The success of the Citizen’s Action Network program is proportional to the number of members in the network, the extent of their training, and their familiarity with their particular waterway. A member’s contribution is not dependent on his or her ability to confront a situation or fix a problem, but on the ability to report appropriate information to the Coast Guard investigator.
CAN members might be called upon to aid search and rescue efforts, verify radio calls and flare sightings, and note unsafe vessel operation, aids to navigation equipment outages/abnormalities, suspicious activity, and marine pollution.
After training, a member receives the Coast Guard sector communications emergency number to be used for reporting purposes. CAN reporting uses the acronym “LAST” to describe the information to be reported:
- location of the incident,
- size and identification information of the vessel involved in the incident,
- time, date, and conditions at the scene of the incident.