Here’s Why Northeast Boaters Are Being Asked to Label and Secure Their Paddlecraft

The United States Coast Guard is asking Boston residents to carefully label their canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards with their names and phone numbers. This requirement comes after a huge increase of cases this summer that involved unmanned and floating paddlecraft that were adrift and seemingly abandoned.

Why Do Boston Residents Need to Label and Secure Their Paddlecraft?

The Coast Guard has responded to more than 90 instances of unmanned and adrift paddlecraft so far this year along the Northeast. Each time one of these paddlecraft is reported, it pushes a search for someone who could have been associated with the vessel and could be in danger or distress. Often times, however, the paddlecraft is usually adrift because the owner did not properly secure and store it away.

Owners of these paddlecraft can use a permanent marker to write their personal identifying information (name and phone number) on a label, and then cover it with clear tape to ensure its lasting power. Boston residents can also use an “If Found” sticker, which they can find at their local Coast Guard Auxiliary units.

This will assist the Coast Guard tremendously when finding a floating and unmanned paddlecraft. When the paddlecraft is properly labeled, the Coast Guard can find the owner directly and quickly determine if he or she is in danger or distress, or if he or she just lost their paddlecraft. This labeling can also keep Coast Guard resources available for real emergencies.  Each case is initially treated as a life emergency, so a label can make the difference between solving the case with a phone call and sending out several Coast Guard, local and state agents.

Lastly, paddlecraft owners should always store and secure their paddlecraft completely from the coastline and beaches in order to prevent them from drifting out into the water.

If you would like to know more about safety requirements that the Coast Guard implements for Boston residents, you should regularly visit our website to keep yourself updated. You can also call Latti & Anderson LLP for a free consultation.