Unoccupied Watercraft Cause Strain on Local Agencies

Michigan has the most registered boaters of any state in the U.S., and that should come as no surprise given the amount of water that surrounds the state.  That same water is also fun to experience in a smaller boat, which often is not required to be registered. Kayaks, blow-up floats, inner-tubes, and other such watercraft often carry no registration which, the Coast Guard is saying can sometimes cause problems if an unattended vessel is found. 

A representative from the U.S. Coast Guard station in Port Huron reports that “unoccupied watercraft are a common occurrence.” He went on to say, “When one of these small vessels are reported or found by the Coast Guard, the agency has to run search patterns to look for someone who may be in trouble.”  If no one is found, the Coast Guard attempts to locate the vessel’s owner. In many cases, these situations require many agencies, typically spending many hours to clear these types of calls. In turn, this places a strain on valuable resources that may be needed elsewhere. When the Coast Guard reunites a lost vessel with its owner, property stickers are given to the owner to put on the vessel.  To avoid this problem, the Coast Guard is asking residents to write a name and phone number on personal watercraft like kayaks, canoes, tubes, or whatever floats residents around our waterways.