Auckland, New Zealand – Vesper Marine, a leading manufacturer of innovative marine safety products, announced today that its Virtual AIS Beacon for Aids to Navigation has been awarded the 2012 Professional Mariner Samuel Plimsoll Award for Innovation. Honoring important contributions to safety by individuals and organizations in the maritime industry, the award recognizes Vesper Marine's Virtual AIS Beacon for significantly improving the wellbeing of mariners by increasing safety and efficiency levels in the industry. Professional Mariner presented Vesper Marine with the prestigious award at the Connecticut Maritime Association’s Shipping 2012 Conference in Stamford, Connecticut on March 20, 2012.
“We are proud to receive this esteemed industry honor,” said Jeff Robbins, founder, Vesper Marine. “This recognition is a testament to our dedication to innovation, as well as our commitment to enhancing safety on the water by continuing to bring cutting-edge AIS systems to the marine market.”
The innovative Vesper Marine Virtual AIS Beacon establishes a Virtual Aid to Navigation (VAtoN) based on the international standardized marine Automatic Identification System (AIS), which all large ships must use, and smaller vessels are now choosing to use for safety and collision avoidance benefits. The virtual beacon delivers a proactive electronic marker of dangerous visible and invisible hazards such as bridges, piers, rock outcrops, reefs, as well as any fixed underwater hazard or moving hazards such as sandbars, to regularly provide changes in location and alert warnings. The virtual markers have no environmental impact and do not require a physical location to be mounted or powered. When a navigational hazard is marked by a Vesper Marine Virtual AIS Beacon it is displayed on a vessel’s chartplotter, AIS display or other receiving equipment within range of the transmitting equipment. A ship’s onboard equipment is then able to alert crews if they are on a collision course with the marked navigational hazard. Shore stations house Vesper Marine’s Virtual AIS Beacons and are managed by administration software; multiple stations can be used to extend network coverage.