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United States Coast Guard Operation Kayak I.D.

Kayak owners may obtain their free identification sticker at this year’s Oyster Fest USCG Auxiliary’s display booth on West End Avenue. They will also have free kayaking and boating safety materials on hand for distributing to all recreational boaters.

Morgan McCurdy of the Waterfront Center is shown in the accompanying photo pointing to a kayak identification sticker provided by USCG Auxiliary in Oyster Bay. The 3x6 waterproof stickers provide space for the owners of the kayak to write their name and two telephone contact numbers. Each year thousands of empty floating kayaks are found floating inshore and offshore waters. In that kayaks are not required to be registered in the State of New York and have no registration numbers, there is presently no way for authorities to identify and contact the owner of the craft.

Therefore, when an unattended floating kayak is found, without the ability to contact the owner, a Search and Rescue Mission is launched by the USCG and Auxiliary or by local authorizes with the assumption a kayaker is lost. More often, after a search is in progress, it is determined that the kayak merely floated off the beach or dock where it was stored.

The sticker provided by the USCG and distributed by the USCG Auxiliary, is an attempt to provide a method to contact the owner/s in a timelier manner to prevent unnecessary and prolonged search and rescue missions. Kayakers are asked to contact their local flotilla of the USCG Auxiliary. In this area, kayak owners may obtain their free sticker at this year’s Oyster Fest USCG Auxiliary’s display booth on West End Avenue on Oct. 15 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. You may also call the Oyster Bay Flotilla at 624-8724 for information.