Islanders urged to register watercraft after kayak is found adrift

OWNERS of small watercraft such as paddleboards and dinghies are being advised by Jersey Coastguard to make sure they are marked, registered and out of the reach of high tides after an abandoned kayak drifted out to sea in bad weather recently.

Bill Sadler, Harbour Master                                                             Picture: ROB CURRIE. (29652764)
Bill Sadler, Harbour Master Picture: ROB CURRIE. (29652764)

On Sunday, the Coastguard struggled to identify the owner of the kayak, as they were unable to get close enough and it had no clear markings or contact details. This led them to turn to social media to ask the owner to come forward – a process the Coastguard said could have been avoided if the kayak had been clearly marked and registered.

Harbourmaster Bill Sadler said that ‘valuable time and resources’ could be saved if Islanders marked their vessels and ensured they were registered under the Coastguard’s free identification scheme.

‘To address this issue, which can often happen during times of bad weather and rough seas, both Jersey Coastguard and Guernsey Coastguard have, in recent years, established a free voluntary registration scheme for water-based activity equipment,’ he said.

‘In return for providing us with details of their watercraft and their own contact details, owners receive a unique identity number in the form of a weatherproof vinyl sticker or robust tag, which is then affixed to the craft.

‘If the craft is then found washed up or adrift, the owner can be immediately contacted, saving valuable time and resources and allowing the owner to be quickly reunited with their valuable items.’

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