A shoreline police department is asking kayakers to use free stickers in case the kayak is found unattended.
The Old Saybrook Fire and Police Departments are asking kayakers to use “If Found” stickers after empty kayaks were found in the water.
This will help the departments from spending hours searching for a potential missing person.
"Trying to get the message out to put these stickers on your boat. It helps us trying and get contact with you or your loved ones or family members, should we find your vessel adrift out at sea," said Captain Keith Williams of the CT Environmental Police.
The fire department posted on Facebook that they have spent hours searching for potentially missing people when kayakers were found unattended in the water.
The “If Found” stickers can be placed on the side of the kayak. The owner can put their name and two phones numbers to contact the owner.
Pam walker marked her vessel and put safety reflectors on her paddles. This will help if she ever falls overboard, so first responders can identify the owner and determine if she's missing.
"I think it's smart, really, really smart," said Walker.
Old Saybrook first responders say if the kayak that 18-year-old William Zadrozny of Clinton was labeled with an ID tag when it disappeared, their search may have gone faster. His body was recovered a few days later.
Larger boats and powered watercraft like jet skis are already registered for identification. DEEP says marking your small vessel could save time and money.
The cost of emergency response to an empty or drifting craft is plenty in time and resources.
A helicopter is $11,408 per hour, while an emergency boat could cost $3,735 per hour.
"Like you said, it cost an awful lot of money to send someone out, especially with the helicopters and the Coast Guard boats. I think it's a great idea," said Gino Arnold of Unionville.
If you own a kayak and don’t have an “If Found” sticker, you can call the CT DEEP at 860-434-8638 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will have more on this coming up on Channel 3 at 5 p.m.
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