May 19, 2010 SPOT News

Archived News:

SPOT Assist Maritime Alerts Boat Towing Services with the Push of a Button

Stranded Boaters Can Notify On-Water Vessel Assistance with SPOT Satellite Messenger Even from Remote Locations or Where Communications are Limited.


TORONTO, ON - (May 19, 2010) – Boaters now have a new way to communicate their need for on-water assistance to help them get home safely.  Globalstar Canada Satellite Co., a leading provider of mobile satellite voice and data services, announced today that SPOT Assist Maritime, a new on-water boat towing communication service is now available in British Columbia and on the Great Lakes.  SPOT Assist Maritime combines GPS and satellite-message communications with BoatU.S. Towing services and North America’s largest fleet of towboats for recreational boaters.


Boaters who purchase SPOT Assist Maritime service can request a towboat for non-emergency assistance when pressing the “Help” button on their handheld SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ or SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker™, independent of cellular coverage and VHF radio.


The SPOT Assist communication containing the disabled vessel’s latitude and longitude along with its make, length, color, home marina, owner and family contact information is sent via satellite from the SPOT unit to the 24-hour dispatch centers, alerting them to the request for on-the-water towing.


“The biggest challenge for responding towboat captains is getting accurate location information from a disabled vessel,” states Jerry Cardarelli, Vice President of BoatU.S. Towing Services. “SPOT Assist Maritime provides our dispatch centers with up-to-date GPS location information every five minutes which is critical for helping ensure a speedy response.”


“SPOT technology already allows our customers to send pre-defined messages to family and friends,” said Jim Mandala, General Manager, Globalstar Canada.  “The addition of SPOT Assist Maritime, now provides the boating community with a dedicated means to notify vessel towing services of their location.  We feel the timing of the launch of SPOT Assist Maritime couldn’t be better with Safe Boating Awareness Week starting this week in Canada just in time for what will be for many, the first long weekend of the summer”.


SPOT Messenger products also allow for multiple messaging options such as sending

“Check-in/OK” message to personal contacts or transmitting near real-time tracking updates for online viewing.  In a life-threatening emergency, pressing the SOS/911 button instead of the Help button will alert SPOT’s global emergency rescue coordination center.


The BoatU.S. towing fleet offers North American boaters the largest network of U.S., British Columbia, Great Lakes 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 for Maritime is not available in Hawaii or other provinces of Canada.  BoatU.S. strongly recommends boaters have a DSC-VHF radio aboard to be able to hail the closest potential rescuers — fellow boaters and the Coast Guard— in an emergency. For offshore passages, BoatU.S. also recommends having an EPIRB aboard.

For more information on SPOT Assist Maritime including tow coverage areas, visit or

Pricing and Availability

SPOT Messenger products start at $99.99 plus a $99.99 annual Basic Service Plan. Adding SPOT Assist Maritime costs just $24 for the required BoatU.S. membership and a $10 SPOT Link connection fee.  Optional services such as Track Progress can also be purchased.

Boaters can keep their wallets intact by adding a BoatU.S Towing Services “Unlimited” towing plan for freshwater lakes and rivers for $34 annually.  An “Unlimited” on-the-water towing plan for saltwater is just $125.

About BoatU.S.:

BoatU.S. provides its over half a million members with programs and money saving services, including on-the water towing. Last year, the BoatU.S. towing fleet responded to over 60,000 requests for assistance from recreational boaters across North America.  For more information visit or call 800-888-4869.


About SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger ™

The SPOT product family uses both the GPS satellite network to determine a customer's location and the SPOT network to transmit that information to friends, family or an emergency service call center.  Thanks to this affordable, cutting-edge personal safety device, the company offers people peace of mind by allowing customers to notify friends and family of their location and status, and to send for emergency assistance in time of need, completely independent of cellular phone or wireless coverage. For more information on how SPOT is helping users live to tell about it - from disaster preparedness to outdoor adventure purposes - visit

About Globalstar Canada Satellite Co.

Globalstar offers satellite voice and data services to commercial and recreational users in more than 120 countries around the world. The Company's products include mobile and fixed satellite telephones, simplex and duplex satellite data modems and flexible service packages. Many land based and maritime industries benefit from Globalstar with increased productivity from remote areas beyond cellular and landline service. Global customer segments include: oil and gas, government, mining, forestry, commercial fishing, utilities, military, transportation, heavy construction, emergency preparedness, and business continuity as well as individual recreational users. Globalstar data solutions are ideal for various asset and personal tracking, data monitoring and SCADA applications. For more information, visit



Notes to Reporters:


High-resolution photos of SPOT Satellite Messenger Products are available at  High-resolution photos of BoatU.S. VESSEL ASSIST towboats are available by contacting Scott Croft at

SPOT LLC Media Contacts:

Derek Moore


(408) 933-4112


BoatU.S. Media Contact:

Scott Croft


(703) 461-2864