By Andrew ‘Korg’ Jarvis
I have recently been invited by Albany Sea rescue to be involved in the trial of a new safety initiative – an app-based system called Deckee.
They are trialing a link that when you sign on to the Deckee app via your phone for a day on the water it will automatically log you on to Albany Sea Rescue’s computer.
Then they can monitor it like you had logged in via your VHF radio.
I can see this being especially being popular with some of the younger boaters as they seem to find it a bit slow to log on the radio, especially if they don’t have an Albany mariner number.
Below is what the Department of Transport (DoT) had to say about it.
Deckee is a free app that places vital safety information for WA waterways at people’s fingertips as they prepare to and spend time on the water.
Following the completion of a tender process in 2019, DoT formed a partnership with Deckee to enhance the WA marine information available on its free platform.
The initiative is one part of a larger DoT strategy to reduce incidents and fatalities on the water and make waterways safer.
The app provides location-based data including navigation aids, speed zones and webcams in an interactive format, which will not only inform skippers while they are out on the water, but it will also give DoT insights into boating behaviour.
Information to plan a safe day on the water is also available including safety equipment requirements, public mooring locations, jetties, ski area boundaries, boat ramp locations and more.
The app also provides direct access to weather forecasts and its many handy tools are suited to those who are on the water for recreation, those working in the marine sector and others in the broader community.
Safety information at your fingertips:
· Your vessel’s position
· Detailed weather forecasts
· Boat ramps, courtesy and emergency mooring locations
· Speed zones, powerlines and activity areas
· Port and marine park boundaries
· Receive safety alerts
· Reminders for safety equipment and registration
· Find a GPS validation marker
· Access Department of Transport coast cams
· Distance measuring and bearing tool
· Find a safe boating display location and facility
· Official WA maritime safety information hub
· Interact with other users with tips and warnings in real time
Deckee was born through a Boating Companion Innovation Challenge run by NSW Maritime in 2017, where app developers were asked to create an app that covered a scope of work based around discussions of the Australian, New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group.
Since the innovation challenge, NSW and Tasmania have been sharing real time specific information with their waterway users and all other States have been sharing general boating information.
Deckee can be used throughout Australia.
It is important to note that Sea Rescue monitoring it in Albany is only a trial at the moment and if it proves to be a success I will let you all know through my weekly column in the Weekender that it is up and running.