Lost At Sea? There’s An App for That
The Irish Sailing Association recently launched a mobile app to help transmit boaters’ voyage information to the Irish Coast Guard in an effort to make sailing the high seas a little safer.
Sailors trolling the waters off the Emerald Isle now have an extra level of security should they get lost or need to be rescued at sea, thanks in part to the Irish Sailing Association.
In conjunction with the Irish Coast Guard, ISA developed a new mobile app that allows sailors to log their voyages via their smartphones. Launched earlier this month, ISA Safe Trx records information about the user’s boat, number of passengers on a trip, the trip’s start and end points, and the estimated time of arrival.
Using GPS technology, the free app also periodically transmits the position and speed of vessels back to the Coast Guard, which can share the information with emergency response teams. Should boaters not arrive at their end point as expected, the app will send a text message alert to emergency contacts who can take appropriate action.
The Irish Coast Guard reported a 45 percent increase in the number of emergency calls over the last year, and it is anticipating a record-breaking number of emergency incidents by this fall, according to Irish technology news site Siliconrepublic.
Speaking at a European Coast Guard forum, Irish Coast Guard Director Chris Reynolds said the goal of the app is to encourage boaters to proactively inform others, including the Coast Guard, of the details of their voyages, the Irish Examiner reported.
“Getting to casualties early is the key for our search-and-rescue units,” Reynolds said. “This new app has the potential to get our resources on-scene as quickly as possible, which will in turn save lives.”
The app, which was designed in cooperation with search-and-rescue professionals, is intended to complement existing technologies used to save lives. Some critics, including GPS Ireland Director Gary Delaney, are warning boaters not to rely solely on the app.