NEW YORK — The Coast Guard is asking the public to label their kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards with their name and phone number after an influx of cases this summer involving unmanned and adrift paddlecraft.
Coast Guard units throughout the Tri-State area have responded to more than 20 cases of unmanned, adrift and mostly unlabeled paddlecraft so far this year.
Each time an unmanned and adrift paddlecraft is reported it triggers a search for a person who may be associated with it and could be in distress. However, often times the paddlecraft are adrift after not being properly stored or secured.
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Paddlecraft owners can use a permanent marker to write their name and phone number and then cover the writing with clear tape to increase durability. As an alternate, paddlecraft owners can use an “If Found” sticker, which is available at local Coast Guard Auxiliary units.
When paddlecraft are labeled the Coast Guard can reach out directly to the owner and quickly ascertain if they are in distress or if they simply lost their paddlecraft. Confirming the owner is not in distress keeps Coast Guard resources available for actual emergencies.
Paddle sports continue to be the fastest growing segment of recreational boating, with more than 300,000 paddlecraft being sold annually. The Coast Guard urges all paddlecraft owners to label their kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards to reduce unnecessary search and rescue cases.
Owners should make sure their paddlecraft are stored securely or removed completely from the beaches to avoid them drifting out to sea.
Click here to find the nearest Coast Guard Auxiliary unit.