On Saturday, in the space of only 30 minutes the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) were co-ordinating rescue or assistance to 5 separate boats that had broken down - all within 10 miles of Swanage.
So how do we know who is who?
Well every boat should have a name - a callsign - and it makes it a whole lot easier if the boat details are logged with the Coastguard on a CG66
So is Big Brother always watching us?....well yes.... and sometimes it is watching over us in a good way.
The Maritime Coastguard Agency have a voluntary sceheme called CG66- The Voluntary Safety Identification Scheme.
If you are at sea and get into difficulty and you are unable to raise assistance, is there anyone ashore who knows what to do if you fail to return at your estimated time?
Would a friend or relative know who to contact? Would they have sufficient detail about your vessel and your likely whereabouts to be able to assist the Coastguard to locate you?
Would it not be a comfort to know that when you set out, the Coastguard has the details of your vessel on a database that is accessible to all Coastguard Co-ordination Centres throughout the UK so that they have the information they need to mount a search and rescue operation should you get into difficulty?
Quite simply, join HM Coastguard's CG66 Voluntary Safety Identification Scheme. You can join online. Forms can also be obtained from any Coastguard Co-ordination Centre or Sector Base, MCA Marine Office, RNLI boathouse; or look out for them in your Local Marina or Sailing Club.
The scheme is free and is for the benefit of the owners and skippers of all types of leisure vessels and small craft including kayaks.
Information provided on the CG66 will only be used for Search and Rescue and Safety purposes.