What is SART? (Video Lesson)

SART stands for Search and Rescue Transponder. It is an electronic device used in maritime search and rescue operations to locate distressed vessels or survival craft. The SART works by transmitting a signal when it receives a radar pulse from a search vessel, making it easier for the search vessel to locate the distress signal.

The SART is designed to be small, portable and easy to use, making it an essential tool for maritime safety. It can be activated manually or automatically and is typically used in conjunction with other safety equipment such as EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) and life rafts.

The SART works by receiving a radar signal from the search vessel and then transmitting a signal back to the vessel on a different frequency. This signal is displayed on the search vessel’s radar screen, allowing the crew to locate the distressed vessel or survival craft.

SARTs have several features that make them reliable and effective in emergency situations. They are designed to be water-resistant and able to withstand extreme conditions, such as high winds and heavy seas. They also have a long battery life, with most SARTs able to operate continuously for at least 96 hours.


The use of SARTs is regulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which sets performance standards for SARTs to ensure their effectiveness in search and rescue operations. The IMO requires that SARTs be able to operate at a range of at least five nautical miles and be able to transmit a signal for at least 96 hours.

Overall, SARTs are an important tool for maritime safety and search and rescue operations, providing reliable and effective assistance in distress situations.

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