I bought one of these units for myself, as I felt it is safe to have a personal beacon whilst doing water sports. The Nautilus Lifeline looked like the strongest and best option on the market, allowing for multipurpose water activities, including diving. After having tested the Nautilus Lifeline in Mallorca, I wanted to also try it in a remote location, for which Fernando de Noronha (Brazil) seemed to me to be remote enough. I bought it through Dive Operations Buddy as the price is the same, and a 10% contribution is made to marine conservation projects.

Diving with the Nautilus Lifeline is not an issue, as you can put it inside your BCD if you like. I have the neoprene pouch, so I just added it onto the belt of my backplate. I additionally added a little safety rope to avoid losing the device when taking it out from the pouch or whilst diving… you never know right? Then again, the Nautilus floats, so it would be fine without the safety line.

Once you take it out, it is straightforward and easy to use. First, you open the cap and then remove a small antenna retainer that allows the antenna to unfold.

You switch on the device through a little blue on/off push button, and a blue light indicates it is active. You then have three options available.

  1. Push the Red button for 5 seconds, which would be the one to use in a real emergency. I didn’t test that one, as I didn’t want to alarm the local radio station and Brazilian army present on the island. This option would send a full MOB distress signal to all surrounding AIS (ECDIS) and a DSC on all the surrounding VHF radios.
  2. Push the Yellow button (Test mode) for 5 seconds, sending a test signal to all AIS. After 20 seconds, the device is emitting the test signal to the AIS.
  3. Push the Yellow button (Test mode) for 8 seconds, sending a test signal to all surrounding AIS and a DSC to the programmed MMSI number of the unit. (see below).


An MMSI can be programmed through an app. For example, we used the MMSI of the Vessel I was diving from, and a DSC signal was sent to that Vessel only using the test option for 8 seconds. Note that the operations manual mentions that the option is not available in Canada and Europe (due to local regulations) but is available when you are somewhere in the rest of the world. Therefore, when in Canada and Europe, only an AIS signal will be transmitted.

Note: The DSC signal will not be emitted if your GPS is not connected to your VFH. In the case of the ECDIS, if your AIS is not connected to your ECDIS, you won’t get a signal. In this case, your ECDIS would give you an alarm anyway … obviously 😉

Directly from the factory at NO additional cost.

dob donates 10% of each Nautilus Lifeline sold by us to a specific Marine Conservation project at no cost to you.