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Spotlight: GPS Will Track Ocean-going Rower

By | October 20, 2003

      An adventurous rower who plans to travel across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in a 7.8-meter-long boat will be tracked the entire way using the Global Positioning System (GPS).

      Satamatics Ltd., a Tewkesbury, England-based operator of global satellite-based telematics information services, agreed to provide its location tracking system to UK citizen Jim Shekhdar for his upcoming attempt to set a new record by rowing solo across both oceans. A veteran of ocean rows, Shekhdar turned to Satamatics for a reliable tracking system that would monitor his position and alert search and rescue authorities if an emergency arose.

      As part of the effort, Portsmouth, England-based Transas Telematics will contribute its Fleet View Online web-based charting and tracking service to enable anyone with Internet access to follow Shekhdar’s progress along the 8,087-nautical-mile journey, which is scheduled to begin during the second half of this month from New Zealand.

      Shekhdar hopes to complete the voyage in approximately seven months but he is taking sufficient food for a year to provide a safety margin.

      “I am taking full advantage of what current maritime communications technology can offer, from satellite telephones for maintaining voice contact and email, to [emergency beacons] that can be triggered if circumstances become seriously untenable,” Shekhdar said.

      –Paul Dykewicz

      (Claire Dickinson, Satamatics Ltd., 44 (0)1684 278610; Georgina Martin, Transas Telematics, 44 (0) 23 92 674015)

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