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inReach can now call for TowBoatUS assistance

Date Reported: May 24, 2012

Reported by: Mike Ahart, News Editor

inReachAn agreement has been reached to offer BoatUS members easier access to the new inReach two-way personal satellite tracking, locating, messaging and SOS alerting devices. This means when members can't use their cell phone or VHF radio to call for a tow, they can rely on the satellite-based DeLorme inReach to quickly summon on-the-water assistance.

Under the agreement, BoatUS members will be able to program their contact and vessel information into the inReach device which will save valuable time when dispatching a TowBoatUS or Vessel Assist towboat. Once the response is initiated, GPS tracking information will be fed automatically to the BoatUS 24-hour dispatch centers, greatly reducing response times, and allowing the tow boat to keep track of the vessel if it is drifting.

The inReach product, which won the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Innovation Award at the 2012 Miami International Boat Show, provides two-way data links anywhere on the face of the globe in less than 60 seconds using the Iridium satellite network. The device transmits its position coordinates at programmable intervals, allowing families and friends to view your boat's location and "bread-crumb trail" on a web map display. In addition, the two-way data connection permits them to "ping" the unit at any time to get an update.

"Another feature available to any inReach user is the built-in two-step SOS button that immediately initiates a distress call to the GEOS International Emergency Rescue Coordinating Center and gives a visual indication that the message has been received," said Patrick Shay, Delorme vice president and general manager for Connected Solutions. "The two-way inReach communicator helps take the ‘search' out of search-and-rescue by giving constant updates of the subscriber's current GPS position coordinates. It also allows search-and-rescue authorities to communicate with the vessel in distress to ensure that it is not an accidental activation, determine the nature of the emergency and reassure the sender that help is on the way."

inReach has also launched a free mobile app converts your smartphone into a global two-way texting device when outside cellular and VHF marine band radio coverage. The free Earthmate app also allows you to download DeLorme terrain maps and NOAA nautical charts to the mobile device. Read full press release...

Source: WG Staff

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