I thought I’d update this entry on ‘Safetrx’, the app from the RYA that allows us to be tracked, but we’re out on the water to escape right???? . Do we forget to leave details as to where we are going and when we plan to be back? What options there are to remedy this? Most of my leisure boating is fairly local and for a while I think I became a bit too relaxed. I assumed everything would be ok. I neglected to tell anyone I was heading out, assuming I would always be able to look after myself. It’s a careful balance when we’re afloat, many of us head out on our boats to avoid technology, ringing phones and other life pressures. Part of the appeal is the ability to run away and hide where no one can find us. But where does this leave us if something were to go wrong?
The image here shows a track of our school boat one night on an exercise that took it right round the back of the islands in the harbour, great experience for the students and well within the abilities and confidence of the instructor but still very dark and maybe into black spots for radio and communications, if the boat hadn’t come back on time, we’d know where it last was and when…..
CG66 – the ‘old’ scheme
Since I started teaching RYA Powerboat Level 2 and the VHF / SRC course, I have been vocal about the importance of the Voluntary Coastguard Safety Registration Scheme known as CG66. You were able to register you craft details along with emergency contacts and even upload a picture of your boat, canoe etc. That way people knew what they were searching for. This scheme had great benefits – if you were genuinely missing the coastguard knew what they were looking for. It enabled your family to make a call to say you were overdue even with little knowledge of boating & the coastguard already had your details. Equally if your craft was found without you on the coastguard would start by calling you. This enabled them to see if it was a boat adrift from a mooring or were people missing.
However, yesterday we received notification that no new registrations will now be accepted on the CG66 scheme – so what next?
SafeTrx – the ‘new’ scheme
For those who already have their boats registered on CG66, the scheme should continue to operate for the next two years. However, it makes sense to move towards their new scheme which is open to everyone. They have teamed up with the RYA to provide a scheme that not only offers registration but also options to log passage plans etc. Its worth having a look at this link https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hm-coastguard-adopts-rya-safetrx-as-new-safety-id-scheme to understand what is happening.
The new scheme is the RYA SafeTrx scheme and more details can be found here – RYA SafeTrx Scheme In addition to registering your boat information, you can also use it for individual boating trips to notify emergency contacts if you’re overdue. There is lots of other local information too with useful phone numbers and VHF channel numbers. It also includes safety information with advice on navigation marks and weather information.
This scheme does not replace the need for other safety kit such as VHF radio, PLBs etc!!
If you’re new to boating or this information has made you think about training then please contact us. We will happily discuss the most appropriate options for you. One of our most popular courses is the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course. This course covers safety equipment and passage planning as well as practical skills.
I downloaded the app yesterday and will let you know how I get on. Anyone else already using it? What feedback do you have?