Coast Guard officials are promoting a Boating Safety Mobile App designed to aid maritime voyage planning, boating safety and maritime distress in the Pacific Northwest.
The app – available free on iPhone and Android devices – was developed as a tool that merges an easy-to-use interface with common cellphone operating systems and offers users a central application for commonly searched boating information.
Location settings in the app can be customized to offer real-time weather information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather buoys and to let mariners report navigational hazards or possible pollution incidents to Coast Guard responders.
The app is also designed to store vessel registration and contact information. User profiles can be vital sources of information to search and rescue teams dealing with maritime distress situations. A critical feature of the app is the bright red “Emergency Assistance” icon on the home screen. This icon will connect mariners in distress with the nearest Coast Guard unit or 911 emergency service while also providing a real-time GPS location.
The app also offers a unique way to file a float plan with designated contacts, including information on future voyages. Float plans can prove critical in emergency situations where facts need to be accurately remembered and provided to search and rescue teams. The Coast Guard does not actively monitor float plans, but many mariners may find comfort in providing voyage information to family and friends who can then provide detailed information to search and rescue officials if the boat does not returned when expected.
More information on float plans is online at https://uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/floating-plan.php.
For information on the app itself go online to https://uscgboating.org/mobile/.