The Coast Guard has a great new app out that can make boating safer for you this summer. This app is especially great for those using smaller craft that don’t have a radio .
The app contains a database of all the latest safety rules and regulations, a boating safety checklist, and will let you request a vessel safety check from the Coast Guard to make sure you’re in good shape.
You can also use it to file a float plan with up to 3 friends. That way people know where you are going, what route you’re taking and when you’re expected back. If you don’t get back on time, they can contact the Coast Guard with a pretty good idea of where to look for you.
The app can also be used to report hazards, pollution or any suspicious activity to the Coast Guard instantly. You can also get the weather conditions from the closest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration buoy t0 make sure your weather forecast is accurate for exactly where you are in the water.
With location services turned on on your phone, you can summon help from the nearest Coast Guard station.
The Coast Guard points out that an app is not a replacement for a Marine VHF radio and they strongly suggest all boaters have one.
They also promise that they will not track your location unless you are using the app.