Love it and label it. Report any missing watercraft immediately if it goes missing

If you love your watersports  kit, please love it, label it and if you lose it, report it to us the moment it goes missing! It could be a lifesaver.

It’s really important that you label (see below for link to free labels) kayaks, canoes, paddles, paddleboards, inflatables, and any craft you take on the water. It means that if they are reported as having been blown out to sea or 'abandoned' around the coast, we can get in contact with you to ensure that you are OK. And  if your craft goes missing, please tell us straight away, giving a description of the craft (ideally sharing images with us for identification) and where and when it was last seen.

With thanks to SUP Lass who took these images as she applied the new stickers and was ready to fill in her ownership details

If we do find equipment drifting at sea or found around the coasts, we have to assume the worst. We may launch a time-consuming and costly search and rescue incident needlessly. 

You can write on your equipment with a waterproof pen, or we provide free waterproof labels which you can order here:

For your FREE waterproof labels:

We've been dealing with many reports this summer  involving small personal craft such as paddleboards, inflatables and canoes which have drifted out to sea following an overnight squall or drifted off the beach. And we'll investigate reports of unattended watercraft found on beaches, rocks, and anywhere around the coasts.

We have to investigate each of these reports and in some cases will send search and rescue resources if we suspect that people could have fallen from small craft and be in the water.

Multi agency response to drifting kayak

Just one incident was near Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset. An inflatable kayak was found drifting out to sea without a paddle and with no-one on board. A couple had spotted some people going out to sea in the kayak earlier and, fearing the worst,, they quite rightly called 999 and asked for the Coastguard. 

An immediate multi-agency search was launched that evening, amid the concerns that the people from the kayak had been in difficulties and may be in the water. RNLI Lifeboats at Burnham-on-Sea, Burnham Coastguard Rescue Team and a Coastguard helicopter made an extensive search but no sign was found of any missing people and no report of a lost kayak was made so the search was terminated. Several days later, the kayak had still not been reported as missing.

Incidents such as these can quickly be resolved without taking potentially life-saving search and rescue resources away from other incidents.

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