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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018
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Location apps could save your life if you get into trouble on a Christmas walk

The Coast Guard is asking people to use apps on their phone to provide them with specific GPS coordinates.

Image: Irish Coast Guard

THE IRISH COAST Guard wants your number this Christmas – not your phone number though. The Coast Guard has highlighted the benefit of location apps on smartphones for helping to locate people when they have gotten into trouble on the cliffs and beaches along the coast during festive walks.

This can be a busy time of the year for Irish Coast Guard personnel and the information communicated in an emergency call is critical. The Coast Guard said the “where” can be tricky as people with the best intentions can give the location they started off from or are travelling to which could be 10km away from the actual emergency.

“Unlike travelling to a street address access to a cliff or beach tends to be a challenge. Arriving at the right location can save time for our Coast Guard rescue teams, time that could save someone’s life,” the agency said in a statement.

They are asking people who call them to give their GPS co-ordinates which can be easily attained from apps on smartphones.

For iPhone users it’s quick. Open the Compass app and you have your GPS co-ordinates at the bottom (53° 21’ 44”, 6° 3’ 16”).

For Android users, the quickest way is to simply open google maps drop the red pin beside your location, which should be showing on the map, and the GPS co-ordinates eg (53.353353, -6.163957) will appear in a dialogue box.

Source: Howthcoastguard/YouTube

These two apps will give GPS in a different format so callers are asked to tell the control room which app they are using when they give their coordinates.

Phone signal can drop in some coastal areas so the Coast Guard advises people to be prepared to get to the nearest house to phone for help.

Read: ‘A fitting tribute’: Coastguards called to rescue operation at ceremony to remember people lost at sea>

Read: Man rescued from cliff ledge after falling into the sea>

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