New app launched to keep people safe on the Broads this summer
- Credit: Donna Plumpton
A new app has been launched to help keep people safe on the Norfolk Broads this summer.
The Aweigh app has been piloted by Mike Welsh after he experienced a "number of incidents" on a single boat journey on the Broads last summer.
In August after his boat ran out of fuel he helped another boater to safety whose outboard was "playing up".
He said he also witnessed "several boats speeding" and a boat crash.
"The idea came to me for a single app to bring information into one place that would be of use to local broads users and holiday makers alike to help them," he said.
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Mr Welsh said he reached out to the Norfolk Police Broadsbeat team to see if the app would be viable, and was surprised to learn they had been discussing a similar possibility for several months.
"The team were very supportive of the idea, sharing views on what would be useful in an app," he said.
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The Aweigh app is free to download and gives live information on tide times, daily sunrise and sunset times, and location information.
It has partnered with the what3words app which emergency services have recently rolled out to help them find the exact location of incidents in remote areas.
"A small team of us set about building an initial version of the app that was ready for download at the beginning of June this year," said Mr Welsh.
"Built for both iOS and Android platforms, the initial version contained user location and speed of travel, emergency contact numbers and useful links for river users.
"Subsequently, we have partnered with the What3Words team to include their location solution within the app.
"This feature along with tide times for 68 locations on the Broads) and daily sunrise and sunset times was released mid July.
"The app will continue to grow over the coming months with several new features in the pipeline.
"We have been out and about on the broads this week raising awareness of the app and giving flyers to boat users and holiday makers."
To date the app has had more than 1,000 downloads and Barnes Brinkcraft are encouraging their customers to download it as part of their welcome pack
"We would like to see all Broads boatyards encouraging the use of the app to their hirers, working together to make the broads a safer place to enjoy," added Mr Welsh.
The App is free to download from the Apple and Google stores.