Put your name on it
In recent years there have been a number of paddle craft found floating on Victorian waterways without anyone nearby, sparking wide spread and expensive searchers to find missing paddlers. In quite a few of these situations the owners of the paddle craft were not even paddling and were safely on shore, unaware of the search being conducted. Placing your name, contact number and emergency contact number on your craft could help speed up or refine a search and rescue attempt or rule out the assumption that there is a person in need of rescue.
There are plenty of ways a paddler can be separated from their boat, which can include remaining on shore whilst their boat is adrift, wind blowing away boats, rising tide, boat becoming loose from mooring and many more.
Remember to always label your craft with:
1. Your name
2. Your contact phone number
3. Your emergency contact phone number
It’s best to identify your craft in a low wear-and-tear area that has low exposure, such as inside the cockpit area. Common methods of identifying boats include engraving (for plastic boats), permanent markers, paint pens and/or stickers. The best identification method will depend on the kind of material your craft is made from, as it will need to be readable for a long period of time.