New management for emergency radio network

The International Boat Watch Network dedicated to sharing important safety messages over amateur radio has new management.

Glenn Tuttle and his wife, Eddie, have assumed ownership of the network from Bobby Graves, who runs the Hurricane Watch Net and is active in the Maritime Mobile Service Network. The Tuttles, who live in southwest Florida, also run the Seven Seas Cruising Association’s HF Radio Service KPK.

“We will, of course, continue as the radio voice of the SSCA HF Radio Service KPK, broadcasting to the maritime cruising community from our home,” Tuttle said in a news release.

The idea for an international boat watch communication network came together in 1998. At the time, there were many requests over ham radio to locate missing or overdue vessels, Tuttle said. The network that began on ham radio has since expanded to non-ham entities as well.

“The result is a worldwide network of email addresses through which we now broadcast requests for lost or overdue vessels and messages of high priority, such as requests for mariners to phone home for an important message usually dealing with illness or death in the family,” he said. “To date, the network has successfully contacted over 100 vessels, many in record time, and have verified passage of the priority information.”

The International Boat Watch Network will continue to operate as it has for the last two decades. However, the Tuttles plan to use their background as retired FBI agents and full-time live-aboards to bring a fresh perspective to the service. They envision the network becoming “a fully engaged resource available to the entire cruising community when a cruiser is overdue or missing anywhere in the world.”

For more details on the International Boat Watch Network, including reporting procedures and a list of current and unresolved watches, visit www.boatwatchnet.org.