow and sunshine within a few hours.

Fitting thermal cameras provide the trawler crews with a new level of situational awareness when operating in close quarters, and the technology has proven invaluable when a man overboard situation occurs. More than half of the trawlers are equipped with the trusted FLIR M-Series cameras, and recently some have been fitted with the premium FLIR M400XR thermal camera system, with optical zoom, a high-definition visible camera and integrated LED spotlight.

The key benefit is increased safety. Trans-shipping between vessels using RHIBs – a manoeuvre usually carried out at night – can be monitored from the bridge throughout. The crew can be clearly seen on deck, and if and someone falls overboard, their heat signature facilitates rapid location. The cameras also come into their own when navigating near the shore, or arriving in port in bad weather, giving the skipper a view unhindered by the outside conditions.

“These are the world standard in thermal cameras, both in the military and commercial markets. Nautical works with premium brands to offer to our clients, and in our experience, FLIR equipment is easy to operate and very reliable,” said Nautical’s commercial director Angel Garcia-Paz.

With 25 vessels now benefiting from the technology and three more orders in the pipeline, he reports that the cameras have significantly increased the confidence of skippers when operating in adverse conditions.

“Our clients think that it is a good investment to install FLIR systems for enhancing safety,” he said. “Without any doubt, we will follow with new installations on fishing vessels.”

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