USA: Coast Guard to Improve Response to On-Water 911 Calls

A large number of recreational boaters use cell phones to call 911, even if the call might not be routed to the coast guard.

Published 4 years ago

With so many recreational boaters using their cell phones to call 911 for on-water emergencies,  Coast Guard procedures are now going to be updated to make sure these calls are routed correctly.

In the past, agencies have encouraged boaters to use their VHF to call for help. The problem with using a phone instead of VHF is calls to 911 are not directly sent through to the Coast Guard—causing delays in getting help to boaters.

However new provisions in the 2018 Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization of Act will require the Coast Guard to “formulate a national maritime Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) policy.” This will ensure that the emergency calls routed through one of the 6000 PSAPS centres will reach the proper emergency service.

See the story reported by Chesapeake Bay Magazine for more details.

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