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Old 05 January 2016, 16:04   #1
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Would you rely on these for an emergency?

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Old 05 January 2016, 16:17   #2
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No. Not at all.
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Old 05 January 2016, 16:20   #3
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Rely on them? NO
Carry as a last resort? Possibly (they are WELL out of date though).

I think "official" advice is no longer to carry time expired pyros. I disposed of some made in 2005 earlier this year.

What other means do you have for signalling distress?
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Old 05 January 2016, 16:24   #4
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Would you rely on these for an emergency?

The expiry has rubbed off as you can see. Never opened. Never used.

I got them for a time when I climbed remote mountains and (thankfully) never had call to use them.

I have mobile phone and handheld VHF with DSC.
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Old 05 January 2016, 16:36   #5
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I've used these (in a test fire situation). They are very bright and fire to a reasonable height. However the burn time is a meagre couple of seconds. I would rate them as fairly useless in daytime unless someone was actively looking for you (e.g. you went overboard in a bit of a swell and your crew were searching for you). At night maybe of more use but again - fairly poor compared to the alternatives.

My weapons of choice are the GPS equipped Personal Locator Beacon and a waterproof torch. Always in my pocket when afloat.
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Old 05 January 2016, 16:46   #6
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It'll depend where you are......

Around here no one will see them if (and I suspect they will) fire as the cliffs are too high and the coast not populated.

Set them off on a Sunday afternoon in the Solent and everyman and their dog will see them.

So would I use them - yes, would I rely on them being my only means of calling for hope, nope.

I've set off some very old flares during demos and you'd be surprised how many fired. So long as they are stored ok they'll probably go - oldest was round a 20 year old smoke.

I'd take these out and check for corrosion, grease and put back in.
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Old 05 January 2016, 16:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stigomery View Post
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!

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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.
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Old 05 January 2016, 16:49   #8
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What willk said.


I had some a few years older than yours and set them off at home, they did little more than shoot a few feet and sizzle for couple of seconds. Check em away.
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Old 06 January 2016, 04:33   #9
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I've used both the civilian and military versions of them. Only real difference was that the metal tube with the military one stayed attached to the pen so the powers-that-be decided it was a barrel so they are classed as a firearm & can't be sold to the general public.
Main problem with them is that they have a short burn time & not easy to spot where they've come from.
Normal red or orange smoke flares have a decent burn time & generate lots of smoke so are easily seen and pin-pointable.
Whilst they may seem expensive & the vast majority will never be used in anger, when the need arises you'll be glad you spent the money.
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Old 06 January 2016, 04:49   #10
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Sorry to be a pain, but does anyone have a link to the right type of flare and/or other emergency back up that won't break the bank. I'm not yet ready to fork out 150+ on a PLB.

Thanks.
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