When many homeowners are away from their home, a routine step is to activate their security system to protect their house and property. But what if your home is one that moves, like a high-valued yacht or motor home? What do you do to keep away the thieves who wish steal your entire home and not just its contents?
Always Watching, Never Seen® – That’s the motto of GOST® or Global Ocean Security Technologies, a marine electronics security company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and customer of Honeywell Global Tracking (HGT), a Honeywell company that uses satellite technology to track, monitor and communicate with vehicles, cargo containers and other mobile and fixed assets, including private boats and yachts. GOST is the industry leader in luxury yacht and vessel protection worldwide, and over the past decade has used HGT satellite tracking technology to help prevent boat theft and assist in the recovery of stolen vessels, in some cases delivering boats back to their owners in less than 60 minutes.
Ten years ago, between 80-90 percent of boats had no security system at all. But today, thanks to companies such as GOST and HGT technology, every marine vessel from a jet ski to a luxury yacht can be armed with wireless security, monitoring, tracking, surveillance, acoustic deterrent and cloaking systems.
GOST-armed boats’ main line of defense includes a variety of security technologies including infrared sensor beams, 24/7 video surveillance monitoring and an alarm system that can trigger a siren if breached. These security sensors are connected to Honeywell’s SAT-401 – a satellite transceiver about the size of a hockey puck. When a security alarm is triggered, the transceiver transmits the alarm information via satellite to alert the vessel’s owner by text message, email or via the new GOST Tracker App. If a thief somehow manages to make it beyond these barriers and speed off with the boat, as soon as it crosses an invisible geo-fence set up around the vessel, Honeywell’s global satellite tracking technology takes over and delivers a real-time live feed of the boat’s GPS coordinates via a web based application. This allows the vessel’s location to be tracked and even transmitted to law enforcement to assist in recovering the vessel. Thanks in part to this deterrence, watercraft thefts have been gradually decreasing.
“I love my job because I’m helping people protect their passions,” said Jay Keenan, president and CEO of GOST. “Boat owners and manufacturers actually like taking our calls because we’re the only company that can give them total peace of mind when it comes to ensuring the safety of their prized possessions.”
And sometimes that technology helps solve even bigger crimes. In 2010 the attempted theft and eventual recapture of a Searay Sundancer owned by a GOST customer on Marco Island, Florida, led to the bust of an international boat theft ring that had been stealing millions of dollars in luxury boats since mid-2007. And on-board the stolen boat, the marine patrol found a GPS map of every stop the unit planned to make on its journey, leading authorities to connect with Washington, D.C., and assist in an even bigger operation that led to an eventual drug bust.
Boat owners aren’t the only ones looking to monitor and protect their costly assets. The same HGT technology enables transport companies to monitor their assets – trucks and ships, as well as their valuable cargo – wherever they are. Whether it’s organizing search and rescue missions for missing planes and people, monitoring shipments of goods and supplies, or tracking the location of vehicle fleets, cargo vessels or other industrial equipment, HGT technologies have set the standard for commercial satellite-based asset tracking, monitoring and search and rescue solutions.
“At any given time, with Honeywell technology we can provide a continuous view of a company’s assets anywhere in the world,” said Yann Lepage, Global VP Sales, Honeywell Global Tracking. “Because all of our data is collected and transmitted via satellite, our systems operate where there’s no cell coverage, in harsh temperatures and environments and in the midst of outrageous storms. We’re the most reliable two-way communication tracking system out there, allowing the tracking terminal to send messages to the vehicle and vice versa no matter the circumstances.”
With HGT’s ViewPoint offering customers can access data and manage their assets anytime on their tablet or computer. Powered by Google Maps, ViewPoint not only gives the exact GPS coordinates of an asset’s location, it also allows companies to set parameters on temperature sensing, pressure, speed and movement. In addition to marine vessels, these HGT solutions are also used by vehicle fleets, cargo containers and personnel to track assets via global satellite in the most remote and hostile areas of the world.
In addition to satellite tracking solutions, HGT’s Search & Rescue (SAR) products and solutions have been at the center of leading search and rescue operations around the globe for decades. Implemented in 33 countries worldwide, HGT reliably receives and processes distress beacon data from satellites, pinpoints emergency locations, and distributes Search and Rescue (SAR) data to rescue coordination centers for efficient and comprehensive SAR operations.