OLAS converts your smart phone or tablet to become part of your life saving inventory, sounding the alarm when the worst happens at sea

A new app – OLAS – has been launched which turns your smart phone or tablet into vital life saving equipment on board.

When it is paired with an OLAS wrist tag, the app creates a virtual tether with your mobile device, and will instantly set off a piercing alarm if someone has gone overboard breaking the connection.

It will then direct the boat back to the exact point where the incident happened.

The creators of OLAS stress that this does not replace the normal man overboard procedure: You must still hit the DSC button, stop the boat and call the coastguard.

A woman at the wheel of a yacht wears an OLAS wrist tag for easier man overboard

OLAS wrist tag

However, Exposure Lights believes it does take the stress out of the situation and enables the chance of an early self-recovery.

It adds that in a state of high anxiety even experienced sailors can suffer a “mental blank and lose critical time”.

Recognising these issues, the app also acts as your personal man overboard coach, walking you through the process as well as directing you back to where the incident occurred.

So when the coastguard is asking where and when the incident occurred, and your current position, all you have to do is swipe to the VHF screen and OLAS gives you the exact information to read out.

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How does OLAS work?

OLAS uses low energy Bluetooth, which is embedded into Exposure’s proprietary ‘Alert and Find’ technology.

The app can be ‘paired’ with up to eight OLAS tags which can be worn as a wrist band, attached to back of a floatation device or a dog’s collar.

The pairing creates a ‘virtual tether’, which is broken when the OLAS tag goes in the water, or beyond a range of 30-metres, sounding the alarm.

The app then immediately switches from normal navigation mode to man overboard mode.

An orange OLAS tag on a dark life jacket

The tag can also be fitted to life jackets

The screens then provide easy to read and visual directions pointing to the direction of the incident, the course to steer, bearing and distance.

The app has been specifically designed for the inexperienced or less confident sailor as an aid to helping them through the entire man overboard procedure, to save time and reduce panic levels.

OLAS is available on Android through Google Play as well as through the App Store. The tags retail for £45 each (€54.95, US $64.95) and are also available as a 4 pack at £171.