Coast Guard reminds boaters to secure, mark boats before winter storms

Coast Guard reminds boaters to secure, mark boats before winter storms

 Until the Coast Guard can confirm the safe location of the owner of an adrift vessel, crews treat it as a sign of distress and launch a search to find the missing operator.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Coast Guard reminds boaters and paddle craft users to secure and mark their boats before upcoming winter storms.

The Coast Guard has launched on 90 unmanned adrift vessel cases within the 13th Coast Guard District during calendar year 2017. 

Sector Puget Sound personnel responded to 62 cases involving unmanned adrift vessels, Sector Columbia River personnel responded to 24 and Sector North Bend personnel responded to two. These unmanned adrift vessels cause hundreds of hours of unnecessary searches causing danger to first responders or delaying them from actual emergencies.

“We take every report of an adrift vessel as a distress situation and launch appropriate resources to begin a search,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Morris, a search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “Vessels safely and appropriately secured to a dock will prevent hundreds of hours of search efforts that put first responders in danger. Owners of these vessels and paddle craft can help resolve search and rescue cases sooner by keeping the registration information up to date or marking their vessel similar to marking luggage while traveling.”

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