Australian Watercraft Registry I.D Tags & Race Numbers

Australian Watercraft Registry I.D Tags

Our I.D. tag system, is an idea that came to me during my 9 years of volunteer ocean rescue service that I was involved in on the northern end of the Gold Coast.  When a boat has been found with an issue, we could give the boat rego to the Water Police, and they would access the Dept. of Transport database and be able to call the owner, either to come get their vessel or give us permission to assist the vessel with it’s issue, be it sinking, adrift, navigational hazard or whatever.

When it comes to water going craft that don’t require government registration, it’s a real issue.  There are no details available on the craft, manufacturers 99.9% of the time don’t put I.D. on the craft, and even if they do, if it’s been sold they have no idea who it belongs to.

I custom designed a program thats basically two parts, a durable military shaped I.D. Tag that engraved with your own personal unique membership number, which is linked back to our secure website database of information.  

What makes it so special is that if any of your personal details change, you can log back in yourself and keep the data we keep accurate.  This also includes adding family members, adding new craft, and getting extra or replacement I.D. Tags for new craft.

Especially good, is that we’ve networked our system to allow access to the Water Police around Australia so they can enter any of the details they find about your craft, and look you up directly, saving precious seconds when an emergency is underway.  As mentioned, this system is been custom made specifically for paddlers and the like, and the I.D. Tags have been particularly kept very simple so that anyone can read the information, and report it instantly over the telephone.  Seconds count.


Race Number Stickers built around our safety system

I received a phone call from one of the organisers of an event that I had been regularly supporting with our IRB Safety Marshalling Boat, they needed race numbers for craft, and was there anyway based on my system, that I could provide race number stickers.  One thing that was most important to me is that it exactly replicated the safety system and the unique detail that we put on the I.D. tags.  It was also important that the 4 “race numbers” be slightly larger than what was currently available, that 2 identical stickers be provided to each craft for each side, and that the paddler also received a I.D. tag for their gear.

So this is the first creation of the sticker, however we are going to work on the design in the near future.

Some of the pitfalls are that I’ve noticed that one or two people have cut the top section off of the sticker, and just kept the bottom 4 numbers……  This is a complete waste of time and removes the ability of regular non-paddlers to identify that the craft is part of OUR system, and that we are the point of contact in an emergency.  It’s also highly likely that when reported to the police, they may not have been trained sufficiently to recognise that it’s our sticker, and that it might just be a number from a club, of which there are hundreds, and your life will balance on a Facebook post.  While you’re drowning, idiots will be commenting on the FB post going “shared postcode”, “god I hope their found”, OMG this is so horrible”.

The system I developed is currently the best in the world, and is only bettered by a GPS EPIRB, which we also sell at a discounted price will below retail sale price, in our web store.

There are several ways your craft might be found without you, it may float off a beach with an incoming tide, fall off a boat or blow off of a jetty, you may fall out of it and not be able to get back in, it may sustain damage and no longer be buoyant or watertight.

Either way, it’s important that you have I.D. on your craft, yes an GPS EPIRB is better, but that the type of $370 item you don’t leave in your craft if it’s on a boat, on a jetty, on a public beach and so on, that’s why your craft has to be tagged, and we’ve got the best system.

In 2020, I bought the Australian Watercraft Registry Thundercat, a fast nimble surf boat that’s just perfect for event safety during paddle races.  Unlike a larger cabin boat, I can drive it on and off a surf beach, it’s easy to pull paddlers in to, it’s basically unsinkable with 7 air tight compartments, and is fitted with more than the required safety gear.  On average so far, I pull about 50 people out of the water per year, or put them back in to their craft to continue racing.

Being commercially trained to Australian Maritime Safety Authority standards, and having 9 years of commercial ocean rescue experience, it’s these personal properties that in some cases allow events to get approval knowing that event organisers have the people and procedures in place to keep people safe out on the water.

The Australian Watercraft Registry is also the only water safety organisation to never have had a fatality, something that other organisations like Surf Life Saving, the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, Marine Rescue Queensland, and even the Water Police haven’t been able to compete with.

It’s important you join.  It’s as important that you understand why you joined.  It’s important to you, that you know I keep the Australian Watercraft Registry phone on me at all times, at all times, whether I’m out dancing, in bed asleep, at a birthday party or in the movies, IT’S ON and I’m waiting for the call.


Search and Rescue Queensland.

I want to go further, do more, for all water users including vessel owners.

Search and Rescue operators in Queensland have had a funding issue, and it’s just gotten a lot worse, as they now also have a management issue, and are being taken over by the government.  While to some people that may sound good, me being a person that is completely across the issue, it’s a train wreck that just keeps on delivering carnage.

It’s bad enough that current bases are mostly only open on weekends during daylight hours, are closed during most of the week, and in most cases, search attempts for people they know are missing are called off when the sun goes down, and resumed at dawn, leaving people to drown or face exposure issues during the night.

I’ve created the business model to fix these issues, with better, more reliable funding, business owners that can make real decisions instantly rather than management committees that wait to hold a meeting then go back to members at a general meeting to get funding or capital expenditure approved by a show of hands.

In twelve years of water safety and search and rescue operations, about 12,000 hours all told, I’ve always found the person quickly, alive, and returned them back to the beach to their family, or to an Ambulance to receive further medical care. 


Having commercially registered specialist rescue vessels located around South east Queensland, and eventually also further north, will allow the Australian Watercraft Registry to offer a greater service to paddling groups and event organisers for paddle races.  Furthermore, it increases what is currently offered at a much more affordable rate than what is offered by the VMR and the Coast Guard.

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