New functions for SOS Waterways app

Monday 20 August 2018


River Canal Rescue (RCR) has added testing, request advice and photo reporting functions to its free SOS Waterways app.

In a bid to reduce the number of boaters accidentally asking RCR for emergency assistance, the app now has test connection and request advice buttons.  Between October 2017 (when the app launched) and July this year, RCR responded 24/7 to 255 emergency assistance requests, yet only 10% were urgent or for breakdown support.

The majority of users – 65% – tested the SOS button not realising it would prompt a call back and 25% just wanted some advice.  The test button gives peace of mind the system’s working and request advice can only be activated during office hours.

RCR describes its photo reporting addition as ‘the most innovative function’.  Users can send the firm a photo to report an issue that needs dealing with, such as a canal breach, an incident or mechanical breakdown etc, and the appropriate assistance will be given.

Operations director, Jay Forman, explains: “This adds a visual element to our assistance service, literally giving us ‘eyes’ across our inland waterways.  As soon as a photo’s taken and forwarded to us with a description of what’s happening, we log the location and where necessary, contact third-parties, if for example it’s a breach.

“If there’s an incident, we can better manage our resources as we have more of an idea what we’re dealing with and if it’s a breakdown, by viewing the equipment upfront, we may be able to pre-diagnose and order parts before we visit, saving time.”

RCR says the new functions upgrade its app to that of a ‘waterways management system’ and believes it’s a vital piece of on-board equipment.

Download RCR’s SOS Waterways app from Google Play, the App Store or directly from RCR’s website