DEEP: Displaced Boats - Information for Municipal Officials

Displaced Boats
Information for Municipal Officials


The following steps should be used for vessels that may have been displaced because of Storm Sandy.

  • Secure the boat in place (if in danger of floating away) or, if necessary, move the boat to secure municipal property;
  • Find the boat’s identifying numbers;
  • Identify the owner through CATER (available to the police) or through the DMV;
  • Notify DEEP using the email below and notify the USCG if found on Long Island Sound; and,
  • Contact the owner and arrange retrieval.

Make sure that if a boat is collected and moved, that the location where the boat was initially found is recorded.

A boat will generally have two identifying numbers associated with it – a registration number and a hull identification number (HIN). Most boats can be matched to their owner through one of the two numbers. The registration number will be on the front of the boat in 3-inch block letters-numbers, and may have a form similar to this: "CT 1234 AB". The HIN is embossed in very small characters and is located on the back of the boat, on the outside and on the upper right hand corner of the back, and has a form similar to "ABC12345A123". PLEASE RECORD AND REPORT BOTH NUMBERS, if possible. If the boat doesn’t have any such numbers, please feel free to contact us at the email address below.

Municipal police departments can check the identifying numbers through the State’s CATER system. If for some reason they cannot, you can fax a request for ownership information ON MUNICIPAL LETTERHEAD to the DMV Marine Vessel Section at 860-263-5555. The returned information can be used to identify and locate the owner. Boat ownership information is considered to be CONFIDENTIAL and should not be given to the general public.

Because unpowered boats are not required to be registered, there may be no record of the boat in anybody’s database.


Boaters should contact the local police with the following information:

  • the identifying numbers
  • last known location of the boat
  • description of the boat

Boaters can be directed to DEEP's website at for more information.

Please notify DEEP of any missing or found boats using this email:

You can also use this email address to ask any questions.

While DEEP has no official role and no funding to deal with displaced boats, we may be able to match owner to boat as owners notify us. DEEP will notify local municipalities as we receive word of displaced boats.

Finally, if the vessel is found on LONG ISLAND SOUND or on property abutting Long Island Sound, please notify the Coast Guard at 203-468-4401 to report the finding and proceed with the other steps.