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Old 14 April 2014, 11:14   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Looe - Plymouth
Boat name: Teal
Make: Coastline
Length: 7m +
Engine: Outboard Petrol 175
MMSI: 235087776
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 58
Flares & Safety Kit is it time to Review what I Need. Advice Please

My Offshore flare pack is now out of date, not too sure how to get rid of the old ones, looks like I might have to take them to the coast guard at Brixham, which is a bit of a trek from Plymouth. I have looked at a few other websites and am beginning to question do I really need to replace them.
I am hoping to get advice from other ribsters as to what you all use for emergency situations and if investing another 200 in a set of flares, will suit my needs best.

I mostly take the rib out in Devon & Cornwall for family cruising plus a bit of offshore boating, looking to go to France, Scillies and maybe Ireland over the next 12 months.

I have 1 x DSC VHF, 1 x Spare hand VHF, 1 x AIS transceiver,
Considering, Laser Flare, Personal Epirb, Kannad SafeLink PLB, Ocean Signal RescueME GPS PLB1, Personal AIS Beacons,

What would RNLI & Powerboat trainers currently recommend ?

What do you use and why ?

Any advice would be a great help. Thanks

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Old 14 April 2014, 11:22   #2
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Ocean Safety are suppliers of flares near by, They should take old flares in exchange for the new pack
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Old 14 April 2014, 11:52   #3
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I took the decision to go "flareless" last year under the same circumstances. I have PLB/AIS/DSC/Spare handheld VHF/Radar Reflector/Active radar reflector & Green rescue laser. IMHO, and I stress that it is only my opinion, flares are past their sell by date, no pun intended.
Rule#2: Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level & then beat you with experience.
Rule#3: Tha' can't educate pork.
Rule#4: See rule#5
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Old 14 April 2014, 12:32   #4
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Would definitely consider a PLB. For the money, in my opinion it's a no brainer.
Flares, granted everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I think they are still worthwhile. And still recommended carriage, and a legal requirement on ships, coded vessels and the like. People at sea, and in coastal communities generally will recognise and report a flare, not sure if the same is yet true for lasers. I do think that eventually flares will cease to be a requirement, but feel this is many years away yet.

The flare is designed to raise the alarm, one could very well argue though that with properly used DSC comms then raising the alarm is not a problem, though if power lost you may have an issue, then you have the handheld, though possibly limited in range- a phone is good, if you have a signal. A PLB should also raise the alarm and get people looking for you and can then use flares to pin point your location.

Think it's all about belt and braces, and as per Mustribs recent well documented adventures, certainly had me thinking, it's great having all this in the boat- what if you need to raise the alarm and you are no longer in the boat!

It's all about your own risk assessment, areas usually cruised etc the sad thing is those who buy all the kit, generally never need it. It's those who don't have any safety kit are generally the ones who need it most...............
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Old 14 April 2014, 12:52   #5
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Make: Humber Destroyer
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Currently having the same debate with myself, I have a DSC fixed and handheld VHF and also an EPIRB. Have up till now carried a coastal flair pack but this went out of date over the winter so what to replace with?

As my Ribbing is on the west coast of Scotland and some bits around Jura are a long way from help I reckon I still need flairs. When I went to get replacements they said they could take the old ones off my hands at 2 per flair or I could hand in to the coastguard at considerable inconvenience to myself. So here is the question, I have bought the new ones so I have reliable flairs, but is there any harm in just keeping the old ones as a spare set, I guess the worst case scenario is they don't work in which case I have the hew ones anyway. Or are there issues with them becoming unstable over time and becoming a fire risk etc, anybody know anything about this?
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Old 14 April 2014, 13:19   #6
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Originally Posted by sirib View Post
What would RNLI & Powerboat Trainers currently recommend ?
Somebody call

Here you go

Emergency distress alerting | Safety Information | Information & Advice | RYA
Maximum Preparation - Maximum Fun
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Old 14 April 2014, 13:38   #7
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Originally Posted by Puffin View Post
Or are there issues with them becoming unstable over time and becoming a fire risk etc, anybody know anything about this?
Not so sure about them becoming a fire risk, rather a case of being more likely to dangerously 'malfunction' when deployed, I think.

I've been considering exactly the same issue and am 99% sure I'm coming down on the side of the EVDS 'for that final mile' - my order's going in v. soon to a trade member on here.

All in addition to personal Epirb, fixed DSC and hand-held DSC.
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Old 14 April 2014, 14:12   #8
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My own take on this is that I'd be happy to wave flares goodbye, except the "smokes". Helo crews really, really like smokes. For the final "pickup", they are hard to beat, pinpointing your craft and the wind conditions at the same time. Not knocking the lasers, PLBs etc - I never set foot in a boat without my PLB.
"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"
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Old 14 April 2014, 14:27   #9
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Greatland Rescue Laser Flare - I not bias ! (Uk & Ireland Importer of them)

want to talk give me a call -

in order of purchase for personal carry:

Lifejacket with LED strobe /light
DSC Handheld
PLB with GPS
Rescue Laser Flare
Day/Night Flare

The rescue lasers are designed to direct rescuers to your location after alerting by another means.

on a boat a I carry 2 off orange Smoke buoyant - unless I am needed to carry flares for regulatory purposes.
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Old 14 April 2014, 16:29   #10
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I am carrying fixed DSC VHF plus two handhelds, one for the cox and one for the navigator. That allows to monitor VTS channels and 16 simultaneously. At my part of the North Sea no ship maybe in sight, basically meaning that you cannot establish VHF connection as this would require a line-of-sight between the antennas.
On my boat I am carrying flares, plus parachute flares. They climb 300m and burn for 30s. 300m is pretty much of an eye level and can be seen from ships or people under the horizon.
I do not believe that anybody in our part of the coast would interpret a laser as a distress signal. To interprete parachutes and flares is part of the DNA over here.
Last resort is a Samsung cellphone, graded IPX7.

If they are aged, the flares are used at easter to ignite a BIG fire:
Osterfeuer in Blankenese 2012 - Blankenese -

New years eve is a good occasion to excercise with parachutes. That is how I learned to wear gloves and keep them with the flares, the blowback is massive.

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