Getting Started

This help topic is intended to provide new and prospective users with a 'quick start' introduction to using the Ocean Alert website, and includes helpful links to the other online help topics.

If you are a new user please also refer to the Installation and Operations manuals provided with your system - you can also download these, and other resources, from the downloads help page.


Your Ocean Alert Hardware

The Ocean Alert hardware which is installed on board each monitored vessel comprises:

  • main module incorporating satellite terminal, backup battery and integral 3-position keyswitch
  • antenna and mounting bracket
  • 2x alert activation button switches
  • cables and connectors

Please refer to the Ocean Alert Installation Manual for a detailed description, and full details of how to install, test and maintain your system.

Your airtime package

Your airtime is purchased on a per-terminal basis, either up-front via a pre-paid 1-year, 3-year or 5-year fixed airtime package, or on a monthly billed tariff.

All types of package provide options for 0, 2, 4 or 6 Daily Position Reports (DPRs).

You can also purchase pre-paid 'bolt-ons', again on a per-terminal basis, for:

  • SMS notification of alert conditions direct to your mobile phone, as they happen
  • FAX notification of alert conditions direct to nominated FAX numbers
  • Polling - requesting current vessel position and status reports from the website, via satellite
  • Map View - view vessel position and tracking history on a map

Please ask your dealer, or contact Satamatics for further information.

Registering your user account

To register your user account online you should go to the main Ocean Alert login page http://ssas.satamatics.com (you can either click on this link, or type it into your browser address window).

When you see the main login screen, click on the "New Users - Please Register for a user account" link.

This will take you to the New User Registration page, where you should enter your personal contact details, together with your email address (which will subsequently be used as your username when logging on to Ocean Alert), and at this point you should also enter and re-type a new password, which you will need to remember as you will be required to provide it each time you login.

An email will then be automatically sent to you at the email address which you supplied as your username, for security validation purposes. Clicking on the appropriate link provided within the email, or pasting it into your browser address window, will then activate your new user account so that you can then login to Ocean Alert.

(For more information on user registration and lost passwords, please refer to the login problems and lost password help topics.)

Completing your user account setup

Once you have registered your user account, when you first login you will be taken to the user setup page to complete your user account setup.

If you been invited to join another user's fleet, you will first be given the option of accepting or declining your invitations on this page. (If this is the case, then you will have received an email from another Ocean Alert user.)

Alternatively, if you have purchased your own Ocean Alert terminals, you can add your first terminal to your user account by clicking the add terminal button on this page.

(Once you have added your first terminal, if you wish to add more terminals, you should use the terminals page - see registering your terminals.)

Registering your terminals

Adding your first terminal to your account from the user setup page will complete your user account setup.

To do this, you will need to type in the three unique identification codes provided with your Ocean Alert unit:

  • Ocean Alert Serial Number
  • SAT-101 Serial Number
  • Inmarsat Serial Number (ISN)

This information is provided on a card inside the unit packaging. (You will need to keep this information in a safe place as you may need it in the future).

You can also optionally enter a vessel name and fleet name - although if you leave the fields blank at this stage you can specify them later via the fleet setup page.

After you have successfully registered your first terminal, the rest of the Ocean Alert website main menu will appear. From this point you can either continue to register further terminals via the terminals page, or proceed to the fleet setup page to provide any further information about your vessel ot fleet, or you can go straight to the alert setup page to setup your alert condition contact notification details.

You will need to register each of your Ocean Alert terminals online before you can monitor and track it via the Ocean Alert website. You can return to the terminals page at any time to add further terminals to your account.

Accepting invitations to join existing fleets

If you have been invited to join an existing fleet managed by another user, the user setup page will list your invitations and give you the option of accepting or declining each invitation.

After you have accepted your first fleet invitation, the rest of the Ocean Alert website main menu will appear. (If this does not happen then there may not be any active terminals in the fleet, so please contact the person who invited you - you can do this by replying to their invitation email.)

On accepting any fleet invitation, you will initially become a Viewer user. If the person who invited you wishes to grant you extra access privileges for the fleet (eg. to poll vessels, reset alerts, manage fleets and alert contact details, or manage other user accounts), then they will be able to do this by logging on to Ocean Alert themselves, and changing your access level for their fleet, from the user setup menu.

Setting up your fleet and vessel details

Each added terminal should now be given the appropriate identification information, and assigned to a fleet (if you have not already done this), via the fleet setup page.

As well being given a "Vessel Name", each terminal can optionally be assigned a unique "Callsign", "IMO number" and/or "MMSI number" as required - these are all standard maritime vessel identification codes, your national flag state or coastguard authority may insist on one of these forms of identification.

As far as Ocean Alert is concerned, a "fleet" is just a collection of terminals with the same alert condition contact details, and the same fleet name. You can have as many fleets as you need, and as many (or as few) vessels in each fleet.

