New app for ex­tra safety

Practical Boat Owner - - News -

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

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