The reality game-meets-exercise-app Pokemon Go now has 21 million users every day and BoatUS is issuing safety tips for people who want to find Pokemon on the water.
The game has players capturing creatures called Pokemon in the real world, using a combination of GPS and augmented reality.
BoatUS is issuing three tips for playing Pokemon Go while boating:
ŸBe aware: The Coast Guard reports operator inattention as one of the five main contributing factors in accidents. When searching for a “water type” of Pokemon, such as Magikarp, on a waterway, let the first mate or friend handle the cellphone while the captain keeps a safe lookout.
ŸWatch cellphone battery use: Users report that the game eats up a smartphone’s battery charge, and the app only works if it’s open. With many boaters relying on their cellphones for communication, BoatUS recommends bringing along a spare charger or using battery-saving mode. The group also reminds boaters that only a VHF radio can summon emergency help.
Have fun: The BoatUS national headquarters in Alexandria, Va., offers a Pokemon “gym” next to the BoatUS buoy. At lunch, some BoatUS employees can be seen playing the game. (Insider’s tip: The yellow Pokemon Go BoatUS marine insurance underwriting team often battles other BoatUS departments, and for a limited time free boat insurance quotes will be available to all players.)