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Old 03 June 2020, 11:03   #1
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Flares

Rather than hijacking p45ton's introduction thread I thought I'd start a new one.

charliee suggests not having pyro flares and going down the route of an electronic flare plus a smoke.

https://www.rib.net/forum/f64/new-me...tml#post813465

I've got to get new flares this season but I'm umming and aahing about what to do.

The RYA have a summary table which is quite useful.

https://www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/e-...s-signals.aspx

My current thinking is to buy a couple of handheld smoke flares and an electronic flare such as the EDF1.

This will be complemented by the DSC functionality on my VHF and a PLB.

It's purely for leisure use.

What do others think?
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Old 03 June 2020, 11:22   #2
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I'm considering the same thing. My current flare pack is valid for another couple of years, but it's expensive, no one wants the bleed'n things when they expire, and after watching some videos, they aren't always 100% successful when you have to deploy in an emergency.

I think smokes are fair enough, and I hadn't thought about wind direction for coastguard teams which is a good call.

Once mine expire it will be strobe-light, smokes, portable and fixed VHF, mobile, and GPS. I don't have a PLB, but it's on my list for some point.
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Old 03 June 2020, 12:18   #3
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Flares

I hadnít carried pyros for around 8 years, since I was badly burned when setting off an in date parachute flare. I went down the electronic route. Then last year I bought a coastal pyro pack as we were going to Portugal with the boat & itís a legal requirement. Given the choice I would abandon pyros altogether, they belong in the past IMO.
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Old 03 June 2020, 12:32   #4
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We regularly have this debate I am anti pyro and the electronics get better and better area of operation is a key element to the risk Assessment. On the solent is different to the Irish Sea etc.....

RYA training vessels are required to carry pyros when used for instruction. I confirmed this last year.


I am hoping a PLB will replace the need to carry pyros shortly a flare only works if someone is looking......a plb will alert and the new ones confirm message has been received!
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Old 03 June 2020, 13:31   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDAV View Post
We regularly have this debate I am anti pyro and the electronics get better and better.....

Well, weíve done Kill Cord, Trailer Boards, so why not?
We need to do 2t v4t next & weíre ready for the season
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Old 03 June 2020, 14:00   #6
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FWIW I would and do carry pyros but only because they are a requirement for me and good as a last resort.

Of more value to me is working out a reliable independent power source for my AIS and DSC kit, as they will reach far more people for far far longer than two red dots briefly passing through the sky.

And as mentioned - an in date, tested, PLB is a very good shout. Costs about the same as many RIBs tank of fuel, lasts for years and works 99.9% reliably.

The LED Flares I would not bother with, all the bad points and none of the good (apart from the lack of burn injuries of course).
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Old 03 June 2020, 14:03   #7
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>>>The LED Flares I would not bother with, all the bad points and none of the good (apart from the lack of burn injuries of course).

Do expand on this.
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Old 03 June 2020, 14:08   #8
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Iím interested in this as well because after no research at all I decided they were probably useless!
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Old 03 June 2020, 14:08   #9
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Do expand on this.
They have the same failure issues of any electrical device, yet do not have the same visual impact in terms of spectrum or brightness. Yes, they do "burn" for much longer but their light it too easily missed among others that might be around or in the fore/background.

For the money I would have a minimul pack of pyros and a PLB, rather than an electronic flare.
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Old 03 June 2020, 14:16   #10
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Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
They have the same failure issues of any electrical device, yet do not have the same visual impact in terms of spectrum or brightness. Yes, they do "burn" for much longer but their light it too easily missed among others that might be around or in the fore/background.

For the money I would have a minimul pack of pyros and a PLB, rather than an electronic flare.


Oh I dunno. The Odeo nearly blinded me. Iíd imagine itíll stand out for miles if a SAR helo was looking for you. Itís another layer. I have VHF/PLBs (plural) AIS/GMDSS/electronic flares (plural again). If that lot isnít going to get the cavalry geeíd up, then some glorified fireworks ainít got a chance.
All IMO of course.
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Old 03 June 2020, 14:22   #11
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You could just stay in the boat! Oh and donít forget your mobile phone!! 🤣
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Old 03 June 2020, 14:37   #12
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Oh I dunno. The Odeo nearly blinded me. I’d imagine it’ll stand out for miles if a SAR helo was looking for you.
On that basis an infra red strobe will do a far better job, the military have been using them to signal to paraffin budgies and drones for decades and well proven they are; says Yoda.

