MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The ‘search’ in search and rescue can take a long time.

“You know especially during the summer months when we have a lot of tourists coming up who might not be as familiar with the area such as locals or anything of that nature,” said Petty Officer II Terry Bailey, U.S. Coast Guard Station Marquette. “The actual searching part can be the most time consuming and this is just a tool that will help take down the one potential of it being the longest part of a case.”

That tool is the I-911 system. The U.S. Coast Guard recently started utilizing this technology. If you call the Coast Guard for help, the command center in Sault Ste. Marie will then send a text and can track where help is needed.

“Essentially requesting location off of your phone, pinpointing it within a certain perimeter, up to 20 nautical miles off shore,” said Bailey.

The addition of this tool was recently used in Sault Ste. Marie. The Coast Guard says it was successful.

“So if we can do anything to utilize any kind of tool that we can get in the Coast Guard, especially utilizing modern day stuff such as technology and location services off of smartphones and whatnot, we’ll use it as much as possible,” said Bailey. “You never know, it could save a life. That’s our goal here.”