This is a very interesting topic. Having developed a man overboard system specifically designed for cruise ships, I would like to make a few comments.
When somebody wants to commit suicide they will find a way. Even with barriers there is going to be places that will be accessible such as the life boat areas and bow areas.
The problem is when somebody goes overboard either falling while climbing to balconies, or crew members performing their duties, or by foul play there is no clear indication of what happened.
We developed a system of laser sensors with cameras that are always active but do not alarm unless it is body mass. The theory being that the moment the sensor goes off the camera video rolls back 7 frames so that the bridge can see the actual event. The video feed is not only maintained on the ship but is automatically uplinked to an offsite call center allowing for there to be no manipulation of the data.
We have showcased this at Sea Trade and at other venues. We have also spoken with numerous Cruise Lines and even cruise ship builders to no avail. We presented our papers and technology to the Coast Guard when they came out with a directive that stated if the technology is available then Cruise Ships calling on ports in the US must have this technology on board.
Being met with resistance when stated that this would be instant notification and the ship would have the ability to perform evasive maneuvers and recover the victim much quicker than having to wait on scene for the Coast Guard and potentially spending 48 hours searching until they arrive and release them. We have also stressed to them the cost savings of not having to give the passengers back their money for a cruise that did not go the way they anticipated.
It is difficult to understand why Cruise Ships will not adapt modern technology but still rely solely on analog cameras.
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. Your also welcome to send me an email if you would like more information. David@rzdmpa.com