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HM COASTGUARD ADOPTS ‘RYA SAFETRX’ AS NEW SAFETY ID SCHEME

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) have today (Wednesday) joined forces to reveal RYA SafeTrx as HM Coastguard’s new official voluntary safety identification scheme. 

The world-leading RYA SafeTrx app is designed to improve safety at sea and potentially cut vital minutes off the time taken to pinpoint a casualty’s location. It monitors your boat journeys and alerts designated emergency contacts should you fail to arrive on time.

Using iPhone and Android smartphone technology, this free tracking and alerting system is easily accessible and ideal for everyone who enjoys being on the water – from kitesurfers and kayakers to dinghy sailors and powerboat users.

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The free RYA SafeTrx mobile app and website, now supersedes the HM Coastguard CG66 scheme. It combines a more technologically cutting-edge version of the CG66 database function with additional lifesaving technologies so that you can make a 999 call to the Coastguard at the touch of a button.

The app can be used free of charge in UK territorial waters. Maritime search and rescue agencies in Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Finland, Norway, Cyprus, South Africa and Australia have already adopted the app.

The RYA SafeTrx app is available to any UK resident who wants to be safer afloat and already has over 13,000 users. It provides all recreational boat users with an accessible and simple-to-use way of automatically informing HM Coastguard of their voyage plans, vessel and crew information, incident data, dynamic location and even a direct 999 connection in the event of distress.

Richard Parkes, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Director of Maritime Operations has said:

“When we receive an emergency call we need a huge amount of information fast. This app helps us access all your details, so that you can get a swifter response with the right resources.

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“RYA SafeTrx uses real-time advanced technology. CG66 was just a database, but the new app allows users to do so much more, including summoning the Coastguard – which could save lives. The precise geolocation feature for example, allows the Coastguard to know where the caller is, an important consideration when the person in distress is unsure of where they are, disoriented, injured or unfamiliar with the area.

“We have already contacted CG66 users to tell them about the switchover to RYA SafeTrx.  The handover is well underway and from Wednesday 11 July people will be redirected from GOV.UK’s CG66 page to the RYA SafeTrx website.  Information on CG66 will still be accessible to the Coastguard, but we will no longer be accepting new information.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind all boaters that you must continue to use emergency alerting equipment appropriate to your sport. RYA SafeTrx complements this equipment but is not designed to be used instead of it”.

RYA Cruising Manager, Stuart Carruthers, added:

“With the full support of the MCA, the RYA SafeTrx app promotes enjoyable boating, a safe mind set and good practice. The software consulting company behind the development of SafeTrx, 8 West Consulting, is striving to make this the default technology for keeping the ordinary seafarer safer at sea. With that goal in mind, it is vital that the product continues to adapt to new challenges and opportunities”.

RYA SafeTrx is free to download from Apple app store or Google Play. Once downloaded, boaters can run unlimited free trips using the app. In addition to the Sail Plan mode, the app has a tracking option called Track Only mode, which enables boaters to analyse their speed and performance on the water while racing or cruising.

For customers who do not wish to use the mobile app, there is an option to register their details online at https://safetrx.rya.org.uk/login.html.

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