If you’re heading out on the water, the RYA, RNLI and HM Coastguard are reminding boaters that the tracking and alerting tool, RYA SafeTrx, is freely available to anyone who wants to be safer afloat.
The app provides all recreational boat users, particularly dinghy cruisers, PWC users, RIB users, canoers, kayakers, wind and kite surfers and smaller boat users with an easily accessible and simple to use means that can inform HM Coastguard of their voyage plans and dynamic location in the event of distress.
Before heading off, it’s important to tell a friend or relative ashore (your emergency contact) about your plans and to make sure you have a suitable means of communication on board for routine messaging and emergency situations.
RYA SafeTrx allows you to enter your plans and contact details directly from a smartphone knowing that should you not arrive by the time given, your nominated emergency contact will be alerted and advised to initiate appropriate action.
Where an emergency contact calls HM Coastguard about an overdue trip, the Coastguard will have access to the boater’s location and SafeTrx trip data through a secure SafeTrx server. This will help the Coastguard to get help directly to you, and quickly.
RYA Cruising Manager Stuart Carruthers said: “The RYA SafeTrx app is more than a mobile vessel tracking application, it is also a practical tool that provides additional safety information. As well as the sail plan mode, which records a starting point, a destination and an estimated time of arrival for your emergency contacts, features include equipment and safety checklists, marina and harbour information and weather information. It’s worth taking a little time to explore everything SafeTrx can do for a safe and smooth sail.”
In addition to the features the app offers, users also have access to the RYA SafeTrx website https://safetrx.rya.org.uk. Here accounts, vessel details and emergency contacts can be managed, checklists can be personalised and trips can be reviewed.
For users who do not want to use the app, there is the option to register an account and vessel details online via the website. The details entered will be kept in the RYA SafeTrx database and will be available to HM Coastguard if the user ever needs assistance.
RYA SafeTrx & CG66
HM Coastguard has approved RYA SafeTrx as its replacement for the official voluntary safety identification scheme, better known as CG66.
RYA SafeTrx builds on the advantages of the CG66 scheme to assist HM Coastguard with search and rescue and provides enhanced functionality if used together with the optional RYA SafeTrx mobile app.
As part of the changeover, HM Coastguard stopped taking registrations for the CG66 scheme on 11 July 2018 but will retain access to the CG66 database for two years.
The data from CG66 has not been migrated to the RYA SafeTrx database, therefore, anyone who wishes to make use of RYA SafeTrx will need to register on the RYA SafeTrx system when and if they choose to do so.
To get started with the RYA SafeTrx app:
The RYA SafeTrx user guide is available at www.rya.org.uk/go/safetrx and provides detailed information on both the RYA SafeTrx app and the RYA SafeTrx website. It includes:
Visit www.rya.org.uk/go/safetrx for further details and guidance including the RYA SafeTrx user guide and FAQs.