An innovative stability monitor that enhances the safety of fishing vessels is now available for fishermen throughout the UK, Ireland, and other European countries.
SeaWise has been developed by Scottish safety engineering company Hook Marine Ltd, and 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 of stability problems due to their constantly changing loading conditions due to retrieving fishing gear and possible movement of the catch once aboard can contribute to loss of stability. Excess loading of fishing gear, water on deck or modifications to superstructure 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 skippers 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 SeaWise has been supported with funding from Lloyd’s Register Foundation, Trinity House, and the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund from the Marine Management Organisation.