Designed in close co-operation with Coastguard and Search and Rescue organisations, RYA SafeTrx provides all recreational boat users, particularly dinghy cruisers, PWC users, canoers, kayakers, wind and kite surfers and smaller boat users who don't have or use AIS with a cheap, easy, and reliable means that can inform the Coastguard of their voyage plans and dynamic location in the event of distress.  

The application is a fully automated, proven, cost effective and ‘easy to use’ tool that exploits smart phone technology to supplement traditional communications equipment (e.g. VHF DSC) and alerting methods (e.g. distress beacons) to increase safety.  Now the standard solution in mobile application vessel tracking in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Spain, South Africa and the Netherlands, SafeTrx takes the search out of search and rescue.

Why upgrade?  

Through collaboration with SAR organisations, improvements have been made to the technical and operational aspects of RYA SafeTrx 2015, which we believe offer significant functional enhancements to the existing application.   

Cruising Manager Stuart Carruthers explains: “A major focus in SafeTrx 2015 is to assist boater trip planning. With this in mind and in addition to the alerting and tracking function, RYA SafeTrx now has the ability to display live weather data. The addition of Personalised Checklists promotes further safety awareness by encouraging the boater to create and review a list of checklist items prior to departure.  

“RYA SafeTrx 2015 Track Only mode broadens the use of the App to the cohort of the boating community that prefers a 'quick start' mode without the alerting function, this enables boaters to log a number of performance functions, yet still  record their track details – ideal for those who like to race.  

"The new Emergency Call feature also allows boaters to quickly activate a distress call from within the application, this also automatically sends their location to the SafeTrx monitoring console for use in search and rescue.”

Exciting new features

  • A new Emergency Call feature which allows you to quickly make a distress call from within the application; the App sends an Emergency Location update to the SafeTrx Monitoring Console if you have a data connection and it shows your location, course and speed on the screen so they are available to you immediately.
  • Improved trip planning with access to UK Met Office sea area
  • Weather forecasts from within the App
  • The addition of personalised checklists allows you to create and review your own list of checklist items prior to departure
  • A new Mobile Logbook feature which stores up to 20 trips on your phone, and can be replayed at any time within the App in video playback mode
  • Sail Plan Mode (formerly Alert Mode) and Track Only Mode (formerly Performance Mode) will be available to both RYA members and RYA registered SafeTrx users for free

SafeTrx assists in large SAR operation  

Friday, 10 July saw the conclusion of one of the largest underwater search and recovery operations ever held in Ireland. The operation, carried out by the Gardaí, Navy, Army, Civil Defense, RNLI and the Coast Guard, involved the recovery of a 20-year-old male off the coast of Baltimore, Co. Cork. Coordination of events offshore was assisted by the use of the SafeTrx vessel tracking app which allowed the Coast Guard in association with the local SAR organisation, West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue (WCUSAR), to track all vessels involved and provided added security to the overall operation.

The operation, which lasted two days, involved 94 volunteer divers and 14 boats. The SafeTrx software was able to track the position of the volunteer dive boats allowing the WCUSAR teams to sequence the overall dive recovery plan while at the same time logging automatic traffic reports (TRs) with the Irish Coast Guard Valentia Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC). The ability of WCUSAR coordinators and the Irish Coast Guard to be able to view the logged positions in real time contributed to the safe recovery operation.  

Award winning  

Recognition of the value of the product is also hitting the mainstream. In the past few months the application picked up a number of awards in the US and in Ireland. In the US, the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) recently awarded SafeTrx the Silver Award of Distinction in the category for ‘Best Navigation/Maps on a Mobile App’ on behalf of the 2015 Communicator Awards. In addition, the SafeTrx website won Gold Award of Excellence for ‘Best Activist Website’. In Ireland, SafeTrx picked up the Innovation in Maritime Safety Award at the inaugural Maritime Industry Awards 2015. 

“RYA SafeTrx gives rescue services access to data the skippers provide themselves as long as they are in range of a mobile network. In case of an emergency, the Coastguard can use the stored data to support search missions,” added Stuart.  

Get your App today  

Now that the RYA SafeTrx application has been successfully upgraded, please ensure that you download the new version of the App, which is now available to download free of charge from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store

Please note that the older RYA SafeTrx Apps (iPhone version 2.1.52 and Android version 1.5.5) will no longer function. You will not be able to log into the older application or use this application to run trips. While your journey history, emergency contacts and statistical data have been kept intact as part of the App update, you may need to update your vessel details to ensure the Coastguard has access to the latest information.  You can do so by logging into the RYA SafeTrx boater website (https://safetrx.rya.org.uk/) with your RYA login credentials.

Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the SafeTrx support team at rya@safetrxapp.com if you experience any issues or have any questions in relation to this update.