Search & Rescue

Search & Rescue


In the realm of maritime safety, Man Overboard (MOB) incidents represent a critical challenge, demanding swift and effective response mechanisms to ensure the survival of individuals in distress. Time is of the essence in MOB scenarios, as a person can become unconscious in water within minutes, underscoring the urgent need for systems that can promptly alert rescue crews and provide precise geolocation coordinates, along with essential lifesaving equipment.

The submersion time for MOB victims is a decisive factor in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, with survival rates diminishing rapidly beyond a few minutes. Statistics reveal that individuals who survive intact or with mild neurological damage typically have a submersion time of less than 5 minutes, whereas non-surviving victims average around 16 minutes. However, the presence of a flotation device significantly increases the likelihood of survival, with victims equipped with such devices having an 80% higher chance of survival, particularly within the critical window of 2-4 hours post-submersion.

Given the inherent time sensitivity of MOB incidents, rescue efforts must be swift and well-coordinated. With the average cruising speed of ships ranging from 18-20 knots (10 m/s), rescuers have less than a minute to locate and rescue a MOB if the alert is raised immediately after the incident. Failure to do so can have dire consequences, as evidenced by the staggering number of drowning fatalities reported annually, both in boating accidents and non-boating incidents.

The scale of SAR operations is immense, involving significant resources in terms of personnel, aircraft, and vessels. For instance, a single search operation for a missing person may require the deployment of multiple aircraft and dozens of vessels, with associated costs reaching millions of euros per incident. When aggregated, these costs contribute significantly to the total financial burden of drowning incidents, underscoring the need for innovative solutions to enhance MOB detection and rescue capabilities.


Upteko's groundbreaking system solution addresses this pressing need by leveraging advanced technology to calculate the position of individuals who have fallen overboard. Integrated into our multipurpose drone system, this solution utilizes data from the ship's AIS signal, including speed, wind direction, underwater currents, and sailing path, to accurately determine the direction and distance of the MOB. Our drone system can be swiftly deployed and equipped with RGB and thermal sensors, the MOB can quickly be located with the precise coordinates and can therefore be rescued.

In Conclusion

This seamless integration of drone technology provides a significant advantage in MOB rescue operations, particularly in low visibility conditions such as nighttime, where traditional line-of-sight methods may be ineffective. By enabling swift and targeted response actions, Upteko's solution enhances the safety and efficiency of SAR operations, ultimately saving lives and reducing the economic impact of MOB incidents on the maritime industry.