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Traffic Reports

by Joan Wenner 14 May 07:16 UTC
Oceanis © Beneteau

Maritime authorities recommend boaters always have a detailed Traffic Report on file with designated shoreside individuals and marine agencies. And perhaps your yacht club or marina office and/or dockmate(s) and harbourmaster.

From the Maritime and Coastguard Agency:

"A Traffic Report (TR) is a pre-departure summary of a voyage that can be referred to in the event of the vessel getting into difficulty or being asked by HM Coastguard to assist another craft. Although not obligatory, all vessels--including pleasure craft--are advised before setting off to lodge a TR with a 'shore contact': a trusted figure on land to hold the information in case of emergency. The TR can be made verbally, in writing or via VHF radio or mobile phone."

Note: In TRs lodged with HM Coastguard include:

  • vessel name and description (size, type, colour)
  • call sign or MMSI
  • ports of departure/destination and waypoints
  • estimated times of departure/arrival
  • people on board (crew, passengers, children)
  • on-board communications
  • lifesaving appliances or location devices
"Vessels are requested to update their shore contact and call on safe arrival at their destination to close the TR." This will help to avoid any unnecessary dispatch of search & rescue assets.

It is possible that traditional communications equipment can be supplemented with the RYA Safe Trx smartphone app to track your journey in UK territorial waters. If overdue, a nominated emergency contact will be alerted to initiate appropriate action. If HM Coastguard called they will have access to the location and Safe Trx Trip data through a secure Safe Trx Trip server.

Also affix waterproof labels with your contact information on any kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards carried aboard that could detach from the mother ship and drift away causing a possible missing person call. Same goes for a tender on board or towed.

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