Label your kit at the coast

Kayaks. Canoes. Paddleboards. What do they all have in common? They’re quite often found on the coastline or drifting out to sea. And if we don’t know who they belong to, we can spend time searching for an owner when they’re home safe and sound.

So please help us to help you. Label your kit so that if you do get separated from it, and it turns up somewhere, we can get hold of you.

In recent weeks, our Coastguard Rescue Teams have found numerous items such as kayaks and canoes drifting out at sea or abandoned near the shoreline. Unfortunately, some of the items we have found have not had their owners’ contact details written on them nor been reported as missing to the Coastguard.

As a result, it makes it difficult for us to find out who it belongs to and also means we can never be completely sure if someone is safe or in the worst case, in trouble at sea.

This can place a huge strain on our resources especially during the busy summer period when we have to call upon our Coastguard Rescue Teams, assistance from our partners at the RNLI and even send one of our search and rescue helicopters to such incidents.

So, please, make a conscious effort to look after your belongings at the coast, label them and stay in touch with us.

To help you do that – you can order, for free online, our outdoor label name tags which are very easy to use. Simply write your contact details onto the paper side and stick onto your piece of equipment.

Help us to help you by preparing for your day at the coast and make sure we have a direct method of contacting you.

Photo credit: Darren Crisp

Dai Jones, HM Coastguard duty controller, said: "We recommend that you clearly mark your equipment and other items you bring to the coast with your name and contact details so that if it is lost, stolen or abandoned, we can contact you to make sure that you are safe. This really helps us to save a lot of time, and could provide us with extra information we need to help you if we believe you’re in difficulty at sea.

"For canoeists and kayakers, our other safety advice is to wear a buoyancy aid and make sure you carry a VHF radio, so you can contact the Coastguard on Channel 16 if you get into difficulty. A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is also a good idea for more remote locations, so an accurate position of where you are can be sent direct to the Coastguard. And, remember, to tell friends or family where you are going and when you expect to return so that they can contact us if you do not come home as expected."

As ever, if you get into trouble or see someone else in trouble at sea or at the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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