The Search and Rescue Transponder or SART is a device that assists the location of a ship or a survival craft in distress if in case they have abandoned ship. The SART will respond only to a 9GHZ ( X-Band, 3cm ) Radar. It should be checked every month. Activate the SART and check in the 3cm Radar if you will see a dotted line which it would usually displayed when interrogated by the RADAR. But be sure that there are no ships or any other vessel around within the vicinity of more than 12 NM, because they may mistakenly think that you are in distress.
Picture courtesy of: Tokimec
To test the SART, you can do the following:
- Remove the SART from the holder
- Check in the radar and visually that there are no ships in the vicinity
- Activate the self-test button
- The red light will determine that the SART is activated
- Once it is activated you will see 12-20 dots on the 3 cm RADAR developing in a concentric circles, and you will hear an audible alarm.
- You must also check the expiry date of the battery and renew it at least every 4 years
- After the test, be sure to put it back in its original position and the result of the test should be entered in the GMDSS Logbook.
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