If You're Stuck at Sea, There's An App for That

on April 23, 2018

(NewsUSA) - No one out enjoying time on a boat wants to think about breaking down and needing a tow, but a little preparation can make a big difference.

According to the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the number-one reason for a slow or delayed towing company response is the considerable time it sometimes takes for the towboat captain to seek and find the disabled recreational boat on the water. Unlike drivers on a road or highway, many boaters are simply unsure of their exact location.

However, the proliferation of cell phones and improvements in cell service over the last decade means that most anyone can use a phone to pinpoint their location and also reach a dispatch center.

A phone app, such as the one developed by BoatUS, allows boat owners to pre-program information about their boat. When they use the app to call for help with a dead battery or a tow home, the call goes to the dispatch center and immediately provides the boat's details along with the latitude, longitude, and boater's emergency contact information to the dispatcher, speeding a response.

The free app from BoatUS, available at BoatUS.com/app, also provides information about tides, weather, and wind. Boaters without the app can use their phones to call the BoatUS 24/7 Dispatch Center at 1-800-391-4869.

Boat owners can also be proactive and save money by signing up for an on-water towing plan at the start of the season.

For example, an annual Unlimited Towing Membership plan from BoatUS starts at $72/year for freshwater and $149 for saltwater.

In addition to having a towing service, boaters should be prepared to keep themselves and any passengers safe if their boat is disabled.

Key tips to keep in mind include:

- Be safe. In life-threatening emergencies, call 911 immediately or use VHF radio channel 16. Know the location of your boat's safety gear and first aid kit.

- Be leak-savvy. If you run aground, immediately look for water intrusion and provide a life jacket for each passenger not already wearing one.

- Be seen. For safety and visibility in the dark, be sure all of your boat's navigation and anchor lights are working.

For more tips and information about what to do if you need on- water assistance, visit BoatUS.com/Towing or call 800-283-2883.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Recent usforacle News Articles

Discuss This Article

GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY

How do you most commonly view stories from the Oracle

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER

TODAY'S PRINT EDITION

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format