Norway Joins the SafeTrx Community

Posted in LIFELINE August 2016 - English

SafeTrx arrives on Norwegian shores and rolls out the enhanced version of the mobile vessel tracking solution to the Netherlands.

SafeTrx, the tried and trusted mobile vessel tracking solution, continues to grow with the release of the RS Redningsselskapet (Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue) ‘RS SafeTrx’ Smartphone app in Norway. With approximately 1,500 volunteers, 43 rescue vessels and 25 rescue stations across the country, the Redningsselskapet will seek to use SafeTrx to help promote safe, responsible recreational boating in Norway’s coastal waters and inland navigable waters.

Available on both Android & Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad), SafeTrx monitors a journey, alerts designated contacts should a journey go overdue and provides a Web-based user interface for the Search and Rescue (SAR) service to rapidly assist in locating an overdue vessel.


A Mobile Maritime Safety Platformknrmelpta

‘RS SafeTrx’ uses all the standard SafeTrx 2016 vessel tracking and alerting features in addition to significant functional enhancements which have been added to this year’s SafeTrx upgrade. The Redningsselskapet SafeTrx implementation is available in Norwegian and English, and includes a variety of location-based information from lifeboat stations and local VHF channels, to details on ports and harbours in the surrounding area. The live locations of the Redningsselskapet rescue vessels can also be tracked using the lifeboat location tracker within the app.

The aim of SafeTrx 2016 is to enhance the existing SafeTrx product so that it becomes a ‘mobile maritime safety platform’, a practical tool that helps reduce the risk of maritime accidents and the loss of human lives at sea. With this in mind, ‘RS SafeTrx’ mobile app users will be able to receive maritime safety messages and marine notices directly from Redningsselskapet through the app and SMS. Information on weather alerts, gale warnings and marine notices can be sent via this channel.

To facilitate trip planning, ‘RS SafeTrx’ includes location-based weather through the online weather provider. The app allows the boater to choose a location and returns the hour-by-hour weather forecast over the next three days for that location.


‘SafeTrx 2016’ Live in the Netherlands

As SafeTrx extends to other countries, it usage continues to grow in existing communities. This summer saw the release of the 2016 version of the SafeTrx app in the Netherlands with the Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij (Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution). Now a central part of the volunteer organisation's prevention program, the SafeTrx app (labelled ‘KNRM Helps’ in the Netherlands) has over 23,000 end users and over 15,000 trips recorded in the Netherlands since its launch last year.

The updated KNRM SafeTrx app displays the live locations of the KNRM Search and Rescue (SAR) vessels and can be tracked using the lifeboat location tracker on the map. KNRM have partnered with the relevant national organisations to send weather alerts, nautical warnings and nautical obstructions applicable to their working area. Mobile app users will receive such alerts via the SafeTrx app and SMS messages.


Staying Relevant

The design of the 2016 SafeTrx application marks a departure from previous versions of the product. The establishment of an international SafeTrx User Group (SUG) has allowed the development team to work directly with those that are providing life saving services at sea. Such cooperation and involvement with SUG ensures the product stays relevant and is always fit-for-purpose.

The app continues to flourish in individual countries. More than 8,000 people now use the SafeTrx app implemented by Salvamento Marítimo, Spain’s national maritime rescue organisation. A recent article (available at featuring testimonials from the boating community aims to promote the benefits of the app from different point of views. Miguel Félix Chicón, Head of Salvamento Marítimo’s Regional Rescue Coordination Centre in Palma explains the benefit to the MRCC, “This tool will save us so much time searching and locating, which has a positive impact on the effectiveness of the rescue teams”.

Ibiza’s Maritime Captain, Luis Gascón agrees, “It is also for kayaking, fishing, windsurfing activities... vessels that don’t carry a communication system”. He adds, “It’s important to know that you are not alone”. Luis Ballet uses the app when dinghy sailing in Barcelona, “It’s able to locate you wherever you are, send a warning message and guide the rescue operation to your location”, he comments. Likewise, Juan Oliver, an experienced canoeist based in Palma de Mallorca, notes “It is essential in the case of an emergency”.

He adds, “Reacting to an emergency as soon as possible is critical to the prevention of loss of life, and there is no doubt that this app will save a lot of time searching and locating”.

Developed in co-operation with SAR and Coast Guard organisations, SafeTrx is now the standard solution in mobile application vessel tracking in Australia with the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and Marine Rescue Queensland; in Spain with the Salvamento Marítimo; in South Africa with the National Sea Rescue Institution; the Netherlands with the Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij; in Norway with Redningsselskapet; in Ireland with the Irish Sailing Association and in the UK with the Royal Yachting Association.