It's silly, but only to those who think it unnecessary to have written, visible, positive ID somewhere on the hull of your boat - BEFORE keying up # 16 summoning help...
No, it's absolutely outright silly.
The majority of boats on the water are not marked except with 3 inch registration numbers that are not visible at more than 50 yards.
Look it up, 90% of boats are little sport fishers, john boats etc. They don't even have a name. My 15 foot Lyman runabout has no name. I can call it Fred on the VHF one day and Ginger the next - legally.
Besides, I punch up 16 for a distress call I'm going to do it via DSC, with full boat info INCLUDING GPS.
I think that trumps a eyeball bouncing at 20+ knots in a first responders boat trying to pick out my scripted fancy name on the back of the boat obscured by a swim ladder and a dinghy - don't you?
My registration via the state of Marland, and my title do not have a boat name on them.
My Coast Guard documentation information is not available to the local first responders. I know that to be true because I work the databases for the local first responders.
In a crowd of boats the one shooting flares, or even waving skivvies in the air is the one the first responder is going to see from any meaningful distance away. I have to pull my 7x50 bino's out to read a boat name from over 100 yards away.
Call me MD 4653 AS on the vhf and you'll get a static air response I'm just not listening for it and neither is anyone else - but at least I know my registration (and CG #), I doubt many do.
We were traveling up the bay on Saturday while the CG was broadcasting every 20 minutes that they were wanting info on a boat named Pycho, 40 foot long, white boat with blue trim and white sails - you know, like 90% of the boats out there.