NSRI has announced the launch of a free Safetrx smart phone app for Apple (iPhone/iPad) and Android handsets to the public.
By launching this Free App the National Sea Rescue Institute is responding to a need in the paddling and small craft community. We are giving family and friends of people going out on South African waters another safety measure that they can use to be safe.
“Safetrx is an international product with a solid reputation,” says NSRI CEO Dr Cleeve Robertson.
“It has been successfully used in other countries around the globe and we are excited to announce the launch of RSA SafeTrx. It is another tool that paddlers and small craft users can add to their safety equipment, which will help to take the search out of Search and Rescue,” said Dr Robertson.
The RSA SafeTrx App monitors a boats journey and alerts emergency contacts, who are nominated by the user (family and friends), should they fail to return to shore on time.
RSA SafeTrx allows you to plan your journey on your smartphone. Directly from your smartphone you can enter your journey details and know that your journey is being tracked. Should you not return by the time given, your ‘emergency contact’ will be alerted via sms and advised to alert the Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC).
The ‘emergency contact’ should firstly check that there is in fact a problem (and its not just an issue of forgetting to close the journey). If the trip is overdue without an explanation the ‘emergency contact’ should contact the MRCC which will activate the closest NSRI station.
Where an ‘emergency contact’ calls the MRCC concerning an overdue trip, they will have access to your location and SafeTrx trip data through a secure SafeTrx server. Since the RSA SafeTrx app periodically sends your location data back to Safetrx servers, the NSRI’s crew can be given your last known position.
The RSA SafeTrx app logs position reports every kilometre (or every 5 minutes if stationary). The app also monitors the Smartphone’s battery in real time and adapts to declining battery levels. If the battery level falls below 30%, the location transmission interval is adjusted from 1Km to 2Km to save battery power. There is also a failsafe to ensure that if the battery level falls to 10%, SafeTrx suspends in order to preserve battery power for emergency calls.
In terms of a breadcrumb trail, the app includes an in-app map to view your trip progress and your current location on that track. Just tap on the map button on the Trip Progress screen.
A distress call feature is it’s way along with other enhancements – you can preview it here.
You can download, test and read more on the app as well as watch the video here: http://www.nsri.org.za/safetrx/
A picture can be downloaded for media use here: http://goo.gl/JDJd6c
Where do I download RSA RSA SafeTrx from?
You can download the RSA SafeTrx app from the South African App Stores:
Click here for iTunes iOS 7 and above (on iPad, filter by “iPhone Only” in the App Store)
Google Play OS 4.0 and above click here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=safetrx.nsri
How do I get started?
- Download the RSA SafeTrx app from South African App Stores
- Register your details on RSA SafeTrx app
- Login to the app with your website username and password
- Register your boat and emergency contact details
- Enter your trip details and ETA. Tap ‘Set Sail’
- Arrive at destination, tap ‘End Trip’
What are the key components of RSA SafeTrx?
- Android and iOS Smartphone applications
- RSA SafeTrx Web for boaters
- RSA SafeTrx Monitoring Console for SAR emergency response operators
Who has access to boater’s Sail Plan details?
This data is stored on a secure server and access is restricted to the boater, the Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), the NSRI and if necessary, other third party SAR agencies.
How often does RSA SafeTrx log my position?
RSA SafeTrx logs position reports every kilometre (or every 5 minutes if stationary). These position points are displayed on the RSA SafeTrx Monitoring Console and provides the MRCC with critical location information that can quickly be shared with emergency response teams. RSA SafeTrx monitors the Smartphone’s battery in real time and adapts recording intervals to declining battery levels.(see ‘Does the Smartphone application use a lot of battery power?’)
How accurate are the location points transmitted from the phone?
As the accuracy of latitude/longitude triangulations can vary, a margin for error will always exist. The RSA SafeTrx Monitoring Console uses Horizontal Accuracy and other measurements to allow the Coast Guard operator to determine the best set of data to review. The RSA SafeTrx Smartphone app provides you with information and assistance relevant to your current locations, as determined by the mobile device that you are using. However, the devices and the telecommunications systems that support them are inherently unreliable and there is a risk that there will be no connectivity between your mobile device and global positioning systems. We cannot guarantee uninterrupted connectivity between your mobile device and global positioning systems.
How does the app handle loss of cell coverage?
The RSA SafeTrx Smartphone application uses both the GPS and cell network to determine location. If the cell signal is lost the app will attempt to continue to acquire and store location information using the Smartphone’s GPS receiver. Once a cell signal becomes available again the app sends the backlog of stored location information to the RSA SafeTrx server and resumes transmitting location information in real time.
How can boaters manage their account?
Boaters can view and edit their account details using RSA SafeTrx boater website. Within this website, boaters can:
- Change their personal contact and password information
- Manage their vessel details
- Set up and edit their emergency contacts
- View and delete their journey history
- View your personal trip statistics and share on Facebook
- View Terms and Conditions, Privacy and Disclaimer policies
Can I view my completed trips?
You can access your trip history on the RSA SafeTrx Boater website – https://safetrx.nsri.org.za Trips are listed by vessel name and the trip start time for each trip.
Does the Smartphone application use a lot of battery power?
The RSA SafeTrx app uses a number of methods to determine position and these do consume battery power. However the app monitors the Smartphone’s battery in real time and adapts to declining battery levels. If the battery level falls below 30%, the location transmission interval is adjusted from 1Km to 2Km to save battery power. There is also a failsafe to ensure that if the battery level falls to 10%*, RSA SafeTrx suspends in order to preserve battery power for emergency calls. When the Smartphone is plugged in to recharge, trip monitoring is automatically resumed.
*Please note that the battery levels reported on some Smartphones are rounded down to the nearest 5%, therefore trip recording may be suspended when the battery level is between 10%-15%
Can you change your sail plan while running a trip?
When a trip is in progress, boaters can amend the following using the ‘Review’ button on the Trip Progress screen:
- Estimated time of arrival at your end destination (ETA)
- People on Board
- Emergency Contacts
- End point
What happens if I need to amend my ETA en route?
If you do not think that you will reach your destination within the ETA that you have set, then you can change the ETA en route using the ‘Review’ button on the trip progress screen.
Can I add more than one boat and emergency contact?
Yes, you have the option to add more than one boat and emergency contact in the RSA SafeTrx app. You can select which ones to use at the start of each trip.
How do I turn on Background App Refresh in IOS 7?
Background App Refresh was a new setting implemented in iOS 7. It allows you to choose which apps can run in the background and aims to help preserve battery life. This setting could cause a problem where the app loses a GPS connection and stops recording location data. It is required to be ‘ON’ for RSA SafeTrx so that it can continue to collect GPS data while running in the background.
To switch it on, go to Settings > General and check “Background App Refresh” – this should be set to ‘ON’ and not disabled.
Who can I contact with queries on RSA SafeTrx?
Ask a question, share an idea or report a problem by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Forgot your password? Go to the RSA SafeTrx Boater Portal – https://safetrx.nsri.org.za Click on the ‘I forgot my password’ button. Enter your email address and you will receive a link to reset your password.