Residents urged to ID their kayaks, boats

Jun 20, 2022

Every year, the Wareham Department of Natural Resources runs into the same problem, harbormaster Garry Buckminster said: errant canoes or kayaks floating around, sans identification.

“Put your identification on it,” Buckminster urged residents.

When town agencies come across an empty water vessel without an owner or clear origin, they usually start a search for a possible missing person as a precaution, Buckminster said. Multiple agencies can be pulled to assist in the search, from the natural resources department to fire officials to police officers to the Coast Guard.

If the owner’s identification or phone number is written on the vessel, they can be contacted. That prevents town agencies from spending hours on a fruitless — and unnecessary — search. 

Along with listing identification information on a vessel, Buckminster said the simplest thing to do with boats is to drag them onto the shoreline, above the tide, so they don’t get pulled out to sea and accidentally trigger a massive search.

“It does cost the taxpayers a lot of money,” Buckminster said, noting the higher price of gas nowadays. “We’re running boats, we’re running fuel.”

Residents can write their information directly on their kayaks and canoes in marker. Buckminster also said his office has stickers residents can fill out and slap on their boats too, if they’d like.