Superyacht Crew Tap into Reliable, Low-Cost Contact Worldwide

Likely to become a hit with superyacht crews, Global Telesat Communications (GTC), the UK-based satellite solutions has launched its new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger on to the market. Crews working anywhere in the world can use this palm-sized device to quickly send an update of progress, or call for help.
Retailing at just £159 including VAT, it uses low-orbit satellites to relay a simple, pre-programmed message to specified recipients in near real time. The inbuilt GPS attaches a position to the message, so family and friends can keep a track of the user on Google maps via the Internet.
If there is a serious problem, a dedicated SOS button can be pressed and held for two seconds, which will automatically alert the nearest rescue services, and send them an accurate fix. This literally takes the ‘search’ out of ‘search and rescue.’
For non life-threatening emergencies, a ‘help’ button is provided, which will alert a network of pre-selected contacts that the user has been inconvenienced, and needs assistance. SPOT will send the message every 5 minutes until cancelled, or the batteries are depleted.
Other functions include the ‘Check In/OK’ function, which updates the position and lets the user’s contacts know that all is well. These waypoints can be stored for later use, such as building a record of a voyage. The Custom Message function allows the user to expand the simple ‘OK’ with a pre-written message, placed on the system prior to departure.
The new device is a smaller and lighter version of one launched just over a year ago. Both units make full use of satellite technology, yet without the costs associated with more sophisticated satellite phones.  Instead, a simple annual call-time plan is purchased on line, which gives unlimited messages.  The annual fee costs just €99, with complete access to all of the SPOT Messenger’s main functions. Users can log on to their account at any time to modify the list of contacts, retrieve their waypoints, or rewrite their custom messages.