And I totally agree that pyros are now down the bottom of the list of likely to be seens.
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Old 03 June 2020, 14:51   #13
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Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
On that basis an infra red strobe will do a far better job, the military have been using them to signal to paraffin budgies and drones for decades and well proven they are; says Yoda.

And I totally agree that pyros are now down the bottom of the list of likely to be seens.


The problem with an IR strobe, is that unless you have night vision kit, you wonít see it. So if any civilian boats, or non NVG equipped peeps are involved in the search they are blind. The PLB/GMDSS are also ďdarkĒ so if you want to be seen, then you need some kind of visual means.
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Old 03 June 2020, 15:37   #14
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.... so if you want to be seen, then you need some kind of visual means.
A good point and well made, so what the best way to be seen?

Pyros - too short lived and hazardous/unreliable
LED - narrow spectrum and potential failure points
IRS - Can only be seen by the search and rescue
AIS - Can only be seen by the properly equipped

etc
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Old 03 June 2020, 15:58   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
A good point and well made, so what the best way to be seen?



Pyros - too short lived and hazardous/unreliable

LED - narrow spectrum and potential failure points

IRS - Can only be seen by the search and rescue

AIS - Can only be seen by the properly equipped



etc


As I said in post #10, itís a layered approach. Layer #1 is donít get into trouble in the first place. Everything that comes after that is mitigating the risk if #1 fails.
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Old 03 June 2020, 17:26   #16
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After much self- debate I have gone for LED flare plus floating orange smoke canisters v. "traditional" hand held coastal flare packs

Reality is orange smoke is fare more effective than a red flare to mark your position by day (when I do my boating) and the smoke shows drift / wind direction if a helo's involved. I've never liked the concept of handheld orange smoke, or any live flame on a RIB.

With pyro red flares, you have 3/4 one-shot items - LED flare renewable with fresh batteries. And cheaper as no life expiry. Even with a couple of orange smoke, still cheaper than coastal flare pack.

LED flare - no a one-shot solution, and no disposal issues. As PD says it is bl**dy bright.

VHF - fixed & handheld remain primary methods of attracting assistance, but why not take handheld burning things away from a) yourself b) a boat that doesn't like flame when there are alternatives

This from a trained display firework operator who loves nothing more than lifting Cat 4&5 ordinance into the sky (but not from RIB)

I appreciate SOLAS does not recognise LED flares, so coded boats still need them.

Sure debate will rumble, but I'm happy with my choice
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Old 03 June 2020, 17:50   #17
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>>>it’s a layered approach.

Fully agree and that's what led me to the Odeo Mk.3 LED electronic flare. I think 5hrs blinking SOS on one set of batteries is a useful layer for a particular circumstance.

And having had a pyro flare set demo a few years back I stopped carrying them on an inflatable boat... too much unpredictable spitting fire for my liking.
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Old 04 June 2020, 03:08   #18
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ive been Odeo for quite a while never did like pyro's
as an aside one of my divers lite a cigarette up standing on a 5 m inflatable caught by the client of course s--t hit the fan big style i thought at the time about the same as a flare i know its an emergency with flares but the risk is still there.OMO
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Old 04 June 2020, 04:52   #19
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Thanks for all the answers.

It has confirmed my thinking although a valid point from lakelandterrier about the floating smoke rather than the handheld one.

As a result I'm going to get a couple of floating smoke canisters and an electronic flare.
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Old 04 June 2020, 05:11   #20
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For our small FRib I am gradually increasing our "protection" but based on a use case of only going out inland/inshore and only during daylight hours.


The main thing that has triggered it is that if we go fishing out of Dover harbour we are under cliffs that may mask my handheld VHF signal or mobile phone signal. So on that basis apart from normal stuff of life jackets etc my layered approach would be in no particular order:


VHF radio
Mobile phone
PLB
LED flare
and based on comments above I might add a floating smoke as I didn't realise you could get these.


Cheers,


MM
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