This is what the RNLI sent me today with regard the Flare demo:
Dear Mr Hightower,
Many thanks for your e-mail regarding use of flares. Without repeating your comments you have hit the nail on the head as to one of the primary reasons why we have set up a team of flare presenters around the UK to go to clubs and marinas offering flare demonstrations for this reason. We always say 'read it before you need it', but using flares other than their intended use is illegal so for the boat owner it poses an two safety issues, 1) Using the right flare in the emergency and 2) firing them correctly so as not to injure yourselves or crew.
Details of booking a flare demonstration can be found on our Sea Safety web pages www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety
along with some other very useful information. For example, our FREE Complete Guide has video and animation of flares going off. This is also available to order on our web pages.
I hope you find this useful. If there is anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What I need from you guys is:
a. Who's interested