CG66, the MCA’s voluntary safety and identification scheme for leisure craft ended at the end of March 2020. RYA SafeTrx, a more advanced internet-based system with a handy mobile app, has replaced it! This new scheme is also suitable for all watersports, like kayaking and kitesurfing, as well as boats. Importantly, there is no plan to migrate existing registered CG66 data across to the new SafeTrx register.
Registered users of the CG66 scheme now need to sign up for the SafeTrx scheme in the same way as new users. The RYA SafeTrx is a similar Search and Rescue (SAR) database, but with improved communication and data options. It can also monitor for safe arrival on planned passages and set automatic alert procedures if required. Although managed by the RYA the scheme is free and open to all watersport users, you do not need to be a member of the RYA to use it.
Even if you don’t intend on sailing in UK waters it is still worth registering details of your vessel with RYA SafeTrx. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will assist local Search and Rescue (SAR) authorities with the details you have registered when appropriate. The signal from an activated EPIRB or PLB anywhere in the world will trigger an alert to the MCA. They will then look to see what information and assistance it can give to the local SAR authority.
This app is available to anyone who wants to be safer afloat. It is free to download and there are no charges to use it. Users can enter their journey details directly from a smartphone and plan a trip with a set arrival time. If they don’t arrive by the time given, a nominated emergency contact will be alerted and initiate appropriate action.
Where an emergency contact calls HM Coastguard about an overdue trip, they will have access to your location and SafeTrx trip data through a secure SafeTrx server. RYA SafeTrx periodically sends your location data back to a dedicated server, HM Coastguard’s response team can get help directly to you, and quickly. More information on how the system works is available on the RYA website.
Announced as a joint system by the MCA and RYA in 2018, it is completely free. Suitable for all watersports, from kayaks and jetskis to sailors, register for this free service, it may save your life!