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New iPhone app from Coast Guard could ‘save lives’

The app will allow anyone going out to sea, whether it is professionally or for leisure or sport, to let the Coast Guard know in advance.

File photo of the Irish Coast Guard
File photo of the Irish Coast Guard
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A NEW IPHONE app developed for the Irish Coast Guard has the potential to save lives at sea, according to one TD.

The app is currently being tested by a group of sailors, divers, fishermen, powerboat users and pleasure-craft water users from across Ireland. The test group have been asked to test the app in a range of situations and give feedback to developers.

It is hoped the app will encourage anyone going out to sea, whether it is professionally or for leisure or sport, to let the Coast Guard know in advance.

There are plans to develop an app for other smartphone users if uptake is good.

“This new iPhone App being developed is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. As a TD in the maritime constituency of Dublin Bay North, I am very pleased to see technology enhancing the lives of our sea-going community, whether they go to sea for work or for recreational purposes,” said Dublin Bay North Labour Party TD Seán Kenny. “Getting to casualties early is the key for our search and rescue Units. This new App has the potential to get our resources on-scene as quickly as possible which will in turn save lives.”

However, Kenny reminded people that the new technology was not intended to be used as an alternative to VHF radio or emergency beacons. “It is important that before going to sea check local weather conditions and tides in the area and wear correctly maintained and fitting lifejackets that are suitable for the activity…As well as that, ensure your craft is fit for purpose and always advise someone as to where you are going and the time of your intended return,” he said.

“If you do see someone in difficulty in the sea, on the shore, cliffs, lakes or rivers dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.”

It is hoped that the app, which is being developed by the Irish Coast Guard in conjunction with DeCare Systems, will be launched by the end of this year or early 2013.

Read: Lifeboats make two rescues in Sligo in three days>

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