New Boat Assistance Technology Is On The SPOT

Paddle boaters are being used to having VHF radios and sometimes cellular phones to require assistance, especially anglers fishing much offshore and often away of hailing distance of other boaters. Benny Cenac

The problem in North Carolina’s just offshore waters (and for other states with access to deep saltwater) is problems with marine radios often accompany being out of VHF range or cell-phone relay towers. 

Now a brand new technology called SPOT Aid Maritime is available that can put pleasure paddle boaters and anglers far away to sea in contact with shore-based rescue organizations, even if out of connection with familiar communications systems.

Called SPOT, the service is satellite-based and electrical relays a sign from fishing boat to shore. It provides exact GPS coordinates along with a name, contact information, plus type and color of boat.

“When VHF (radio) and cellular phones are unavailable, the location satellite-based service is able to summon a towboat for non-emergency assistance miles offshore, ” BoatUS Towing Services’ Jerry Cardarelli said in a reports release. “That’s a valuable communications tool to add to any boater’s resource. ”

SPOT units start at $99. 99 along with a $99. 99 twelve-monthly PLACE service plan. BoatUS offers towboat plans for waterways and for saltwater paddle boaters and may add a hyperlink to SPOT for an one-time $10 fee.

The service worked well two times within the last month during two incidents off the Florida coast if a pair of offshore motorboats were disabled vessels a long way far from land in the Gulf and SPOT was able to direct towboats to them.

Inside the first incident on Come july 1st 4, a Tarpon Spring suspensions TowBoatUS captain received a call from the service’s dispatch center that said a boater was seeking help from a location 25 miles outside Anclote Key. The TowBoat chief, using SPOT directions, received accurate GPS coordinates as well as other key advice about the vessel in distress. If this individual arrived he found 3 anglers in a 17-foot center-console fishing vessel with a dead engine. The engine had quit on them a long time before they got their chosen fishing location, which was 60 kilometers offshore. The TowBoat team was able to bring the anglers back to shore safely.

All the anglers had to do was hit the “Help” button on their hand held SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger to send an intelligent message to shore supplying their location.

Then, in the early morning several hours of July 12, an angler in a 30-foot power catamaran asked for assistance 52 miles precisely what is from Tarpon Springs. A BoatUS call-center dispatcher advised the U. S. Coastline Guard, which sent a helicopter to check away the problem and determine the safety of the catamaran’s crew. Once that was ascertained, a TowBoatUS chief from Tarpon Springs going out to retrieve the cat and crew, which had a broken lower unit.

BoatUS services and SPOT are available in the continental United Claims, British Columbia and some areas of northern Mexico and the Bahamas.