It’s every boater’s nightmare. After a long day at the family’s favorite fishing hole, the engine won’t start. 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? A new service from Spot LLC and Boat U.S. could have you safely back home much sooner than you think.
The new SPOT Assist Maritime service combines satellite messaging communications and GPS technology with the nation’s largest fleet of towboats for recreational boaters, BoatU.S. Towing Services. SPOT Assist 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 Satellite Personal Tracker™.
By pressing the Help button on the SPOT unit, an automatic 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 to the BoatU.S. 24-hour nationwide dispatch centers, alerting them to the request for urgent on-the-water towing. This GPS location information is critical for a timely towboat response, as the biggest challenge for responding towboat captains is getting accurate location information from a disabled vessel.
Boaters are able to enjoy the suite of features SPOT offers, including a “SOS/911” message alert to an International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center with the SPOT owner’s GPS location updated at five minute intervals. The new SPOT units also offer a “Check-in/OK” function that tells family and friends where you are and that you are okay, a “Track Progress” feature to send and save your boat’s location and allow others to track and plot a real-time course with Google Maps™. Additionally, a “Custom Message” feature is offered for secondary communications.
“We are committed to providing reliable satellite messaging communications for our customers when they need it most,” said Katie Schoeben, Global Marketing Director, Spot LLC. “The new SPOT offers continued emergency notification technology and provides users everyday features and services available at a fraction of the cost of other satellite-based communications devices.”
Since market introduction, the SPOT product line has initiated hundreds of rescues in more than 51 countries and at sea. Spot Adventures: Every day is an adventure. Share yours.
Pricing and Availability
The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger retails for $169.99 USD with an annual service plan starting at $99.99.
To add SPOT Assist Maritime costs just $24 for the required BoatU.S. membership and a $10 SPOT Link connection fee.
With the national average on-the-water boat towing bill costing about $600, 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.
For more information on how SPOT LLC is helping users live to tell about it(SM) - from disaster preparedness to outdoor adventure purposes – visit www.findmespot.com.