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Old 06 November 2007, 07:56   #11
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Originally Posted by The Garfish View Post
yorr rite

de ornchurch orlwevver bote ad 463 corl owts lasst nite

garF
Yeah, but only 724 of them proved to be genuine ;-)
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Old 06 November 2007, 08:24   #12
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Garfie........The Cox told me that the last five miles were the hardest !

Poly..........Straight into a bucket of water . Checked this morning . They are breaking up but will stay in the water until completely destroyed.

Malthouse... Yep I expected the flak but what about the very serious angle of emergency equipment ( which just might be somebodies last hope ) failing when it's most needed . You are a chandler probably selling this gear . Do my comments not concern you at all ?

JC..... The middle of last October ( rem that Fireworks go on general sale about the 16th ) , amidst many other fireworks , I did see a parachute flare go up a few miles to the south of my house . I pondered for a moment , then rang Thames Coastguard . I told them where I lived and what direction the flare was from me . They politely thanked me , but I honestly got the impression ( right or wrong ) they thought I was bonkers . By the way , it was drizzling round my way last night !

I realise that this thread might be considered " controversial " but it was always intended to raise awareness of a serious potential problem.
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Old 06 November 2007, 08:34   #13
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I realise that this thread might be considered " controversial " but it was always intended to raise awareness of a serious potential problem.
It succeeded.
Keep away from Essex on bonfire night
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Old 06 November 2007, 10:07   #14
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Originally Posted by Bern Hanreck View Post
Malthouse... Yep I expected the flak but what about the very serious angle of emergency equipment ( which just might be somebodies last hope ) failing when it's most needed . You are a chandler probably selling this gear . Do my comments not concern you at all ?
I am very concerned!

I collect my customer's OOD flares and regularly take them round to the local Coastguard (they have a shed near where I live called Langdon Battery), but I do not sell single replacements. I do packages of safety gear which include flares, but not on there own for several reasons.

As a boater I do worry about the failure rate of flares, but then electronics fail (except for Standard Horizon stuff) and mechanicals fail too - so I carry more flares than the minimum. I reccommend other people do that too, I suggest that the extra be stored seperately from the main lot.

Aside from the failure rate... There was a chap out single handed a while back, he was heading across the Thames Eastuary but the fog came down and he overshot (compass out and no gps). So, he called the Coasties and they said they would get a Lifeboat out to his estimated area. The 'Boat arrived a while later and they told him to fire his first flare, which he did - nothing seen. So they repeat this process all the while using direction finding to track his VHF signal, after they had still not found him in the fog they asked for a third flare - but he was out. In the end they found him clinging to a buoy off the French coast!

So in summary, Flares:-
are not fireworks,
are not guaranteed to fire 100%,
are not for fun.
are to be respected and treated with caution.
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Old 06 November 2007, 11:24   #15
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Originally Posted by Bern Hanreck View Post
JC..... The middle of last October ( rem that Fireworks go on general sale about the 16th ) , amidst many other fireworks , I did see a parachute flare go up a few miles to the south of my house . I pondered for a moment , then rang Thames Coastguard . I told them where I lived and what direction the flare was from me . They politely thanked me , but I honestly got the impression ( right or wrong ) they thought I was bonkers . By the way , it was drizzling round my way last night !
Not sure where you live, but if the flare was spotted well inland, would you expect anything less?

I am well aware of the false distress signal thing, but given the number of roman candles and such fired off around our fireworks holiday (4th of July; sorry, guys), I doubt that a marine flare over land would cause much of a stir (certainly no more than regular fireworks - how would you tell the difference anyway?) And, realistically, I would think the practice would be a good thing.

I've always shied away from handheld flares on an inflatable. Having never seen one lit, I was leery of the sparks and such. From Pete's description, it may have been a wise choice.

My inventory currently consists of: 6 expired aerial flares (non-parachute); 6 current aerial flares (non-parachute), 4 12Ga aerial flares, one handheld smoke signal, and 4 flourescein dye markers. There's usually a collection of submersible flashlights on-boaard, as well.

I would find the failure rate that Bern encountered to be troubling at the very least. Perhaps a call to the manufacturer? Your Coast Guard equivalent?

jky
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Old 06 November 2007, 11:53   #16
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Handheld red are great for destroying wasp nests !
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Old 06 November 2007, 11:57   #17
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but then electronics fail (except for Standard Horizon stuff)
Not quite....
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Old 06 November 2007, 12:01   #18
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the mount batten sailing centre in plymouth had a flare go off in one of its ribs the other week.... the bow of the boat is not a pretty sight anymore will try and get the pics off my phone
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Old 06 November 2007, 15:16   #19
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Good point Pete7

I also have a pair of cheap gardening leather gloves which i keep with my flare pack - definitely a good thing to have around when a flare is set off - the temperatures get obviously VERY hot and if you're holding one for 60 seconds you're going to get a serious tan on your hand if not careful.

On the point of condensation, I keep those little sachets of silica gel which help keep things dry in my flare tub to help minimise moisture.

I know Bern has done something which really should not have been carried out, but he does have a point on the failure rate which has raised the issue for the forum - for me, the lesson is to make sure they are all in date and to carry adequate amounts without being silly. In my pack I have 3 parachute 2 marker red, 1 orange floating smoke and 2 white collision. If they all don't go off, then I guess someone above has it in for me anyway, so whats the point of resisting? ;-)

I would imagine that Pains Wessex / Icarus et al conduct regular batch sample testing, so it may well be worth you while contacting them direct with your results Bern?

Cheers
Rob
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Old 06 November 2007, 15:39   #20
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I would imagine that Pains Wessex / Icarus et al conduct regular batch sample testing, so it may well be worth you while contacting them direct with your results Bern?
Yes - as a gesture of goodwill they may send you a new flare-pack.
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