There are sooooo many apps out there.* But here’s one app created by the U.S. Coast Guard that you should seriously consider if you spend time in a boat.
As the nation’s recreational boating safety coordinator, the Coast Guard’s mission is to minimize loss of life, personal injury, property damage, and environmental harm. Their boating safety program involves public education programs, regulation of boat design and construction, approval of boating safety equipment, and vessel safety checks for compliance with federal and state safety requirements. The Coast Guard Mobile App supports these missions by providing the essential services and information most commonly requested by boaters.
Features of the app include: state boating information; a safety equipment checklist; free boating safety check requests; navigation rules; float plans; and calling features to report pollution or suspicious activity. When location services are enabled, users can receive the latest weather reports from the closest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather buoys as well as report the location of a hazard on the water.
The app also features an Emergency Assistance button which, with locations services enabled, will call the closest Coast Guard command center.
The Boating Safety Mobile app was not designed to replace a boater’s marine VHF radio, which the Coast Guard strongly recommends all boaters have aboard their vessels. The app was mainly designed to provide additional boating safety resources for mobile device users.
The app is self-contained, so personal information is stored on the phone and is not sent to the Coast Guard unless the user chooses to send it. The Coast Guard does not track a user’s location, and the app does not track a user’s location unless the app is being used.
The app is available for both iOS and Android platforms. To download the app, search for it in your app store or click here.
*Only about one-third of smartphone owners download any apps in an average month, with the bulk of those downloading one to three apps. The top 7% of smartphone owners account for “nearly half of all download activity in a given month,” comScore reports.