boaters asked to trial WaterNav

boaters asked to put WaterNav on trial

River Canal Rescue has redesigned and re-launched its WaterNav app, making it freely available to all. The rescue service believes everyone should have access to the app - which allows navigation without wifi or data connection - as it improves safety and shares key information.

And in order to assist in its development, RCR is calling for all boaters to download and trial the app and give feedback.

The new WaterNav, which was previously split into eight different regions due to the amount of data stored offline, now incorporates all UK routes in a single app with a route planning function.

Detailing Places Of Interest (POI), including supermarkets, pubs, train stations and marinas, plus journey times and canal/river information, once installed, it can be used offline so is not reliant on the internet or data packages. However, as the current POI information is limited, RCR is asking boaters to check and update the data as they cruise.

There’s also a help/SOS function linked to RCR HQ, for boaters who require assistance. Plotting the user’s position within a 5m radius, this has proved invaluable in emergency situations or when cruising on rivers with no access.

RCR is committing substantial resources to developing WaterNav and hopes to make it the ‘go to’ navigation and information tool for boaters. A second development phase, bringing a host of new facilities, is expected by the summer and RCR is also in talks with Scottish Canals and the CRT about further upgrades to allow users to notify authorities of issues or problems at the push of a button.

Managing director, Stephanie Horton, explains: “We’ve upgraded WaterNav so it’s easier to access the UK-wide maps and in future, enhanced reporting tools will better connect the boating community. The new updates later this year will revolutionise waterway navigation and add some much-needed technical integration.

“With so many changes to businesses supporting our inland waterway network, I’m keen to get feedback and help cleanse and qualify the data we hold. I’m excited about the potential of the new system and the updates later this year – and the new IOS version will finally enable all boaters to access this amazing little app, which is well overdue.”

The upgraded WaterNav Beta is downloadable via Google Play and the App store, however updates will be added in the coming weeks for Apple device users. Feedback can be shared directly via the app- just hit the feedback button - and updates should install automatically once there’s an internet connection.

Find out more about River Canal Rescue or follow the team on Facebook.

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About River Canal Rescue

River Canal Rescue offers 24/7 marine breakdown assistance and recovery across the UK's inland waterway system. It also undertakes engine servicing and inspections, offers additional services (from plumbing and domestic electrical work to hull repairs, engine refits and insurance work), devised the world's first environmentally-friendly filter 'Bilgeaway' and has an online chandlery.