Raymarine’s handheld Thermal Imaging Camera helps rescue trapped driver from blizzard

Marine technology used on land in emergency

January 2012

Getting trapped by a sudden and severe snow storm is every driver’s nightmare. When the visibility suddenly drops, drivers are unable to see the road ahead and cars and their occupants are at the mercy of the elements.

Some countries are better prepared for such severe conditions but even in Norway, where snow covers the country for much of the winter, a sudden storm can catch anyone off guard.

Cato Annweiler, Sales Manager for Raymarine Norge, the world’s leading manufacturer of marine electronics products, was driving to see a customer on the West Coast of Norway at Aurlands when the mountain pass he was on was suddenly hit by a snow storm. The blizzard reduced the visibility to less than two metres, making it impossible for him to continue driving. Unable even to see the bamboo snow poles at the side of the road which are used to guide snow ploughs, Cato realised he was likely to be trapped on the pass.

Suddenly he remembered that, on the back seat of his car, he was carrying one of the first Raymarine hand held Thermal Imaging Cameras available in the country, which he was on his way to demonstrate to a customer.

Designed as an aid for mariners, the TH32’s thermal imaging enables users to ‘see’ at night. Switching it on, Cato stuck his head out of the car window looking through the battery operated monocular. Through the blizzard of falling snow, the thermal imaging vision was able to detect the solid bamboo poles along the side of the road. Driving slowly and carefully from pole to pole, Cato came across two other trapped cars which then followed him eventually reaching the safety of the Aurland Tunnel.

Cato said, “The thermal imaging technology designed for use at sea really enabled me to see in near impossible conditions on land. It certainly demonstrated the safety benefits of thermal imaging cameras. We have had enquiries from other land-based users including Search And Rescue teams, the Rede-Kors (Red Cross), and even reindeer herders who are considering using this affordable technology to help save lives of people and animals in extreme conditions.”

Raymarine’s TH range of portable thermal night vision cameras enables users to see even in total darkness. Using proven technology employed in professional and military night vision systems, the new compact hand held TH series produces images from heat, enabling users to see landmarks, obstacles, people and animals with incredible clarity.

The TH Series of hand held portable cameras has just been launched into the international marine markets, with boaters using them as additional safety devices to enable them to see in the dark, to spot people or objects in the water, and even as personal safety devices enabling them to see boats or people approaching them at night. The TH Series of Thermal imaging cameras retail from around £1,295/€1495 ex tax. Raymarine’s TH24 and TH32 cameras are available worldwide through Raymarine’s international network of subsidiaries and distributors, with Raymarine produces on sales through dealers, and marine equipment retailers. More information can be found from www.raymarine.com

About FLIR Systems

FLIR Systems, Inc. is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of sensor systems that enhance perception and awareness. FLIR's advanced systems and components are used for a wide variety of thermal imaging, situational awareness, and security applications, including airborne and ground-based surveillance, condition monitoring, navigation, recreation, research and development, manufacturing process control, search and rescue, drug interdiction, transportation safety, border and maritime patrol, environmental monitoring, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) threat detection. For more information, visit FLIR’s web site at www.FLIR.com.


About Raymarine:

Raymarine, a world leader in marine electronics, develops and manufactures the most comprehensive range of electronic equipment for the recreational boating and light commercial marine markets. Designed for high performance and ease of use, the award-winning products are available through a global network of dealers and distributors.

The Raymarine product lines include radar, autopilots, GPS, instruments, fishfinders, communications, and integrated systems. Headquartered in Fareham UK, Raymarine is a division of FLIR Systems, a world leader in thermal imaging. For more information about Raymarine please go to www.raymarine.com.

For further information contact Haley Ellison – FLIR Systems Tel: +1 503/919-0696 or email: haley.ellison@flir.com. For high resolution images please go to www.raymarine.com/media