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Old 04-02-2017, 19:58   #1
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Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

Hello Folks!

I just registered here because I have an open question which I could not yet answer.

As most of you know, for safety reasons, it is highly recommended to always have a "dedicated person ashore". Someone you tell that you are expecting to arrive before a given time at your destination, and this person will contact the coast guards in case you are not reporting back.

Most people probably do this via phone, and they call a friend or some relative ashore. (In commercial offshore business ISM actually requires a "Dedicated Person Ashore". And in business they seem to have even more responsibilities.) But here, of course, we are talking about private sailors.

My question is now, whether there is perhaps a website existing that would assist here. I have something in mind like, where you register (maybe even via an app on your phone/tablet), and then you define a time, the planned route and at least one contact persons email (that is then the person ashore).
If the time runs up, and you have on arrival checked in (=your "I have arrived safely" message) then nothing happens. Optionally you could of course also send and "ok-message" to your contact. But, in case you are not reporting back in time, the website sends an email to your contact ashore and he/she is then supposed to perhaps try calling you, or contacting the harbour via phone or what ever, but if you remain unreachable the person ashore could/should contact the coast guards and issue a search.

Does that make any sense?

I thought such website would be really nice, but I could not find anything alike so far. I even considered already to start working on such a website. But maybe I didn't find anything alike for a good reason? Would that be something you would use?

Any comment or feedback is very welcome.

Best regards,
Patric
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:58   #2
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Patric.

Like this? ➥ http://floatplanregistry.com/
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:43   #3
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

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Yes, that looks in deed (at first sight) pretty much like what I had in mind.
I will have a deeper look. Thanks for the link.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:42   #4
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

Bookmarked! Thanks for the link, Gord! And thanks for asking the question, pzas.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:59   #5
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

This one is free and seems to work well so far (once you get past a few issues).

https://www.uscg.mil/mobile/

I like being able to pre-enter details of all of my boats and then just select which one we are going out in. I also like the instructions it provides to the recipient for what to do if I do not check in. Of course, if you are paranoid about the government knowing who and where you are, this might not be for you as it is a US Coast Guard app. Not to worry if you aren't in or near the USA, it works for anywhere as all it is doing is sending your float plan to an e-mail address you provide.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:05   #6
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

That is an excellent question, and here is a solution which many long time cruisers use.
A Single Sideband (SSB) and ham radio is capable of long range communications. Most serious offshore cruisers have one or both. There are many nets that function exactly as you are asking about. Then they leave on a passage they notify the net control of their intent and ETA. Then when they arrive they notify the net controller of their safe arrival.

I suggest you look at www..docksideradio.com for a list of the various nets.

The SSCA also has a daily HF Radio Service which is heard from Nova Scotia to South America. The call sign is "KPK" and operates at 1215 hrs UTC or 0715 hrs EST on frequency 8.104. You can stay in touch via KPK as well as keep informed of current events and safety & Security issues from the Caribbean Safety & Security Net during that broadcast.

Hope that helps,

Glenn Tuttle
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:12   #7
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

i have family. that is better than a website
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:06   #8
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

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i have family. that is better than a website
Family and a float plan.
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:31   #9
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

If everyone on short trips gave arrival times which were then missed by a day or two the Coast Guard would be overwhelmed and start to ignore reports.

Carry an EPIRB and a SSB or Sat phone.

Our grandkids know we are OK because we send a postcard when we arrive. They expect to get one from French Polynesia in about 3 months time!
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Old 05-02-2017, 13:41   #10
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

I dont see a big need for a check-in web site. There are many good options available these days. I have lots of comm aboard, as do many cruisers: VHF, cell phone + booster, SSB, InReach, and EPIRB. So lots of options to check-in or signal distress. Options are good.

Checkins can also be made via cruiser nets over SSB. In my experience the net controllers are quite conscientious. Being cruisers themselves helps. Ive also done my time as net controller.

Via InReach not only can I send canned checkin messages, but 2 way free form text too. And those ashore can see checkins/track via the InReach web site. They can also send me messages or ping my inReach device to request a location. Covers a LOT of bases. I also use it for backpacking and kayaking.

I file a float plan with someone dependable ashore. Have used employees, friends, family in the past.

In seriously heavy weather situations, Ive also maintained a regular checkin with USCG. We were fine, but it was Cat 1 hurricane conditions and it was good to know they already knew our status and position and were paying attention...just in case.

I also reciprocate and have been the check-in point, and weather router, for cruising friends many times.

What would a web site offer that would improve upon these options? Maybe integration of all comm sources? Significant cost to do that right. How would it recover that expense?

Who would the market be? Single handed sailors with no friends or family? Small market.
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Old 05-02-2017, 14:13   #11
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I dont see a big need for a check-in web site. There are many good options available these days. I have lots of comm aboard, as do many cruisers: VHF, cell phone + booster, SSB, InReach, and EPIRB. So lots of options to check-in or signal distress. Options are good.

Checkins can also be made via cruiser nets over SSB. In my experience the net controllers are quite conscientious. Being cruisers themselves helps. Ive also done my time as net controller.

Via InReach not only can I send canned checkin messages, but 2 way free form text too. And those ashore can see checkins/track via the InReach web site. They can also send me messages or ping my inReach device to request a location. Covers a LOT of bases. I also use it for backpacking and kayaking.

I file a float plan with someone dependable ashore. Have used employees, friends, family in the past.

In seriously heavy weather situations, Ive also maintained a regular checkin with USCG. We were fine, but it was Cat 1 hurricane conditions and it was good to know they already knew our status and position and were paying attention...just in case.

I also reciprocate and have been the check-in point, and weather router, for cruising friends many times.

What would a web site offer that would improve upon these options? Maybe integration of all comm sources? Significant cost to do that right. How would it recover that expense?

Who would the market be? Single handed sailors with no friends or family? Small market.
As a member and participant in several ham and SSB nets, and a USCG Aux member, I can't count the times when friends and family members get concerned and report someone, usually a singlehanded, as overdue. While I recommend having both a ham/SSB and sat phone for blue water cruisers, I realize the equipment is expensive and I must be properly installed to function effectively. A simple SPOT or Delorme device sending messages to friends and family would eliminate all the panicked overdue reports to the USCG. While not a replacement for an EPIRB, it is a very worthwhile piece of safety equipment.
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Old 05-02-2017, 14:21   #12
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

Well... I'm a single-handed sailor with no friends or family. But that pretty much eliminates the need for a float plan by definition.

I suppose to make such a business attractive, it would need to combine the registry with some other services - such as mail forwarding and serving as an administrative agent for those things that require a fixed "home address." I seem to recall seeing a few people who offer this.
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Old 05-02-2017, 14:45   #13
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

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Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
Well... I'm a single-handed sailor with no friends or family. But that pretty much eliminates the need for a float plan by definition.

I suppose to make such a business attractive, it would need to combine the registry with some other services - such as mail forwarding and serving as an administrative agent for those things that require a fixed "home address." I seem to recall seeing a few people who offer this.
I'm a single-handed sailor with no friends or family.

That's sad!
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Old 05-02-2017, 15:17   #14
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

I agree with other posters that the Inreach can pretty much resolve the issue.

Web available tracking and two way communications all the time at reasonable cost have made a huge difference.
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Old 06-02-2017, 15:45   #15
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Re: Dedicated Person Ashore - Does such a website exist?

Thanks for all the additional input. Many of them are very good comments. Thanks everyone.
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