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?
SO WHAT CAN I DO?
Quite simply, join HM Coastguard's CG66 Voluntary Safety Identification Scheme. You can join online, or download the form and send it to your nearest Coastguard Co-ordination Centre.
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.
To register on line now could not be easier. Click below and follow the instructions
The information you provide will be entered into a electronic central Coastguard database.
Information provided on the CG66 will ONLY be used for Search and Rescue and Safety purposes.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I COMPLETE THE REGISTRATION FOR MY VESSEL?
When you complete the form and save the information, it will be loaded into the Coastguards CG66 database. You will be sent confirmation that the record has been saved and a link will take you to a web page containing further useful information.
Significantly, you will find a page containing details for you to leave with a responsible person. You should download this page and fill in the details of the Coastguard Co-ordination Centre that you emailed your CG66 to. Leave this with a responsible person who would contact the Coastguard if they had any concerns for your safety.
Your record will be kept for a period of 2 years after which time the information must be updated. If the details are not updated then they will be removed from the active system. You will be contacted before the 2 year deadline and be asked to verify your details. Updating your details can be done online at any time or via hard copy form. If you dispose of your vessel, please advise your local Coastguard station.
It is stressed that it is most important to update your CG66 if the details of your vessel or your contact details change.
Rest assured that if you are unfortunate enough to need emergency assistance at sea, someone you know shoreside will know what to do and who to contact. HM Coastguard will have at its disposal a full description of your vessel to assist with any action that may be necessary to locate you.