Kelowna company developing mobile marine safety app - InfoNews

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Kelowna company developing mobile marine safety app

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced funding for a new app called Sailing Plan at the Kelowna Yacht Club, Thursday, March 14, 2019.
March 14, 2019 - 11:08 AM

KELOWNA - Whether boaters hit the water for a few hours or a week-long trip, it's important someone on land knows when they're scheduled to dock in case something happens to them on the water. A new app funded by the federal government aims to make scheduling these routes easier than ever.

Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale and Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr announced $595,000 in funding in Kelowna today, March 14, for the mobile app called Sailing Plan. The app, developed by Kelowna-based company LRC Consulting Solutions, will allow boaters to share their routes with rescue and safety professionals.

The funding comes courtesy of the Search and Rescue New Innovation Fund, which supports new tools in the field of search and rescue. The $595,000 grant covers two years of work.

The app lets boaters enter their departure time, three waypoints on their trip, and their expected arrival time. This information will be stored in servers across Canada, so even if the phone falls off the boat, the app will keep working. Boaters will be able to update their travel information in real time as long as they're within cell service.

Once someone reaches their destination, they can access the app to check in. If the app doesn't receive a check in after the scheduled arrival time, search response teams will be notified. Immediate information can often be the difference between life and death if someone is lost at sea.

Minister Goodale said the Rescue Fund is also looking into similar apps for land-based and backcountry travel.

"We're trying to cover all kinds of outdoor adventures," Goodale said.

Fuhr, a pilot, said flight and sailing plans are crucial for travel safety. He hopes the app will make it easier for boaters to sail with security.

Roughly one-third of all water-related deaths in Canada happen while boating, usually involving collision, capsizing, or falling overboard, according to a media release

The app will start a beta test next month and could be ready for use sometime next year.

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