East Hawaii News

Coast Guard Plans Boating Safety App Launch

May 14, 2015, 10:50 AM HST
* Updated May 14, 10:51 AM
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As part of National Safe Boating Week, the United States Coast Guard has scheduled the release of a boating safety app. The app is expected to be released on Saturday and will be available on both the Apple and Google Play online stores.

Coast Guard officials stress the importance of a VHF radio and say the app is not designed to replace the device, but rather as an additional boating safety resource.

The app will include the following features: state boating information, a safety equipment checklist, free boating safety check requests, navigation rules, float plans, and calling features to report pollution or suspicious activity.

Users who enable location services on the app will able be able to receive the latest weather conditions from the closest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather buoys and the ability to report water hazard locations. Another major feature of the app is its Emergency Assistance button, which would alert the closest Coast Guard command center when pushed if location services are enabled.

Through a two-year development period with BastayaPR, a Puerto Rico non-profit, the app emerged as a self-contained end product. Personal information is stored on the phone and is not sent to the Coast Guard unless the user chooses to do so. In addition, the Coast Guard doesn’t track location unless the app is being used.

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National Safe Boating week runs from May 16 through May 22. It is an annual event that encourages safe boating.

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To learn more about National Safe Boating Week and other general boating safety topics, visit the Safe Boating Campaign website or the Safe Boating Council website.

For more information about the new boating safety app, visit the Coast Guard website.

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