by Staff Writers
South Kingstown, RI (SPX) Aug 19, 2011
SARMAP, a search and rescue mapping software solution developed by ASA (Applied Science Associates, Inc.), a Rhode Island-based science and technology solutions company, was instrumental in the efforts to locate and rescue five crew members whose yacht capsized off the coast of Ireland earlier this week, according to the Irish Coast Guard.
SARMAP provides rapid predictions of the movement of drifting objects and missing persons at sea.
SARMAP includes the ability to deploy search and rescue units with search patterns and calculate the probability of containment, probability of detection, and probability of success.
In the case of the Rambler, the success was 100%. The accident occurred during the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, an international staple that spans from the Isle of Wight, around Fastnet Rock off Ireland's southwest coast and on to Plymouth in the South of England.
Shortly after rounding the Fastnet Rock, the keel of the Rambler 100 broke off and the yacht overturned, leaving sixteen crew members clinging to the hull while five others, including the yacht's owner George David, were swept out to sea.
The Rambler 100's personal locator beacon activated when the yacht overturned, quickly alerting rescuers to the location of the sixteen stranded crewmembers still with the vessel, but recovering the five lost at sea required a more advanced approach.
The Irish Coast Guard, which has a fifteen-year-long working relationship with ASA, employed SARMAP's sophisticated tracking capabilities to rapidly predict the movement of the drifting survivors and calculate a precise search area.
Chris Reynolds, Head of the Irish Coast Guard, said that the software, which uses a combination of GIS (geographic information system), a database of drift behavior, real-time environmental information and powerful computer modeling to extrapolate the location of vessels, persons, or containers adrift at sea, was "invaluable" to the rescue efforts in the rough and foggy coastal waters.
ASA President Eoin Howlett said after the rescue. "We have a worked with the Irish Coast Guard successfully for many years; they are an innovative agency and have a history of implementing the latest in ocean technologies. We are very pleased that our software, combined with their rapid decision-making, resulted in such a positive outcome."
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