ALert is the first inshore orientated distress beacon designed specifically for use by off-the-beach (OTB) sailors within 2nm of land. Designed to improve the sailing experience of OTB sailors, ALert’s goal is to make sure every sailor returns home safe at the end of their sailing session.



ALert is a compact, durable and functional communication device for OTB sailors to carry with them while on water, particularly when alone, that allows them to easily contact SAR services or other avenues of assistance in the case of an on water emergency.

For this project the literature surrounding the epidemiology of sailing injuries was reviewed during the first half of this year to provide information on the risks, distribution and mechanism of injury in the main off-the-beach (OTB) classes, as well as the effectiveness of current protective equipment and strategies. Surveys, interviews and cultural probes were conducted to determine, what role safety and safety equipment plays in the sailing experiences of OTB sailors, and what can be done to further ensure their safety while on-water. These findings identified a critical need for an effective distress beacon for inshore sailing and more responsive SAR infrastructure to help ensure the safety of OTB sailors.

From this design opportunity ALert was developed.With its supporting website and app, check-in.check-out system and use of the LoRA network ALert meets the needs of OTB sailors and provides a more efficient system for inshore SAR service rescues.

Great care was taken to ensure that the manufacturing processes, material choices and product design selected created an extremely durable, waterproof and usable product that meets context and user needs.

Ergonomic data and user feedback was collected throughout the project.

ALert was designed to fit comfortable in all hands while still having enough room to fit the necessary tech and safety accessories.

It can fit comfortably in most popular PFDs used in OTB sail craft, or can be attached to the inside of a windsurfing sails luff through the use of a water proof bag

ALert has a number of physical safety features selected specifically for the needs of OTB sailors.

The ALert support system consists of an app and website for secondary users to locate device, sync user details and view weather forecasts, maps and sailing analytics.

To improve the SAR services associated with this device on activation a rescue drone is deployed to easily locate user and provide rapid assistance. This also allows for easier data transfer from device to SAR services and allows for purposeful equipment choices by SAR and quicker response time.

Samantha Costin

Hi! I'm a passionate 4th year Industrial Design student currently undertaking my Honours year at the Queensland University of Technology, with an expected graduation date of December, 2020. My interests include user-centered design, design for health and wellbeing, design for inclusion and accesibility, and the design of sports products.