RYA SafeTrx is a smartphone app that enables boat users in UK territorial waters to plan their passage

Almost

1,000 people have downloaded anew Royal Yachting Association (RYA) smartphone app that aims to help the coastguard to track

down missing boats
.


RYA

SafeTrx, which is compatible with Android and iOS devices, allows users to plot

and then upload their passage plan and estimated time of arrival.

If the

estimated time of arrival is exceeded without the trip being completed, then

the designated emergency contacts are automatically notified.

Using

the data sent by the SafeTrx app during a voyage, the Maritime and Coastguard

Agency will be able to pinpoint lost and stricken boats more quickly.

Keith

Oliver, head of maritime operations at the MCA, said: ‘During a search and

rescue incident, the UK coastguard collects vital information about the people

and vessels involved.

‘When

did they set off? Where were they going? When were they due back? What was

their last known location?

‘These

are all vital pieces of the puzzle and the coastguard welcomes any system that

can contribute to the information gathering effort. RYA SafeTrx will help

provide this information, meaning that valuable time is not lost.’

This

technology has been in use in Ireland and Australia for some time, and now the

RYA’s adoption allows members to take advantage of the service in UK

territorial waters for free.

Non-members

can download the app free of charge, and data logging credits are available in

bundles of 10 for £1.49 or 20 for £2.49.

The

app can also deliver performance analytics for those keen to plot their average

speed or total distance travelled.

Stuart

Carruthers, cruising manager at the RYA, said: ‘Although RYA SafeTrx is not

intended as a replacement for regular approved safety devices (VHF, APIB, AIS,

etc) it will be beneficial to the one million users of small powerboats, RIBs,

PWCs and for dinghy cruisers for whom existing tracking technology is not

always practical.

‘Until

now a simple, cost-effective system of tracking and alerting has not been

available for these boat users. When we learned about this app and its enormous

safety benefits we knew that we had to bring it to the UK.’

RYA

SafeTrx is available to download now from the iTunes app store, while Android

users can find the app on the Google Play Store.

Watch the RYA SafeTrx introduction video