Maritime Education and Safety Equipment Essentials Designed to Improve Recreational Boating Safety
MILPITAS, CA - (April 8, 2009) – SPOT LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NASDAQ: GSAT) and a leader in personal satellite messaging and emergency communications, today announced its ‘Seven Safety Tips’ campaign - a public safety message designed to improve recreational boater safety.
SPOT’s Seven Safety Tips aims to educate and remind boaters about boating safety and the advantages of adding a SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ to their safety equipment kit.
Reliable safety equipment, a float plan, and understanding shifts in weather conditions are critical for recreational boaters’ safety. According to the Coast Guard's most recent report on recreational boating in 2007, capsizing is one of the leading boating accidents. Officials report there were 398 accidents from capsizing, causing 204 deaths and 284 injuries in 2007. To remain safe on any body of water, Coast Guard officials stress having the proper safety equipment and being wary of changes in the weather.
“Boating season is upon us and with May designated as National Boating Safety Month, it’s important for Boaters to be well-prepared before heading out on the water,” said Darren Bassel, director of global marketing of SPOT LLC.
SPOT recommends the following safety tips for boaters:
1. Complete a Float Plan and communicate your float plan with family and friends For more information visit www.floatplancentral.org
2. Activate “Tracking” on your SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ prior to departing. It is recommended that you carry SPOT on your Life Jacket Personal Flotation Device while on the boat or have it easily accessible in case of an emergency.
3. Wear proper Life Jackets - Life Jackets and other flotation devices must be U.S. Coast Guard approved, in good serviceable condition, and of suitable size for the each person on the boat.
4. Be equipped with U.S.C.G. Approved Visual Distress Signals
5. Complete an authorized Vessel Safety Check (for more information visit www.vesselsafetycheck.org)
6. Compliment your safety equipment kit with a registered, water-activated emergency position indicating locator beacon (EPIRB) for your boat.
“Our search and rescue controllers respond to distress notifications coming from the SPOT global emergency response center with the same three emergency phase classifications (Uncertainty, Alert, or Distress) as other incoming calls for assistance,” said Lieutenant Commander Kathy Niles from the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Search and Rescue. “The value of satellite emergency notification and locating devices such as SPOT is that they provide the rescuers with amplifying information from the start such as a GPS location which can significantly reduce the geographic area needed to search, allowing for a rapid rescue attempt.” She also said “It’s imperative that people are familiar with all safety equipment they carry so that they know how to use it when in a distress situation.”
At just over seven ounces in weight, the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger floats and is water-resistant, making it ideal for any maritime or fresh water boater, especially those who venture outside the range of cell phones or radio transmission. SPOT features four function keys that transmit messages based on varying levels of need:
Alert 9-1-1 notifies an emergency response center of your GPS location
Ask for Help sends a request for help with your location to friends or family
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™
SPOT can provide the user’s GPS location co-ordinates directly to the GEOS emergency response center every 5 minutes to help ensure a timely rescue attempt. The updated position reports that the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger can provide may be critical especially when drifting in strong currents. In tracking mode, SPOT sends and saves the user’s location waypoints so there is a record of the user’s last known location.
In addition to SPOT’s emergency service, the SPOT Assist service platform will soon offer non-emergency boating services including integration with BoatU.S. Towing Services. SPOT Assist will offer BoatU.S. services including 24 hour assistance 7 days a week with access to over 500 boats and 280 ports coast to coast. Services will include on-water vessel towing, soft-ungroundings, fluid delivery and jumpstarts. SPOT Assist including BoatU.S. services is scheduled to be available later this spring.