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Coast Guard Stresses Importance Of ID Stickers To Aid First Responders

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- If you are out paddling a kayak, canoe, raft or rowboat, the U.S. Coast Guard wants you to mark it with a waterproof sharpie, or an I.D. sticker that it provides.

The Coast Guard would rather not deploy an active search and rescue mission every time someone's water craft goes adrift.

'We can launch helicopters and small boats to go search for somebody that may be just sitting on a couch at home, and we don't know that," said Chief Warrant Officer Craig Coburn, stationed in Philadelphia. "If we launch a helicopter, it's about $4,800 an hour for their services. The small boats range from $700-$1,300 an hour."

Coburn says that's why the Coast Guard urges boaters to affix an identification sticker on board, with contact info, which they have available for free.

"And that way, we can make phone calls to find out if someone really is in danger, or just got adrift," he said. "And, we can then locate them to get their water craft back, as well."

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