Jersey

Jersey harbours get new pollution tracking technology

Lifeboat
Image caption New technology will make it easier to find people lost at sea

New technology at Jersey's harbours department could help to rescue people at sea more quickly.

The computer system helps rescuers track where someone may have fallen overboard by predicting their movements based on the wind, tide and currents.

The department used to rely on old-fashioned charts and rulers to work out where to search.

Captain Rick Masterman said the system will also be used to track pollution such as oil spills.

He said the new technology allows them to get updates more quickly.

"We've always used traditional methods of detection before but this now gives us a computer comparison as well so we can compare the results.

"Obviously with a computer the longer the search goes on the quicker it is to update.

"We don't have to go through the whole system every hour for computing our own rates of drift and wind speed."

There are big tides around Jersey, strong currents and unpredictable winds.

If someone is lost overboard, or if there is serious pollution from a boat, it can be hard to track them.

The new Saris Four system has brought computer technology to the job.

Jersey harbours said the system could save time in rescue attempts, by working out quickly where a lost person or vessel might be.

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