Lava Monitoring, a spin-off from Belfast’s Lava Group, has started trials of a security system that will ensure lifebuoys are always in full working order when they are needed for life-saving.
The requirement to make the equipment readily available at all times means the lifebuoys can be subject to misuse, vandalism or even theft. Local authorities have to make regular checks on the to ensure the safety of anyone who may be in danger of drowning.
Ring of confidence
The Sentry lifebuoy monitoring system is being tested at Carrickfergus Harbour on the north shore of Belfast Lough. Gareth Morrison, CEO of The Lava Group (pictured above left with Jonathan McCarron, engineering director), commented, “Due to the vital function that lifebuoys perform it is paramount that they are present at all times. Over the coming weeks we will be assessing the benefits that this product can have for our customers in the public and private sectors. We are confident it will help to reduce loss of life but we will also be focusing on increasing efficiency via remote monitoring.”
Sentry is patented in the UK and it has taken five years to develop the solar-powered system. Remote is monitoring will allow managers to get the real time status of all safety equipment within their area of responsibility. In the event of a lifebuoy being removed or tampered with, an alarm will be sent immediately to the correct member of staff.
Constant vigilance and regular safety checks adds to the cost for public and private guardians of water-related attractions. The remote monitoring and alarm system should reduce the need for visual checks and therefore reduce costs, Lava said.
“We look forward to working with the Harbour Master, Nigel Thompson, as we install our products for this trial,” Morrison said.