Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

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owen_h
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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by owen_h » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:32 pm

One of the comments above mentioned that you might need to be a member of the RYA to download the app in the UK. That isn't the case now and hasn't been for at least a year. I'm not a current or previous member of the RYA and didn't need to join when I downloaded it ~ a year ago. I do seem to remember I had to register with them to get all the features but there was no charge (and I haven't had any marketing or other contact). This would be so that your and your craft details can be centrally stored.

My speculation (and it is just speculation) is that the RYA provides the server and associated infrastructure that the user & craft details, passage plans etc are stored on and is made accessible by the UK SAR authorities in the event of emergencies.

Personally found the app to be very good and both I and my brother (who has a 21ft sailing cruiser) use it for all of out trips.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by MikeB » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:01 pm

I don't regard the sport of kayaking (or canoeing) as being "boating".

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:05 pm

A few days ago I was talking to one of the Solway Sector coastguards about SafeTRX.

The coastguards like it as it encourages people to make a float plan and leave it with their shore contact who is the person who will ultimately raise the alarm if the water user is unable to do so themselves. It was developed by an Irish technology company called called DeCare Systems Ireland. It is licensed worldwide and in different countries it is licensed by the official coastguard, voluntary coastguard, voluntary rescue services or boating associations etc. In the UK it is licensed by the RYA who also pay for storage of permanent and transient data on a cloud based server called Rockspace. The RYA probably also pays for the SafeTrx Monitoring Console which is how the coastguard access the system (though my contact was not entirely sure about this). Whatever, in the UK, RYA members fund the SafeTRX system on behalf of all water users whether they are members of the RYA or not.

With regard to who represents water users; as a windsurfer, dinghy sailor, RIBer, former yachtsman, sea fisherman, sea kayaker, SUPer, SOTer, surfskier and canoeist, I have been a member of the RYA since the late '70s and the SCA/BC since the late 90's. My personal opinion is the the RYA has done far more for me than the SCA/BC in respect of maintaining my navigational rights, access to the water, protection from unnecessary legislation, environmental concerns etc. Although the RYA is heavily into supporting competition and especially so the Olympic branches of boating, it is still very supportive of their recreational touring members' needs in a way that I do not see in the SCA/BC.

As an example, a few years ago, a local sea food processor wanted to fix oyster cages over most of the flat sandy bottom of tidal Fleet Bay in the Solway Firth. They argued that local employment opportunities would outweigh any navigational disadvantages for recreational boats because at high tide the cages would be covered by several meters of water. As a windsurfer and kayaker I often navigate across Fleet Bay when there is less than a metre of water over the bottom. My navigation rights would have been severely curtailed by this plan. I contacted the RYA and the SCA. I got an immediate reply from the RYA who already knew about the plan and were planning to object. I was able to fill them in with extra local knowledge. They submitted a formal objection to the plan which was turned down and the sands are free to this day. I never heard back from the SCA.

Personally I think the RYA does a far better job of representing water users and I think that it is kayakers' and canoeists' loss that we are represented by a much weaker organisation.

Douglas

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by pathbrae » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:25 pm

Interesting comments Douglas. I'm also an RYA member - but it had never occurred to me that they would respond to any kayaking issues. I'll bear that in mind if I ever come across any problems in future.

My reservations about the SafeTrx app are due to it's reliance on smart phones. I've used it while sailing but that's not a problem as I can get a bit of shelter to use my phone but I wouldn't consider using it in a kayak. My phone doesn't work if the screen or my hands are wet, there's no way of fixing a tether to it to prevent it getting lost if I drop it (although there was on the previous model of the same phone) and the likelihood of being outwith mobile phone coverage is huge when kayaking.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:02 am

I agree, I do not use SafeTRX when paddling either.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Allan Olesen » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:24 am

pathbrae wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:25 pm
My reservations about the SafeTrx app are due to it's reliance on smart phones. I've used it while sailing but that's not a problem as I can get a bit of shelter to use my phone but I wouldn't consider using it in a kayak. My phone doesn't work if the screen or my hands are wet, there's no way of fixing a tether to it to prevent it getting lost if I drop it (although there was on the previous model of the same phone) and the likelihood of being outwith mobile phone coverage is huge when kayaking.
Am I misunderstanding the purpose of this app?

I thought the purposes were:
  • Registration of a planned route before the trip
  • Tracking during the trip
For the first purpose, you need neither phone coverage nor access to your phone during the trip.
For the second purpose, you need phone coverage, but not access to your phone during the trip.

When I am kayaking, I always have a phone stowed away in a hatch, connected to a power bank and running a tracking app. This way my family can always see where I am, as long as I have phone coverage (and they can see where I was when I latest had phone coverage). I don't have to care about wet hands, wet screen or tethering, because ... the phone is stowed away in a hatch.

If SafeTRX was supported where I live, I would probably use that instead for the same purpose.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Northern Blue » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:36 am

Allan Olesen wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:24 am
pathbrae wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:25 pm
My reservations about the SafeTrx app are due to it's reliance on smart phones. I've used it while sailing but that's not a problem as I can get a bit of shelter to use my phone but I wouldn't consider using it in a kayak. My phone doesn't work if the screen or my hands are wet, there's no way of fixing a tether to it to prevent it getting lost if I drop it (although there was on the previous model of the same phone) and the likelihood of being outwith mobile phone coverage is huge when kayaking.
Am I misunderstanding the purpose of this app?

I thought the purposes were:
  • Registration of a planned route before the trip
  • Tracking during the trip
For the first purpose, you need neither phone coverage nor access to your phone during the trip.
For the second purpose, you need phone coverage, but not access to your phone during the trip.

When I am kayaking, I always have a phone stowed away in a hatch, connected to a power bank and running a tracking app. This way my family can always see where I am, as long as I have phone coverage (and they can see where I was when I latest had phone coverage). I don't have to care about wet hands, wet screen or tethering, because ... the phone is stowed away in a hatch.

If SafeTRX was supported where I live, I would probably use that instead for the same purpose.
I use the app every time I go out on the water in exactly that manner, I start it tracking just before setting off and cancel it on reaching my get out. The phone isn’t touched during the paddle and stays in it’s waterproof bag in my drysuit chest pocket.

It sends an alert to my emergency contact if I’m late and they can also follow my progress at any point, should they wish, as well as the Coastguard being able to see my current position, once alerted.

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