The McMurdo S5 SART (Search And Rescue Transmitter) is a Radar based emergency transmitter that is designed to be stored in a liferaft or as a carry on device in the event that it is necessary to abandon ship. When it detects an incoming X-band radar pulse from another vessel or aircraft it automatically transmits a response signal, which appears on the vessel’s radar display as a series of 12 dots pointing to your location.
SARTs are supplied with a mounting bracket and must be manually activated once inside the liferaft. As a Radar SART is designed to only transmit when it detects an incoming radar pulse this dramatically increases the battery life, enabling them to operate continuously for typically over 96hrs.
Since 2010 the AIS-SART (Search and Rescue Transmitter) has been added to GMDSS regulations as an alternative to a Radar SART and has been wheel-marked since 2012. These units include an inbuilt GPS and transmit an alert message along with the vessel ID and GPS position via the AIS (Automatic Identification System) tracking system – this appears on an AIS-equipped vessel’s chartplotter or ECDIS display rather than on the Radar.
A SART forms part of the GMDSS mandated equipment package required by law for all commercial vessels over 300 tons, however many non-mandate vessels and leisure boats also choose to carry a SART to improve safety.
Stored in a quick release carry off bag, the rugged McMurdo SmartFind S5 AIS SART is buoyant and waterproof to a depth of 10m. When activated, the SmartFind S5 transmits an alert message along with your ID number and current GPS location which will trigger an alarm on all AIS equipped vessels within VHF range. The inbuilt GPS provides accurate location information to rescuers enabling them to quickly locate you. The non-hazardous battery has a six year storage life and enables the SmartFind S5 to transmit continuously for in excess of 96 hours.
The McMurdo SmartFind S5 AIS SARTis easy to operate and deploy and the high visibility buoyant carry off bag can be wall mounted or packed inside the survival craft. It features a shoulder strap making it easy to carry in the event of an emergency evacuation.