Crew safety on Icelandic commercial fishing vessel reaches new high with addition of FLIR M364C thermal camera

Since its formation in 2005, Sónar has grown to become one of Iceland’s leading players in the import, sale, and service of navigational, fishing, and electronic communication equipment for ships and boats. One of its most recent projects was installing the FLIR M364C camera on a commercial fishing vessel, with the specific goal of improving safety in the challenging conditions the boat’s crew faces on a regular basis.

With the FLIR M364C installed, the 72.5 metre Vikingur AK 100, can benefit from its high definition, low light camera, which boasts one of the most advanced FLIR thermal imaging cores, providing an elite level of awareness on the water. The addition of thermal cameras gives a sixth sense for work at close quarters and in poor visibility which can be typical in Iceland.

Vilhjálmur Árnason, co-founder of Sónar, comments on the installation: “Prior to installing the M364, there wasn’t a thermal camera on board but the goal was to increase the safety for the crew members, especially in icy conditions. The reputation of FLIR’s products made us feel we were choosing the right product from a trusted brand.”

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The Vikingur AK 100, which catches mackerel, herring, capelin and blue whiting, has a crew of nine when purse seining and 13 when trawling. Árnason also explained that the best feature of the M364C is its ability to see ice and other objects in the water: The crew can always be clearly seen and should a crew member fall overboard, the heat signature facilitates their rapid location.

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Albert Sveinsson, captain of Venus

“It really allows the captain and crew more situational awareness, particularly in case of MOB and icy conditions. The captain can easily see the crew on board in the dark and are able to spot dangers in advance or if one of the crew has entered the water," Árnason explains. "The increased visibility also enables us to see the floats and buoys during purse seining, and although we are yet to obtain hard data for increased fishing performance, it is without doubt making the crews lives easier, and crucially, safer.”

“The new FLIR camera has definitely had a great impact on our work onboard Venus," says Albert Sveinsson, captain of Venus. "It enhances crew safety a lot, as well as making night work much easier and less stressful. I definitely would not want to be without it after having experienced what a big difference it makes.”

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The M364C uses multispectral imaging to deliver FLIR’s exclusive Colour Thermal Vision technology which blends visible camera details with a thermal image, overlaying vital colour imagery. This, teamed with integrated Marine Video Analytics (MVA), allows captains to positively identify navigation aids and other vessels within the thermal scene.

Other features of the premium multispectral marine camera include outstanding imaging performance and a two-axis mechanical stabilisation technology, which virtually eliminates the effects of pitch, heave, and yaw. FLIR also offers the M364C LR with a narrow field of view with extended range performance.

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“The team at Sónar is trusted to recommend the best solutions to meet our customers’ needs as well as being able to offer the installation of those solutions. The FLIR products, and in particular the M364C, come highly recommended by those in the fields of our customers here in Iceland which is a testament to the high quality of the cameras and we have no hesitation in sharing its success in providing a safer environment whilst at sea,” Árnason concludes.


For more information on Sónar, please visit

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