Free Coast Guard app tracks boating conditions on Great Lakes
May 23, 2019 04:15PM
By Brandon Champion of mlive.com - May 23, 2019
Summertime unofficially kicks off Memorial Day Weekend.
That means camping, bonfires, baseball, barbeques, boating and more, but it also means more people heading out onto the Great Lakes, which can sometimes be dangerous. Knowing when it’s safe to go boating can help limit these risks.
Fortunately, thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard, there’s a free app for that. The Coast Guard Boating Safety App allows prospective boaters to click on NOAA weather buoys and retrieve current information for that specific location about the air temperature, wind speed and more.
Using the app, boaters can also find the latest safety regulations, request a vessel safety check, file a float plan, report hazards, pollution and suspicious activity and request emergency assistance.
The 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 mainly designed to provide additional boating safety resources for mobile device users.
The app is self-contained, so personal information is stored on the phone and is not sent to the Coast Guard unless the user chooses to send it.
The Coast Guard does not track a user's location, and the app does not track a user's location unless the app is being used.