Just a quick blog today thinking about whether we become more relaxed as our boating progresses and forget to leave details as to where we are going and when we plan to be back and what options there are to remedy this. Most of my leisure boating is fairly local as I love our local harbour and for a while I think I became a bit too relaxed about assuming everything would be ok and forgetting 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 and part of the appeal is the ability to run away and hide where no one can find us but what if something were to go wrong?
On a couple of occasions I have either been the boat back later than planned or I have been waiting for a boat to appear that was overdue. At what point do we call the Coastguard? What information would we have to give the coastguard? How would they know where to start making enquiries?
What if you notice a trolley left in the dinghy park or a bag left in the sailing club when you’d expect everyone to be ashore?
CG66 – the ‘old’ scheme
Since 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 so that 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, if a family member made a call to say you were overdue but knew nothing about boating the coastguard already had your details and equally if your craft was found without you on the coastguard would start by calling you to see if it was a boat adrift from a mooring or missing people they needed to search for. 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 email suggests that the scheme will 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 and lots of other local information too with useful phone numbers and VHF channel numbers. there is also lots of 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 feel this information has made you think about training then please contact us to discuss the most appropriate options for you. One of our most popular courses is the RYA Powerboat Level 2 course on which we discuss 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?