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New Marine Equipment Now on the Market

DoE's Research Officer Bradley Johnson (center) and Deputy Director of Research Timothy Austin (right) gladly accept the donation of two Nautilus Lifelines from local distributor Gary Redfern.

The Nautilus Lifeline, 2-way marine radio and GPS device, now gives divers a chance to enjoy water sports with added safety.

With a touch of a distress button, divers can communicate with their sea-craft as well as nearby boats and dive shops.

Understanding the importance of this, local distributor Cayman Solar Solutions made a generous donation of two of these items to the Department of Environment (DoE).

"We are extremely grateful to Cayman Solar Solutions for this donation," says Bradley Johnson, DoE Research Officer.

Once the distress button is pressed, the unit broadcasts the diver's position using digital selective calling (DSC) to marine radios with the ability to receive DSC messages (and most modern radios are so equipped).

The unit casing is waterproof to 425 feet, and its small, compact design means kite boarders, paddle boarders, jet-skiers, kayakers and others who participate in water sports can also use it.

On the surface, while using the radio, the unit is splash proof and a fully charged battery ensures 30 minutes of talk time and 24 hours of emergency distress transmissions.

Mr. Johnson adds, "Diving in the winter to monitor the Nassau grouper spawning aggregations is always challenging due to the strong winds and rough seas. The most important data is collected right at sunset which means that we sometime surface just before dark. Diver safety is always our highest priority and these devices are the perfect addition to our standard safety equipment. The ability to now communicate directly with our boat upon surfacing and direct it to our position reduces the dangers associated with this type of diving."

Gary Redfern of Cayman Solar Solutions says, "It was an easy decision to donate the two units to DoE. We are aware that they are working hard to preserve the marine environment, plus night diving on the spawning aggregations is a perfect application of the lifeline. The device is not just for 'extreme' diving. It will be equally useful during regular dives and activities, when you're caught in a current, when the engine on your jet ski dies or when you get separated from your paddle or kite board."

Mr. Redfern, an avid scuba diver and former sea rescue volunteer, has spent the last two weeks spreading the word about the new product. He states, "The response has been impressive; it is already stocked in Divers Supply and Divers World, and a number of the dive operators are working through the logistics of being able to rent the units to their guests. I have also had informative meetings where I have introduced the units to the RCIPS's Joint Marine Unit and to the security staff at the Port Authority."

Mike Lever, inventor of the lifeline, proudly reports, "We have put 13,000 lifelines into the hands of divers, boaters and other water sport enthusiasts over the last 13 months. Every week we receive stories from divers who were able to call for help fast before their situation became a full blown emergency."

Also commenting on its function, Daniel Livingstone, Marketing Manager of the product noted that the marine radio and GPS devices will allow DoE to accurately monitor the grouper spawning in January as this is the one of its many uses -- to assist in technical diving situations which may be dangerous such as deep, long dives and night dives.

He said, "Our company is pleased to be working with our distributor in the Cayman Islands, Cayman Solar Solutions Ltd. It has had great success in getting the product into many hands as a way to increase safety in the marine industry."

Currently being offered as a Christmas special, the Nautilus Lifeline unit is available at $299. As an added bonus, buyers will also receive a free pouch worth $36.

For more information about the unit, contact Gary Redfern at 938 5433 or

For further information contact: Yvette Cacho