What is the Leap Second Addition?.

A leap second is simply an additional second that is periodically added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to ensure that the Atomic Clock is synchronised with the Earth's rotation. Since introduced in 1972, there have been 26 leap seconds added with the last addition at midnight on 30 June 2015.

The prediction is that these will become more frequent in the future as periodic variations, caused by atmospheric winds and the tidal interaction of the Earth and the Moon, cause a slowing down of the Earth’s rotation.

How could this affect you and your PLB solution?

The non-adjustment of an AIS transmitter could mean that the signal from your AIS Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) / MSLD is not detected, resulting in a man overboard being lost and significantly increasing the chance of a fatality.

If the signal is detected, there is then still a chance that the location of the man overboard will be out of sync with the AIS or ECDIS chart plotter by up to 500m, a significant distance when searching the ocean for a MOB.

With the added significance of the leap second adjustment, Annual Service & Recertification is imperative to ensure that the lifesaving PLB equipment is updated, fit for use and maintained to the highest operational standards.


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