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Home > About the Float Plan > Filing your plan

Filing your plan

Dependability, Reliability and Trust

Now that you've finished preparing your Float Plan, you need to identify and make arrangements with someone you trust who is willing to hold your plan and follow-up, if necessary, if you fail to return home.  This person is referred to as the “Holder”.  They don't need to sit by the phone waiting with every breath, but they do need to be mindful of your planned check-in and return times on your itinerary and follow-up in a reasonable amount of time if they have not heard from you.

Communication Between You and the Holder

  1. Choose a method of communication (text, telephone or email) that will work the best for the two of you once you are under way.  Let the Holder know you WILL contact them:

    • At the specified check-in times noted in you plan.

    • If there is any change in the persons on board or to your itinerary.

    • As soon as you have returned home.

  2. Identify what email address the Holder would like you to send your float plan to.  If this is the first time you've used this email address it is wise to send a "test message" to verify that you have spelled/typed the email address correctly and that they have indeed received the message.

Go over you plan with the Holder

Now that you’ve selected a person to hold you plan, decided on how you will communicate, and verified email address you will use, tell the holder about the Boating Emergency Guide™ located on the last page of you float plan.  Let them know that the Boating Emergency Guide™ at the end of the USCG Float Plan provides the step-by-step instructions on exactly what they are to do, if you fail to check-in or do not return as planned.  The reset of the float plan is self-explanitory.

File (send) your plan

Email your plan to your "holder" any time prior to leaving.  That's it.  Your float plan is now active.  If you fail to check in or return as planned, your Holder will use the Boating Emergency Guide™ to begin the search and rescue process to find you.

See also: Using Social Media


A brief word about printing your float plan Never leave a printed copy of your plan in your vehicle.  Although this may seem like a good idea in theory, in today's world, there is a significant risk associated with leaving a document containing not only personally identifiable information (name, address, etc.) but your itinerary (how long you will be gone) as well.  If your vehicle is broken into while you are gone, the burgler will certainly find your Float Plan as they rumage through your vehicle for valuables, and then know exactly much time they have to work.  Therefore, Float Plan Central DOES NOT RECOMMEND THIS PRACTICE under any circumstances.

Safety is simple when you have a plan™
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