ST. PAUL, Minn. – Several boating industry companies have joined forces to form the Alliance for Safe Navigation to promote the importance of up-to-date navigational information, according to a statement from the group. The alliance, which is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, consists of BoatU.S., Jeppesen, the United States Power Squadrons, OceanGrafix and the Sea Tow Foundation for Boating Safety and Education.
The purpose of the alliance is to raise boater awareness about the importance of having and using the most current navigation information to avoid potential groundings and other accidents.
“We identified a widespread lack of awareness among boaters regarding the accuracy of their charts, whether electronic or paper,” OceanGrafix President David DeGree said in the release. “The truth is that inaccurate chart information can turn a safe and enjoyable cruise into a dangerous situation.”
Unlike commercial mariners, recreational boaters are not required to carry up-to-date charts.
“Keeping electronic and paper charts up-to-date is inexpensive and easy,” said Ken Cirillo of Jeppesen. “So our goal is to educate the boating community about how quickly their charts can become outdated and how easy it is to keep them current. In addition, we want to encourage them to be aware of the significant and frequent changes that are occurring in their boating area.”