Whether we set out on our boat for a day sail or a spot of fishing, the thought we might get into trouble isn’t top of mind. But what if something does go wrong? Does someone know your plan and when you intended to reach shore?
Canada Coast Guard encourages all recreational boaters to file a trip plan before going out on the water. Much like a flight plan filed by a pilot, a sailing plan is a who, what, when, and where record of a trip you’re taking on the water. Boat captains are supposed to leave a copy of their plan with someone on shore who can contact emergency responders if they’re overdue, in order to guide search and rescue efforts.
Too many skippers fly by the seat of their pants and don’t create a sailing plan or inform an emergency contact of their travel route. Which is where the Sailing Plan™ app comes into play – and better yet – and it’s free (for the first year and 99¢ annually thereafter). The app is for all boaters, supporting captains to comply with federal government regulations requiring the informing of persons on shore about where they are going and when they are due back.
Sailing Plan was developed by Limnology Research Corp. of Kelowna, BC, with initial funding from Public Safety Canada through the Search & Rescue New Innovation Fund, we pulled together industry leaders from across Canada to provide expertise in the creation and design of the app. We consulted with the Canadian Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Transport Canada, the OPP, RCMP, Coast Guard Auxiliary, as well as sailing schools, boating associations, and insurance industry professionals.
Available on both iOS or Android systems, we made the app easy and fast to use – so you don’t have to be a tech genius to work it! When you first launch the app, it requires information about the captain, the vessel, onboard communication equipment, and most importantly, all emergency contacts. Once stored, the information doesn’t need to be entered again. Once the initial set-up is complete, it only takes a few seconds to create a new sailing plan!
The new app doesn’t track your journey, instead it shows your planned route, which will narrow down your location in the event you become overdue. Most importantly, the app can be used by captains operating boats offshore or on inland waters. Also, should a captain not have cell service or wi-fi at the time of escalation (becoming overdue), the data will trigger procedures necessary to conduct search and rescue operations.
Download the app now – it could save your life the next time you’re on the water!