Boaters Can Notify BoatU.S. On-Water Vessel Services Regardless of Remote Locations or Limited Communication with SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger
MIAMI, FL - (February 12, 2009) – SPOT LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NASDAQ: GSAT) and a leader in personal satellite messaging communications today announced it has signed an agreement with BoatU.S., the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters and BoatU.S. Towing Services. The agreement provides increased service options for SPOT Assist customers, targeted to improve boater communication using the award-winning SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™. SPOT Assist will now offer integrated on-the-water towing benefits in partnership with BoatU.S. SPOT is showcasing its products and maritime services this week at the Miami Boat Show in booth number 1905 located in the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The new on-water towing service option will be available using the recently announced SPOT Assist service. SPOT Assist integrates optional third party services such as roadside assistance or boat towing. SPOT Assist will offer North American SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger users 24 hour, 7 day a week service benefits beginning later this spring.
“The boating community has been using the SPOT Satellite Messenger for peace-of-mind, tracking their voyages and communicating with their families while offshore,” said Tom Colby, chief operating officer of Globalstar Inc., and president of SPOT LLC. “Boaters tell us they have a need for reliable non-emergency assistance as well, such as when an engine won’t start or when a battery dies. Today’s announcement addresses these concerns by expanding SPOT Assist to include BoatU.S. 24/hour on-the-water towing dispatch services for recreational boaters, helping to ensure quick response for our customers and BoatU.S. members.”
SPOT Satellite Messenger sends your GPS location over a reliable global satellite network to friends and family from virtually any location around the world independent of cellular networks or radio communication. The partnership between SPOT and BoatU.S. Towing Services will allow boaters aboard to simply press the “Help” button on the SPOT device which will notify BoatU.S.’s 24/hour towing dispatch centers of their GPS position every five minutes for one hour.
“Our TowBoatU.S. and VESSEL ASSIST towing fleet handles over 60,000 requests for on the water assistance from recreational boaters each year,” said Vice President of BoatU.S. Towing Services Jerry Cardarelli. “Our biggest challenge is getting accurate location information from a disabled vessel. Also, too many boaters don’t have a VHF radio aboard and rely on cell phones as their only way of communicating. Cell phone coverage is often spotty offshore, and doesn’t do well in some coastal areas. SPOT gives us the information to reduce response times and get the disabled boat back to its homeport or launch ramp.”
The BoatU.S. towing fleet offers North American boaters the largest network of U.S., Canadian and Bahamian towing ports with over 290 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels — three times that of any other service provider. Services include on-the-water towing, soft ungrounding, fuel delivery and jumpstarts.
SPOT Assist allows SPOT customers the benefit from a complete GPS-based safety system which includes functions that transmit messages via communication satellites based on varying levels of need:
Help notifies SPOT Assist third party services like BoatU.S. 24/hour dispatch centers or national roadside response centers of your GPS location
Check In lets contacts know where you are and that you are okay
Track Progress sends and saves your location and allows contacts to track your progress using Google Maps™
Alert 9-1-1 notifies an emergency rescue coordination center of your GPS location*
*For offshore passages, BoatU.S. also recommends having an EPIRB aboard.
Since its introduction in December 2007, the SPOT Satellite Messenger has transmitted more than five million messages world-wide including non-emergency “peace-of-mind” and “track me” messages.
Pricing and Availability
SPOT Satellite Messenger generally retails for $169.99 or less. SPOT Assist is available in two service offerings — BoatU.S. Towing Services and national roadside assistance — and includes unlimited basic SPOT service. SPOT Assist with BoatU.S. Towing is scheduled to be available in spring of 2009 at www.findmespot.com. Service pricing for 24/hour on-the-water towing dispatch starts at $19 annually which includes basic BoatU.S. membership and can be upgraded to include additional service levels up to Unlimited Towing on Freshwater and Saltwater.
BoatU.S. – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 600,000 members with government representation, programs and money saving services, including on-the-water towing assistance provided by BoatU.S. Towing Services. For more information, visit www.BoatUS.com.