World Record Attempt: Suhay Tries to Break Distance by Dinghy Mark
In 2014, Robert Suhay tackled the “longest single-handed distance sailed in a dinghy by a male – 283.5 nautical miles (326.24 miles)” into the face of Hurricane Arthur for a Guinness World Record. Next week, Suhay will attempt to break his own record in a 14-foot Laser dinghy unassisted from Beaufort, N.C. to Annapolis, Md., a distance of about 340 nautical miles that will take him around Cape Hatteras and across dangerous ocean shipping lanes.
But, this time, Suhay will be using McMurdo’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) solutions to help keep him safe during the journey. McMurdo’s Smartfind S10 AIS man overboard (MOB) device will provide Suhay’s pinpoint location should anything go wrong on the open sea.
“I’ve been in dangerous situations with previous world record attempts, but this one will put me directly in the path of shipping boats, which makes safety precautions that much more important,” said Suhay. “We immediately sought out McMurdo and their AIS man overboard device to help ensure my equipment is top of the line. Should something go wrong, that pinpoint, quick location provided by AIS can make all the difference in the cold Atlantic Ocean,” he added.
AIS is an automatic tracking system originally developed for ships to avoid collisions at sea. AIS is one of the most important innovations in navigation since the introduction of GPS and at least 170 countries now mandate its use on vessels. Ships rely on AIS to monitor other nearby ships; the transmission data is publicly broadcast on VHF radio. McMurdo’s AIS MOB device sends a distress communication to nearby vessels, including the vessel from which the person fell, and all vessels within a four-mile radius. This provides for an immediate response in a man overboard situation where saving time can lead to saving lives.
“McMurdo’s safety tools – such as the AIS MOB device, EPIRBs and Personal Locator Beacons – help ensure adventurers’ safety whether they’re on sea, land or air,” said Randel Maestre, Chief Marketing Officer, McMurdo Group. “We’re excited to help Robert in this world record attempt as he pushes the limits on the water. And, we’re glad to provide him and his fans the peace of mind that, with this life-saving technology on board, he’ll be detectable to nearby search and rescue teams if necessary.”
A dramatic rescue using a McMurdo AIS MOB device was recently detailed in Andrew Taylor’s book 179W – One Seven Nine West during the 2013-14 Clipper Race, a prominent round-the-world yacht race which is uniquely available to non-professional boating enthusiasts. In the midst of a rough storm in the icy North Pacific Ocean, Taylor’s boat, Derry~Londonderry~Doire was hit by a huge wave and Taylor was swept overboard. The yacht was 2,000 miles away from the nearest land, an hour from the nearest racing yacht and no other ocean vessels were within 1,000 miles. The rescue operation was slowed by the bad weather and rough seas, making it nearly impossible to visually locate Taylor. As soon as Taylor activated his McMurdo AIS MOB device, his crew was able to pinpoint his exact location and come to his aid.
McMurdo is also the first official safety beacon partner for “Deadliest Catch” season 11.