At any point in time a vessel can only be in one fleet, and a fleet cannot include another fleet.

A vessel can be moved between fleets by users with User Manager access privileges to both fleets, via the fleet setup page.

Users with User Manager access privileges to a fleet, can also move vessels from the fleet into a new fleet - this is one of the ways that a new fleet can be created.

Setting up your alert condition contact details

Use the alert setup page to set up your required contact details for each fleet.

You can provide up to 5 email addresses per fleet, where each email address can be given a specific condition level as follows:

  • urgent - alert activation (highest level)
  • cancel - alert cancellation
  • alert - ongoing alert
  • exception - warnings including power cut
  • normal - daily position reports (lowest level)

The condition level set up for an individual nominated contact specifies the minimum condition level which you want that person to receive - ie. they will receive messages relating to the level you specify, plus all higher levels.

Nominated contacts will therefore be automatically notified by email when any of the above conditions are reported by any of the vessels in the fleet, according to the following rule (except TEST message - see below):

Level Action
urgent notify this user of any alert activations
cancel notify this user of alert cancellations and alert activations
alert notify this user of ongoing alerts, alert cancellations (cancel) and alert activations (urgent)
exception notify this user of warnings (exception), ongoing alerts (alert), alert cancellations (cancel) and alert activations (urgent) - ie. all message types except normal
normal notify this user of ALL message types (ie. normal, warning, alert, cancel, urgent).

Vessels for which the optional SMS package is purchased, can have their alert activations and cancellations (levels urgent and cancel in the table above) sent automatically to up to 3 SMS numbers setup via the 'alert setup' page.

Similarly, vessels for which the optional FAX package is purchased, can have their alert activations and cancellations (levels urgent and cancel in the table) sent automatically to up to 2 FAX numbers setup via the 'alert setup' page.

NOTE: all 'test' messages (ie. where the keyswitch is in the 'test' position) are ONLY sent to 'normal' level email contacts, and are NOT sent to SMS or FAX contacts.

You can update your nominated alert condition contact details at any time via the alert setup page - the changes will be effective immediately and apply to all alert conditions detected from that point onwards.

For more details on setting up alert condition contact details please see the alert setup help topic.

Tracking your vessels

You can track each vessel in your fleet via the tracking page. This will give a summary of each vessel's last reported position report, together with the date & time at which the report was received, and its speed and course. (Vessels for which you have purchased the optional Map View subscription, can also be tracked on a map - see Viewing your vessel position on a map.)

The table will also show whether the position reported was a valid global positioning system (GPS) fix. In the unlikely event that the system could not obtain a valid GPS fix, the words 'no fix' will appear in the GPS column, and the last position at which the terminal did have a valid GPS fix will be provided. The last valid GPS fix position is stored and constantly updated by the terminal between transmissions, so this position will still be more up to date than the last recorded position provided by the previous position report from the vessel.

To view the tracking history of any individual vessel, click on the vessel name link in the summary table.

If you have at least Operator access to the fleet, and a polling package has been purchased for a vessel, then you can poll the vessel by clicking on the 'poll' button in the tracking summary table.

For more details on tracking and polling vessels please refer to the tracking online help topic.

Viewing your vessel positions on a map

On the tracking page, all vessels for which the optional Map View subscription has been purchased (see Your Airtime Package) will have a small 'globe' icon displayed in the left hand margin, next to the vessel name. Clicking on the globe icon will display the latest reported position of the selected vessel on a map.

To view the vessel's tracking history from the Map View page, select the History pulldown and select either 'Last Day', 'Last 7 Days', 'Last 30 Days' or 'Last 90 Days'. (Note: if the vessel has not transmitted a position report for some time, then some or all of these options may not be available.)

The vessel's tracking history can also be viewed by clicking on the globe icon from the top of the Vessel Tracking History page.

Other vessels within the selected vessel's fleet can be viewed on the map by selecting 'All Vessels' from the 'Vessels' pulldown, or by selecting another vessel name.

The map scale can be changed by selecting a different value from the Scale pulldown menu at the top right hand side of the map display except when displaying 'all vessels' or 'tracking history' views, when the map scale is fixed.

Other fleets can be selected from the 'Fleet' pulldown.

You can return from the Map View page to the rest of the Ocean Alert user interface by selecting the appropriate menu link from along the top of the page.

You can jump back to the selected vessel's tracking history page, by clicking on the Tracking History link at the bottom of the left hand panel of the Map View page.

For more details please refer to the Map View online help topic.

Monitoring alert and warning conditions

If the last reported position report from any of your vessels was showing an alert or warning condition, then this status information will be shown in the tracking summary table, but each affected vessel will also appear in the alerts or warnings summary pages as appropriate.

