Found a drifter?


Have you found a drifter? Does it look like this?

Or like this?


Does it have a label like this?

(drifter label)

If yes, then you found a drifter, and you might wonder what to do with it. This page is here to help you to decide whether or not to recover the drifter.

  • If you have found a drifter moving freely in the ocean, please LEAVE IT ALONE. It is probably collecting data and reporting back to us via satellite link, even if there is no evidence of activity on the unit. If you can, take a picture of it and let us know when and where you found it (we are interested in how often people spot them). However, the drifters have a limited battery life, and if the battery dies they will not be collecting data.  In that case, we would like to have them back. Please recover the drifters if the following case apply:
    • You found one drifters with number 1 to 6, and the date you found it is AFTER the 9th of May 2016
    • You found a drifter with number 311 to 313, and the date you found it is AFTER the 2th of May 2016
    • You found the drifter 21 or 22
  • If you have found the drifter at sea but tangled up in flotsam, please untangle it, staighten the drogue plates (if they are bent and battered), and put it back in the water. If you can, take a picture of it and email the picture to us (we are interested ito know how often this happens).
  • If you have found the drifter washed up on shore, we would be glad to get the tracker unit back so we can re-battery it and redeploy it.

Here is a description of the different elements of the drifter:

To recover, please proceed as follow:

  1. Unclip the GPS tracker unit from the door spring as shown below.

Unclip the GPS unit

  1. Unscrew the "door stop" coil spring from the top of the drifter as shown below.

Unmount the spring

  1. Remove the sticker if possible (it is plasticized and therefore waterproof).
  2. Note the drifter unit number.
  3. Dispose the remaining drifter structure, which are made of unpainted wood and metal, according to local regulations.
  4. Call 1-604-822-1356 or email and we will ship you a pre-paid envelope so that you can send us the tracker unit back to us at no charge to you.
  5. Try to remember the location and time at which you found the drifter! If the tracker failed or ran out of battery power before grounding it might have drifted for some time - and we would like to know that!

In any case, please do not touch the GPS, as you might desactivate or switch it off.

Many thanks for you help!