NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Summoning BoatUS Towing as Easy as Pressing a Button
With New SPOT Assist Maritime Service
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., December 1, 2009 – It’s a boater’s nightmare. After a long day at the family’s favorite fishing hole, the engine won’t start. You need to get the kids back home, but with dead batteries killing the VHF radio and the cell phone out of range, how will you make the call for a tow? A new service from Spot LLC and BoatUS Towing Services could have you safely back home much sooner than you think.
The new SPOT Assist Maritime service combines satellite messaging communications and GPS technology with the nation’s largest fleet of towboats for recreational boaters, BoatUS Towing Services. SPOT Assist Maritime gives recreational boaters the ability to summon a towboat for non-emergency assistance by pressing the “Help” button on their handheld SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ or SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker™.
By pressing the Help button on the SPOT unit, an automatic communication containing the disabled vessel’s latitude and longitude along with its make, length, color, home marina, owner and family contact information is sent via satellite to the BoatUS 24-hour nationwide dispatch centers, alerting them to the request for urgent on-the-water towing. This GPS location information is critical for a timely towboat response, as the biggest challenge for responding towboat captains is getting accurate location information from a disabled vessel.
In addition, boaters enjoy the suite of features SPOT offers, including a “SOS/911” function that notifies an emergency rescue coordination center of your GPS location, “Check-in/OK” that tells family and friends where you are and that you are okay, a “Track Progress” feature to send and save your boat’s location and allow others to track and plot a real-time course with Google Maps™. Additionally, a “Custom Message” feature for secondary communications is offered with the newer SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger unit.
The BoatUS towing fleet offers North American boaters the largest network of US, Canadian, and Bahamian towing ports with over 290 locations and over 600 TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist towing assistance vessels. Services include on-the-water towing, soft ungrounding, fuel delivery and battery jumpstarts.
SPOT units start at $99.99 plus a $99.99 annual basic SPOT service plan. To add SPOT Assist Maritime costs just $24 for the required BoatUS membership and a $10 SPOT Link connection fee.
With the national average on-the-water boat towing bill costing about $600, boaters can keep their wallets intact by adding a BoatUS Towing Services “Unlimited” towing plan for freshwater lakes and rivers for $34 annually. An “Unlimited” on-the-water towing plan for saltwater is just $125.
SPOT Assist Maritime is not available in Hawaii. BoatUS strongly recommends boaters have a DSC-VHF radio aboard to be able to hail the closest potential rescuers — fellow boaters and the US Coast Guard — in an emergency. For offshore passages, BoatUS also recommends having an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacon).
For more information on SPOT Assist Maritime, visit www.findmespot.com/assist .
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half a million members with government representation, programs and money saving services, including on-the water towing. Last year, the BoatUS towing fleet responded to over 60,000 requests for assistance. For more information visit www.BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.
About Spot LLC:
The SPOT product family uses both the GPS satellite network to determine a customer's location and the SPOT network to transmit that information to friends, family or an emergency service call center. Spot LLC, a subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: GSAT), provides lifesaving communications technology that allows users to communicate from remote locations around the globe. Thanks to this affordable, cutting-edge personal safety device, the company offers people peace of mind by allowing customers to notify friends and family of their location and status, and to send for emergency assistance in time of need, completely independent of cellular phone or wireless coverage. For more information on how Spot LLC is helping users live to tell about it - from disaster preparedness to outdoor adventure purposes - visit www.findmespot.com .