through Winter Storm Goliath to kill
ducks in Oklahoma.” But we don’t know
if that phone was lost, damaged in the
accident, or whether Morland was simply unable to use it due to hypothermia,
which could have set in shortly after their
In all these cases, having a primary
safety device aboard the boat would have
been ideal. Having an EPIRB, an inex-
pensive personal locator beacon (PLB),
or a waterproof satellite messenger aboard
– especially when leaving the dock in iffy
weather or in the cold-water conditions
often accompanying waterfowl hunting –
could have meant the difference between
life and death. Having a cellphone pro-
tected by a waterproof case, along with a
good nav app, is also an excellent backup.
You likely have the smartphone already.
You may even have a watertight case.
Adding an app that allows you to share
your location is both simple and free.
BoatU.S. Magazine’s electronics and
fishing editor, Lenny Rudow, is also senior
editor at Boats.com.
46 | BoatU.S. Magazine APRIL | MAY 2016
The overturned hull provided a way
to stay out of the chilly water as the
crew waited for rescue. The men,
weighed down by waders and hunt-
ing gear, found it difficult to swim or
to retrieve safety equipment from
the overturned boat.
It shouldn’t surprise you that the (free) BoatU.S. App ( www.BoatUS.com/towing/ app) is one of our favorite apps of all
time. It allows you to call for a tow at the
swipe of a finger, which at the same time
automatically gives our TowBoatU.S. service your boat’s exact location along with
critical information. It also has a Share Your
Location feature, like the Buddies feature
on Pro Charts, which attaches latitude/
longitude and a Google Maps link to emails
The U.S. Coast Guard now has its own
app, called United States Coast Guard.
While the coasties agree with us and state
outright that a cellphone should never be
your sole form of emergency communica-
tions, this app does provide another layer
of protection by allowing you to request
assistance, report everything from an oil
spill to suspicious activity, and file float
plans with up to three other parties. It’s
also available for free at the App Store and
at Google Play.
Pro Charts, the app used in the story
above, offers a free evaluation version;
a subscription is $2.99/month
Another interesting option is Kitestring,
which automatically checks in with you via
text in a predetermined time frame. This
isn’t exactly an app; it’s more of a web-
Four Ways To Get Safety From Your Cell