Safety at Sea

The mission of BoatWatch.org is to maintain a worldwide network of resources to aid mariners that are missing or overdue; have a boat stolen; or to whom urgent messages need to be relayed.

Safety at Sea

How do the U.S. Coast Guard, SeaTow and Vessel Assist respond to distress calls?

Under what circumstances will the Coast Guard respond to a call rather than deferring to a commercial service? And, does the U.S. Coast Guard ever charge a fee for responding to a distress call? Coast Guard fees are established by federal statute. For the most part these fees are limited to documentation services, vessel inspection and mariner licensing. However, it does not charge a fee to render assistance to a vessel at sea.

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Understanding Emergency Notification Devices

Planning to sail to the US, Europe, or the Caribbean? Before heading out, give thought to your emergency notification devices.

In an offshore emergency, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs), Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Satellite Emergency Locator Devices with SOS functions such as Garmin InReach, SPOT, Globalstar and others, are viable emergency notification devices.

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