It’s been said that little things make big things happen, it’s the details that are important. To no surprise, it certainly applies to the boating world and in particular, paddle sports. The simple task of labeling your canoe, kayak and/or paddleboard with your contact information can make a world of difference.
More often than you might think, these vessels find their way into local waterways, abandoned and adrift. Something that appears to be a mere inconvenience for owners, but what one might not realize is that these abandoned kayaks and SUPs can have serious impacts.
Whenever an unmanned and unlabeled vessel is reported, the Coast Guard launches a full-blown search-and-rescue mission for a potentially missing and in-distress boater. However, many times, these vessels are adrift simply because they were improperly stored and secured, with their owners unknowingly going about their days. Proper identification can change that.
For this reason, we encourage you to properly label all vessels, no matter the size. The Coast Guard offers “If Found” stickers that have blank spaces for name and phone number, and when properly attached and filled out, a strenuous search-and-rescue is replaced with a simple phone call, saving valuable time and resources that could be going to other safety and law enforcement efforts.
To find these stickers, contact your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla. To locate your nearest flotilla, click here. Or, you can even purchase these waterproof decals on Amazon. Search for “If Found stickers”. In lieu of that, you can even make your own with a blank label found at a hardware or craft store. Complete the label with your contact information, written in waterproof marker and attach it to the inside of your vessel, sealing it with clear, waterproof tape.
Trust us, our friends at the Coast Guard will thank you.