New app for extra safety
The UK Coastguard’s CG66 voluntary safety scheme has been replaced by a new app, RYA SafeTrx.
Using smartphone technology it provides all boaters with an accessible and simple-to-use way of automatically informing HM Coastguard of voyage plans, vessel and crew information, incident data, dynamic location and even a direct 999 connection at the touch of a button.
The voluntary app does not replace EPRIBS, PLBs, AIS or the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
Sailors are also being advised that VHF, email, or phone can also still be used to contact the UK Coastguard in an emergency.
Users will need to register their email address and mobile phone number when signing up for the app, which will be used for identification as well as alternative contact information.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s director of maritime operations & HM Coastguard, Richard Parkes, said the app uses real-time advanced technology while CG66 was just a database, and this will result in ‘a swifter response with the right resources’.
“The precise geolocation feature, for example, allows the Coastguard to know where the caller is, an important consideration when the person in distress is unsure of where they are, disoriented, injured or unfamiliar with the area,” he said, adding that all boaters “must continue to use emergency alerting equipment appropriate to your sport.
“RYA SafeTrx complements this equipment, but is not designed to be used instead of it.”
The app can be used free of charge in UK territorial waters. It can be downloaded free from the Apple app store or Google Play. Once downloaded, boaters can log unlimited trips using the app.
There is also a designated website for those who don’t want to use the app at safetrx.rya.org.uk.
RYA SafeTrx app will help the Coastguard quickly identify the position of callers