Originally Posted by Stigomery
The expiry has rubbed off as you can see. Never opened. Never used.
I can't remember how long they lasted - but I think it was either 3 or 5 yrs from manufacture! You can probably assume the shelf life is conservative... but that conservative? As I understand it there are potentially two main issues with TEP "rockets" (1) the colour fades - so they look more pink than red (better than nothing!); (2) the "oomph" fades from the rocket so it comes back down on you still burning (
). FWIW the test conditions for shelf life were almost certainly not harsh enough to rub the date off!
I have mobile phone and handheld VHF with DSC.
OK so you have a good way (and a backup) to contact the CG. BUT you don't have any way to visually alert the yacht (who has has radio off to save power!) or the rib (who's engine is so loud he can't hear the radio) that is only 1 mile away and you can clearly see, and can be with you in a few minutes whilst the CG are still going through the launch procedure!
And of course there are areas (particularly close to cliffs / headlands where people might be around to see you) that are VHF (and probably cell tower) blackspots.
You've also no way to guide the helo / lifeboat to you in a crowded area, or at night when you've been adrift in big waves in the dark for three hours.
Flares are annoyingly expensive. PLBs are getting cheaper - but even if you go that way some sort of visual signal is helpful to both attract attention and guide rescuers to you.