Report Lost Equipment Help Avoid Unnecessary Searching:

The MCA is asking Captains to report missing equipment such as tenders, boards, kayaks and sails to them as soon as they become aware that they are lost, following a spate of unnecessary searches, due to abandoned equipment being found.

For example recently two separate tenders were lost by vessels who knew that they were missing, but simply did not bother to report it.  In the second incident, Portland Coastguard in the UK fairly quickly worked out what had happened but the yacht in question rebuffed all attempts by another vessel to explain why he should contact the Coastguard to confirm that it was his.  This was in the middle of an extended search for a missing diver and several other incidents and involved the launch of two lifeboats. 

Ros Evans, a Watch Manager for a UK coastguard station says:

“Whenever lost equipment is found at sea, unless we have information to the contrary, we have to assume the worst and begin an investigation which might lead to us starting a search and rescue operation involving coastguard teams, lifeboats, helicopters and other vessels.

Obviously, there is a significant cost to this type of operation, but we are also very concerned that we may be diluting resources that are needed for a real emergency.

Those who report lost or missing equipment to us help us to prevent needless searches.  And of course we may be able to reunite members of the public with their lost equipment.”