There is a push from the current GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) paradigm to keep all things AIS (Automatic Identification System) as only locating devices - not alerting devices.
However – there is a real commercial (as these devices aren't mandated) need that has driven the development of man over board and other devices that lead the consumer to believe that if activated he will be rescued.
All this talk about locating versus alerting is irrelevant to the world we find ourselves in. I believe it’s high time we recognize that AIS is wildly effective both cost wise and application wise compared to (Digital Selective Calling) DSC devices, the current method to initiate emergency communications with ships and rescue coordination centers. There needs to be a shift in the traditional mindset to use AIS more widely before we have a serious tragedy on our hands!
Stop quibbling over subtle definitions that no one except Search and Rescue guys understand - locating versus alerting - please! If my man overboard device goes off please come rescue me, end of story.