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Mobile and Web real-time platform for search and rescue in open sea

Italian Coast Guard

Revolutionizing emergency response with real-time data

A web platform for real-time event streaming to control rescue operations and dispatch rescue missions to the crews, a mobile app given to users in order to send distress messages and a mobile app for the operations team (helicopter & boat operators)

KPIs

Real-time geo-positioning accuracy

Precise real-time location tracking with an efficient algorithm in order to preserve user device's battery life

Efficiency in emergency response (minutes vs hours)

Act & dispatch rescue operation crews in seconds, deliver them with exact coordinates and historical path tracking for an immediate way finding

User adoption and trust

Safe & secure data transmission, thanks to advance communication encryption techniques, to and from the coast guard servers makes the entire platform a trusted entity for end-users' sensible informations

Customer review

“With the support of Insiel SpA and our partner Couchbase, MOLO17 is proud to have delivered a strategic tool that the Italian Coast Guard can deploy in emergency situations where it is critical to precisely locate and communicate with vessels at sea”

Daniele Angeli – Founder & CEO, MOLO17

STORY

Overview

Insiel SpA, an IT company that offers solutions for Public Administration, health care and local public services in Friuli Venezia Giulia, was looking for a partner to develop an emergency rescue app for use by the Italian Coast Guard and sailors at the world-renowned regatta, Barcolana, in the Gulf of Trieste, Italy

The goal was to overcome the limitations of radio communications to report emergencies and launch rescues. Specifically, with the existing radio-based system there was a higher likelihood for inaccuracies and miscommunication due to the close proximity of vessels and difficulties in identifying one vessel among over a thousand racing boats that looked similar

For their solution, MOLO17 selected Couchbase’s Capella NoSQL cloud database for its reputation and performance with mobile, IoT, and edge applications in low- or no-connectivity situations. Amazon AWS provided the underlying public cloud infrastructure

CHALLENGE

Optimize emergency rescue operations at sea using a mobile app approach

When Insiel approached MOLO17 to develop a solution for search and rescue operations at the Barcolana regatta, their goal was to improve on the standard Coast Guard radio communications protocol by providing a mobile app that could:

  • Quickly send distress messages
  • Provide a vessel’s exact location and other pertinent emergency data for a speedy, efficient rescue operation

The solution would need to provide sailors, event organizers and the Italian Coast Guard with an efficient, automated way to identify boats that required assistance with real-time accurate location information. Often, distressed crews would be unable to provide accurate information, or communication could be poor via radio. Without precise details, it could be challenging to identify the boat and sailors in the open sea because of the thousands of participating boats that all looked similar. The final challenge was the lack of internet connectivity while boats are on the water

SOLUTION

MOLO17 Expertise in Emergency and Rescue App Development with Couchbase Pays Off

MOLO17 was able to build on its earlier experience delivering a solution for the emergency rescue field, which also used Couchbase. In this case, the YouSeaMe app took advantage of Couchbase Capella and Amazon AWS for accurate, real-time messaging and location information. The solution was made available for both iOS and Android and consisted of two apps and a console application

  • Mobile app for sailors to send distress messages:
    • SOS button for immediate assistance request, with options to select the type of incident and include voice notes or pictures
    • Ability to provide precise location even while the app is in the background
    • Easy-to-use and no training required
    • Low mobile phone battery usage
  • Mobile app for emergency operators
    • A map view with immediate feedback on boats in distress
    • Information about boats’ geoposition, direction and speed generated from geospatial queries and standard queries
  • Operations Center browser-based application
    • Map view of all boats’ geoposition, direction and speed updated in real-time with incident information.
    • Ability to assign an appropriate rescue vessel/air support based on the boat and incident type

Achievements met with MOLO17

Couchbase quote “The solution built by MOLO17 for Insiel SpA and powered by Couchbase on AWS offers situational awareness, streamlined information flow, offline availability, near real-time synchronization and effortless integration with existing databases”

Sailors and emergency responders reported extremely precise and real-time geo-positioning. The October 2022 regatta saw 1,400 participating boats and 34 rescue vessels (33 boats and 1 helicopter.). There were 200 downloads of the YouSeaMe app. Ten boats submitted an SOS request through the app due to mechanical failures and 100% were successfully rescued in minutes. Instead, five boats were rescued using traditional radio channels but experienced relative delays in being rescued

BENEFITS

The app won’t yet replace the legacy radio system, but it currently provides a more effective add-on for sailors.

Benefits include:

  • Sailors can register an incident with a single tap on the app, saving time and generating accurate location information that leads to faster emergency response times
  • Real-time information sharing between all stakeholders with the sailing app providing position details even while the app is in the background
  • Offline availability when internet coverage or phone signals are weak, and near real-time synchronization
  • Enhanced safety for crew members

MOLO17 and Insiel are exploring the expansion of YouSeaMe to all regattas throughout the Italian peninsula as well as the creation of a version to serve hikers in the Alps. The current Alpine solutions are unable to stream data in real-time without an internet connection or cache any data inside the app

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