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New app aims to improve boating safety

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | A Shelter Island Police Department boat under way four.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | A Shelter Island Police Department boat under way.

The United States Coast Guard is starting National Safe Boating Week, May 16-22, with a kickoff Saturday of its newly developed boating safety app available from both Google Play and Apple.The new app features an emergency assistance button to call the nearest Coast Guard command center.

When users enable “location services” on the app, they can receive updated weather reports from the closest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather buoys and  can report hazards in the water.

The app also includes:

• Calling features to report pollution or suspicious activity

• State boating information

• A safety equipment check

• Free boating safety check requests

• Navigation rules

• Float plans

The app was developed during a two-year period with BastayaPR, a nonprofit organization based in Puerto Rico.
More information on the app is available online from www.uscg.mil/mobile or by calling Lt. Anastacia Visneski at 202-372-4648.

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