For more details please refer to the warnings and alerts online help topics.

Cancelling and resetting alerts

When an alert condition is triggered by activation of an on-board alert switch, the terminal will transmit 'alert' position report messages every 30 minutes until the alert condition is reset remotely.

This allows the authorities to continue to track vessels on which a security alert has been raised - even after the alert switches have been de-activated on board the vessel - until the designated company security authorities have taken appropriate action to confirm that any on-board emergency really has been resolved, according to the Ship Security Plan.

Operator level website users will see a reset button alongside vessels which are at alert status on the 'alerts' page. Clicking on this button will notify designated contacts that the alert condition is over, and will then reset the alert once the next position report is received from the vessel - note that the next scheduled message may be up to 30 minutes later.

For more details please refer to the alerts and warnings online help topics.

Setting up more user accounts and user privileges

If you have created your own fleet(s) by registering your own terminals, then you will automatically have User Manager access rights to those fleets.

If, on the other hand, you have accepted an invitation to join someone else's fleet, you will have whatever access level has been granted to you by the person who invited you. (Note that when you accept the invitation you will be automatically granted the lowest level of access - Viewer - but this can then be changed by the person who invited you.)

If you have User Manager access level to one or more fleets, you can allow other people to view your fleets, and manage the set of user accounts which can access each fleet, via the user setup page.

The user setup page allows User Managers to:

  • invite other users to join the fleet
  • delete other users from the fleet (this prevents them from accessing this fleet, but does not remove their login)
  • change other users' access levels for this fleet

Inviting a user to join one of your fleets, involves you selecting the fleet and entering their email address, by clicking on the appropriate 'invite user' button on the user setup page.

Invited users will be automatically sent an email on your behalf (and you will also receive a copy). If they are not already an Ocean Alert user, they are given instructions in the email on how to register their own Ocean Alert user account. If they are an existing user, they are provided with a link to the user setup page in order that they can accept your invitation.

Note that User Managers do not actually have any control over other user accounts, other than controlling (including removing) their access to fleets which the User Manager is responsible for. For example, the User Manager cannot reset another user's password, or inhibit their login - users who forget their password must follow the lost password instructions on the Ocean Alert login page http://ssas.satamatics.com (see lost password.

For more details on user management please see the user setup help topic.

Login problems

The 'login' page is the main entry point to the Ocean Alert website.

Almost all of the pages of the website - and some of the online help pages - require a valid user login.

If you are following a link which you have bookmarked previously, or you are browsing the online help pages and have come across a restricted page - or, if your current browser session expires or 'times out' after four hours - you will be asked to login. The only exception to this is if you have already logged in previously during the current browser session, and have not logged out or closed all browser windows in the meantime. (It is therefore important to log out from Ocean Alert by clicking the 'logout' button, if you will be leaving your computer unattended).

Existing users can login by entering their username and password in the login form, and clicking on the 'secure log in' button.

New users can register for their own user account by clicking the register link on the login page - note however that most pages (including the restricted online help pages) also require that you have at least one Ocean Alert terminal registered to your user account. If you have a new terminal and wish to register it, please refer to the terminals section.

If you are an existing user and have forgotten your password - or, if you are a new user and have had an 'account not activated' error message - please see the Lost Password section below.

If your browser is not set up to allow session cookies, you will not be able to log in, and the system will output an explanatory error message 'your browser is not allowing session cookies'. Note that session cookies are not stored on disk, they remain in memory for the duration of the browser session, and are destroyed when the user logs out, or when the browser exits.

Depending on your browser settings (and the type of browser you are using), you may be asked for confirmation that it is ok to enter and then leave a secure page, and/or that the site security certificate is issued by a company which you have not chosen to trust. This is ok. You may wish to examine the certificate and install it on your system in order to avoid being prompted each time you log in.

Lost password

Users who have forgotten their passwords should click on the lost password link on the main Ocean Alert login page http://ssas.satamatics.com. An email will be automatically sent to their registered email address (ie. the email address they provided on registration, and which they user as their Ocean Alert username) containing an encoded link. Clicking on the link will take the user to a 'set password' page, which will allow them to specify a new password.

Important: The encoded links provided in new account validation emails and lost password emails, can only be used once, and must be used within 7 days, or they will automatically expire. In addition, they will be automatically invalidated if you attempt to log in before clicking on the link.

The lost password procedure described above should be used if a newly registered user has attempted to log into Ocean Alert before they have clicked on the encoded link contained within their new account validation email. (In such circumstances they will get an 'account not activated' error message when they attempt to login).

Following the lost password procedure will send them another email with another encoded link - they should click on this link before attempting to log in again, since attempting to login before this is done will once again invalidate this link, and the process will need to be repeated yet again.

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