SART Search And Rescue Radar Transponder

The SART, Search And Rescue radar Transponder, is a transmitter whose impulses are detected by the radar and helps in locating the shipwreck.


Visualizzazione radar ad oltre 5 miglia dal SART
Radar display more than 5 miles from SART
Visualizzazione radar entro 1 miglio dal SART
Radar display within 1 mile of SART

The SART is a transceiver detectable by X-band radar, so that shipwrecked persons can be located by ships in the vicinity or by SAR forces.

Due to its characteristics, it is considered by many to be the best safety equipment after the EPIRB and it is in any case complementary to this, because rescuers have a better perception when approaching shipwrecks.

Once activated, the SART enters standby mode and when it detects a valid signal from an X-band radar, it starts transmitting, sending 12-pulse cycles.

Rescuers' radar identifies shipwrecked persons by means of a distinctive line consisting of 12 points when the SART is more than 5 miles away. When the ship approaches, the points are transformed into increasingly extended circle arcs, and then become concentric circles when the SART is within a radius of one mile.

The standards require a minimum battery life of 96 hours in standby and 8 hours in transmission. The SART must be tested once a month, using the test procedure with which each SART is equipped.

Where it is mandatory

SART per Navi
SART for Ships

The SART is part of the mandatory equipment in ships subject to the GMDSS system.

2 GRT or more are required on vessels over 500 GRT, while only one unit is required on vessels between 300 GRT and 500 GRT.

In addition, on passenger ships a SART is required for each life raft, in this case the SART is built specifically for this user.

Activating the SART

  • Remove the SART from its housing.
  • Pull out the safety catch.
  • Check that the red light is on.
  • If the SART is on the ship, keep it as high as possible.
  • If the SART is on a raft, attach it to the top of the raft.