The Coast Guard launched its new official boating safety mobile app Saturday on the Apple and Google Play online stores.
The Coast Guard Mobile App is free and may be used throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin islands.
The new 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 designed to provide additional boating safety resources for mobile device users.
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.
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The app also features an Emergency Assistance button which, with location services enabled, will call the closest Coast Guard command center.
The launch of the app coincides with National Safe Boating Week, May 16 – May 22. National Safe Boating Week is an annual event that encourages all boaters to practice safe boating.
The app was developed over a two-year period along with BastayaPR, a non-profit organization from Puerto Rico. For more information on the app please visithttp://www.uscg.mil/mobile.