MSC Announces Advanced Man Overboard Detection System

MSC Cruises today announced the launch of a new video surveillance system aboard its ships, developed in conjunction with Bosch and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The integrated system is part of a plan to further optimize man overboard detection, the company said. 

After a successful pilot phase of extensive stress-testing and continuous software upgrades, the intelligent video capturing and analysis system is now operational aboard the MSC Meraviglia, the company said. Installations will follow across the company fleet.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman said: “The security and safety of our guests and crew onboard has always been our highest priority. Therefore – as innovation has been from day one central to the way in which we operate and develop new features for our ships – we have developed a highly-innovative solution that, through the use of military-grade technology, will allow ship command to take immediate action if needed. While a ship at sea is a challenging environment for accurate video security monitoring and operating high-tech equipment, our teams have managed to successfully develop a system that is at the same time accurate, stable and reliable.”

The system consists of a shield of intelligent optical and thermal video cameras which provide nonstop comprehensive surveillance alongside the relevant exterior parts of the ship.

All captured video images are streamed in real-time to a central security center where the video stream is monitored together with all other inputs from the 1,200 HD CCTV cameras onboard the ship.

MSC’s security team and experts from Bosch and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have worked over 14 months to meet demanding security requirements and create the right surveillance setup.

A significant part of the process has been to program the software in such a way it provides reliable and accurate data, with limited false alarms. MSC has come up with a new concept in which two independent image processing systems analyze video images. 

This double security system has allowed to significantly lower the error margin for false alerts, the company said, typically caused by waves, reflections of the sun or moon, or a bird triggering the alarm.

Through over 25,000 hours of video analysis, extensive software testing and continuous algorithmic updates, the system has now reached a confirmed accuracy level of 97 percent.

In case of an alarm, an acoustic signal and light will alert the ship’s Security Officer in the security room who can immediately connect to the system and acquire all images and data and, if necessary, retrieve or review the relevant video images. The Security Officer has direct access to the ship command at the Bridge to allow for immediate action.


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