Stability monitor enhances fishing safety

Stability monitor enhances fishing safety The SeaWise stability monitor tracks a vessel’s motion to determine its stability, flagging up an alert in the event of a hazardous loss of stability. Photo: Hook Marine

An innovative stability monitor that enhances the safety of fishing vessels is now available for fishermen throughout the UK, Ireland, and other European countries.

Developed by Hook Marine Ltd, the Scottish-based safety engineering company, the SeaWise real-time stability monitor, has been specially designed for the protection and survival of small vessels, in particular fishing boats.

With accident statistics showing that the majority of fishermen are lost when a vessel capsizes or founders, the new SeaWise electronic device provides early warning of the development of a hazardous situation by continually monitoring the rolling motion of a vessel at sea.

The system monitors any loss of stability through this continuous roll measurement and features a simple traffic light display which gives a green light during normal operation, an amber light when stability is decreasing, and a red warning when there is real danger of capsize.

Fishing vessels are at particular risk from stability issues because hauling fishing gear and then movement of the catch once aboard, may create imbalance. Excess loading of fishing gear, water on deck or modifications to the superstructure of craft can also cause problems.

Following successful trials of SeaWise, which began with model tests in the wave basin at the University of Edinburgh, the device was verified on sea trials, using fishing boats of different types from ports around the UK.  The monitor is now being made available to the fishing industry, the equipment being no larger than a laptop, making it convenient to install on even the smallest vessel.

“While we are pleased with the outcome of our development work, the most important factor in its success lies in the hands of others,” said Ken Smith, director of Hook Marine.

“SeaWise will only benefit the fishing industry when vessel owners and skipper install the product and refer to it as a matter of routine on every voyage. This will realise the real purpose of the device, which is the enhancement of safety onboard, with a resulting reduction in accidents and preservation of life at sea.”

The development of the equipment was supported by funding from Lloyd’s Register Foundation, Trinity House, and EMFF from the Marine Management Organisation.

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