20 June 2011
Owners and users of propelled water craft such as kayaks, canoes and rowing boats are being advised by Jersey Coastguard to have permanent identification, including a telephone number, fastened to their vessel so they can be easily traced if the vessel is stolen or cast adrift.
Permanent ID will help save time
The advice follows a recent spate of emergency calls received by Jersey Coastguard from concerned members of the public reporting sightings of these craft adrift along Jersey’s coastline. The latest incident involved what appeared to be an abandoned kayak in the water at St Brelade’s Bay. This led to a 45-minute search by Jersey Coastguard to find the owner who had left the vessel on the shoreline and gone to have lunch.
Captain Rick Masterman from Jersey Coastguard said "Jersey Coastguard will respond to all reported incidents but valuable time can be wasted trying to track down an owner, especially if there is a valid reason why the craft has been left. In order to reduce the number of these false alarms we would strongly urge users to ensure their craft has identification fastened to it, which should include a telephone number, so should such incidents occur we can contact an owner."
Be prepared before setting off
More people are expected to take to the water in kayaks and canoes over the coming months so Jersey Coastguard is reminding people to be properly prepared before they set off. This includes telling someone ashore of:
- your proposed route
- how long you intend to stay out for
- what to do should you fail to return on time
Captain Masterman said "There are a number of excellent training courses on offer to prepare people properly so that they understand the risks involved in water-based activities, especially if they are new to the sport. Despite advice that some people may view as plain common sense, we believe that it is important to reiterate such messages, especially in light of recent incidents."