June 21, 2009: Coast Guard uses Facebook to locate boater; saves thousands in tax dollars

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June 21, 2009: Coast Guard uses Facebook to locate boater; saves thousands in tax dollars.

Now, here’s the $30,000 question? Did Facebook save someone’s life and save the taxpayers money in a costly SAR case. It sure did and it’s a very true story about using the power of Social media such as Facebook to not only change the way we communicate and interact in society. It also saved someone’s life as well and save the American taxpayers a very costly SAR case at the same time.

What happened was a SAR Controller from US Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, got the call that they had an overdue boater with very little information from a park ranger. So what this SAR controller did and this was very ingenuity, was to go on to social media sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter to look for clues about the overdue boater. Sure enough on Facebook, he found the info, that lead him directly to the overdue boater.

What this clearly shows, is that not only is Social media being used to communicate with people in a new way. It’s also saving someone’s life in the process and saving the taxpayers a very costly SAR bill. This shows that Social media is here to stay and Social media, whether you like it or not, it’s the new face of how society and people talk to each other and interacts with one another. It’s also showing that Social media can be a very valuable life saving tool and a good tool to have on hand when disasters strikes and when every normal line of communication is out except for the Internet or cellular line.

I can see it now, someday when people start adding US Coast Guard Sectors and stations to their friends list on Twitter, Myspace, Facebook and Linkin to post their float plan on those social media website. Even on their SMS phones as well, when you can text your distress location to them via SMS to a US Coast Guard Sector or Station. This can be the new face of saving lives and the new way for the US Coast Guard to not only save someone’s life, but communicate more to their customers in the process.

So to SAR controller Paul Conner who used Facebook, to save someone’s life and save the Taxpayers a very costly SAR case, Hat’s off to ya.

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