For years, the Special Products division has worked closely with UK professional rescue organisations as both suppliers and consultants to ensure the teams are reliably equipped to face the most challenging conditions.
This was first demonstrated in the late 1970s when Barrus began working on the development of the Post Immersion Restart System (PIRS®), a system dedicated to the RNLI and armed services. PIRS® drains water from the engine allowing it to rapidly restart after submersion as, when a boat is capsized, the outboard engine becomes flooded making it inoperable and the crew vulnerable. To remove water from the engine and enable it to restart, the engine and fuel system must be drained which is both time consuming and difficult, particularly with the boat moving in the water as components are easily dropped and lost.
The first generation of PIRS® utilised a drain system fitted in line with the carburettor bowls to drain the fuel without removing components. This system proved to be very effective and soon became essential for engines fitted to rescue crafts. However, as crew were required to remove the spark plugs, feedback suggested that a new method was required.
FAST PIRS®, an improved version of the system, was designed and produced in 2004 and included fuel drains, in addition, to drain valves for transfer ports and cylinder heads which allowed the evacuation of water without removing any components. FAST PIRS® made it possible for an outboard that had been submerged to be restarted in forty seconds and the system was operated by a single lever on the outside of the engine without removing the engine cover.
Initially exclusive to manual start engines, in 2009, Barrus further developed FAST PIRS® and created the fully waterproof, electric start FAST PIRS® which, with the addition of a starter motor, forced water out quicker and reduced restart time to less than 30 seconds.
The Special Products team has now developed two new versions of PIRS®, GEN 2 FAST PIRS®, a simplified, more durable and cost-effective FAST PIRS® system and Capsize PIRS®, a four-stroke adaptation.