Thanks to Captain Richard Rodriguez for alerting us to this:
It’s a boater’s nightmare. The engine won’t start after a long day spent at the family’s favorite offshore fishing spot.
You need to get the kids back home, but with dead batteries killing the VHF radio and the cell phone out of range, how will you make the call for a tow?
The new SPOT Assist for Maritime service mates personal satellite messaging communications and GPS technology with the nation’s largest fleet of towboats for recreational boaters, BoatU.S. Towing Services.
“SPOT Assist for Maritime” gives recreational boaters the ability to summon a towboat for non-emergency assistance by pressing the “help” button on their handheld SPOT Satellite GPS messenger or SPOT Personal Tracker.
By pressing the help button on the SPOT unit, an automatic communication containing the disabled vessel’s make, length, color, home marina, owner details, family contacts, latitude and longitude location information is sent via satellite to the BoatU.S. 24-hour nationwide dispatch centers, alerting them to the request for on-the-water towing.
This GPS location information is critical for a timely towboat response, as the biggest challenge for responding captains is getting accurate location information from a disabled vessel.
In addition, boaters can enjoy the suite of features SPOT offers, including:
“Check-in/OK” that allows family and friends know where you are and that you are okay.
“Track Progress” sends your boat’s location to others while plotting your water adventure on Google Maps.
“Custom Message” for secondary communications is offered with the newer SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger unit
“SOS/911″ function that notifies an emergency rescue coordination center of your GPS location
A BoatU.S. Membership and “Unlimited” towing plan for freshwater lakes and rivers, is only $58 a year. An Unlimited BoatU.S. saltwater towing plan is only $149.
BoatU.S. Members can purchase SPOT Assist for only $10 to get connected in a whole new way to the 24 Hour towing services they enjoy with their Membership.
*SPOT Assist for Maritime is available throughout inland waters and coastal North America, however not available in Hawaii. BoatUS considers SPOT units a valuable communication, tracking and locating tool, but encourages equipping your boat with a 406 Mhz EPIRB and VHF/DSC Marine Radio for emergency on the water communication scenarios.