In October 2019, an incident unfolded along The Bristol Channel's shores, revealing a vital lesson about responsible boating. A lone boat, devoid of any identification, was discovered stranded in the surf. This mystery triggered the readiness of two RNLI stations and a Coastguard helicopter. However, upon closer inspection, debris found in the boat suggested it had journeyed from a river to the sea due to heavy rain.
This incident underscores the importance of labelling all boats, regardless of their waters. Every boat should feature the owner's name and contact details—this small action can prevent such incidents and unnecessary searches. In this case, a simple call could have resolved the situation, saving resources and reuniting the paddler with their boat.
The public knows to dial 999 for the Coastguard in emergencies, but false alarms burden them. Hence, the Coastguard and RNLI urge paddlers to clearly label their boats. The solution is easy: use a permanent marker or buy laminated identification stickers. By embracing this practice, we save emergency resources and ensure lost boats find their way back to owners. Whether it's a marker or a sticker, clearly label your boat—be a part of safer waters.
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