Please select your home edition
Edition
BIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 728x90

Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is concerned

by Joanne Groenenberg, MCA on 16 Jun 2013
These are the flares that are legal - not electronic John Curnow ©
Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is concerned - and other safety-oriented organisations may well be too.

As you would probably already know, distress equipment such as pyrotechnic flares must be carried on all seagoing and most non-seagoing commercial vessels as well as all pleasure vessels of 13.7 metres in length and over. They are to be used in an emergency to signal that a vessel is in distress and that it needs immediate assistance.

The MCA is concerned because they are aware of the development and marketing of hand-held non-pyrotechnic devices or Electronic Visual Distress Signals (EVDS) that are being offered as alternatives to pyrotechnic flares.

Geoff Matthews spokesperson for the MCA, said:

'The MCA notes the likely benefits of EVDS such as cost, safety and ease of disposal. However, from a practical perspective the signal produced by these devices is different to that produced by a hand-held pyrotechnic flare. We are concerned that electronic visual distress signals may not be recognised as such, with potentially fatal consequences’’.

'Therefore our advice is that EVDS, for the time being, should not be carried as a substitute for conventional pyrotechnic flares. However, commercial and recreational vessels of all sizes may carry EVDS in addition to pyrotechnic flares and use them as locating devices. Their limitations should be recognised though and all parties involved made aware of the type of signal being generated.'

Work has begun internationally to research the effectiveness of EVDS. For example, the US Coastguard has commissioned a study which the MCA is positively supporting by monitoring and contributing views. The aim is to work towards recognition of these devices. To do this, EVDS need to be accepted as fit for purpose by the International Maritime Organization. A change to Annex IV of the Collision Regulations will also be required to give EVDS full recognition as distress signals. The MCA will provide updates from time to time as this work progresses.

For more advice to Mariners see MIN 464 (M+F) using this link:

http://m3net.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mnet-oce/mnet-oce-evidence_and_research/mnet-research_and_planning-controlled_documents/rap-cd-mnotices-2/rap-cd-min-2/mnet_evidence_analysis_research_mins_min_464_.htm

Hood SailsPacific Sailing School 660x82 1Safety at Sea - Baltic - 2

Related Articles

Could blistering progress slow as fleet prepares to head north
2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - It has been another fantastic day’s progress in the North Atlantic. It has been another fantastic day’s progress in the North Atlantic. 30 knots of wind from the south-southwest, sun, and current has seen teams blast reaching and reporting record runs of approximately 300NM VMG in the past 24 hours, but that could end today as teams approach the edge of the Ice Box and prepare to head north into the light winds of the Azores High.
Posted on 25 Jun
One month to go for Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2016
“The response this year has been fantastic,” said Mr. Byron Jones, Managing Director of organisers MBS. “The response this year has been fantastic,” said Mr. Byron Jones, Managing Director of organisers Media Business Services Co. Ltd. (MBS).
Posted on 25 Jun
Clipper Race crew member successfully medevaced from North Atlantic
Chris Drummond from High Wycombe, UK a crew member on board IchorCoal, had complained of severe chest pains yesterday. Chris Drummond, 62, from High Wycombe, UK a crew member on board IchorCoal, had complained of severe chest pains yesterday but was stabilised after receiving care from one of the team’s two on board medics, a Consultant Anesthetist.
Posted on 24 Jun
Split fortunes as Atlantic storm divides the Clipper Race fleet
A dramatic storm stalled progress for some teams yesterday, widening the margin between the front and back of the fleet. A dramatic Atlantic storm stalled progress for some teams yesterday, widening the margin between the front and back of the fleet, and it is the boats to the south which are still enjoying the added power of the Gulf Stream which have made best progress over the past 24 hours.
Posted on 24 Jun
PredictWind - Stunning new forecast maps
When developing the Offshore App, we had to rethink maps for offshore sailors. When developing the Offshore App, we had to rethink maps for offshore sailors. The mapping technology was rebuilt to be faster, have smaller downloads and be able to smoothly animate PredictWind’s advanced forecasts. Following the success of the Offshore App, we’re releasing this unique display technology across all other platforms, including the forecast website, Android and iOS Apps
Posted on 24 Jun
Gulf Stream creates exhilarating conditions for the Clipper Race fleet
Derry~Londonderry~Doire has retained its race lead of approximately 10NM but just 1nm separates second place Garmin. Derry~Londonderry~Doire has retained its race lead of approximately 10NM but just one nautical mile separates second place Garmin, third place ClipperTelemed+ (which has seen its southerly position pay off and has climbed seven positions since yesterday) LMAX Exchange in fourth, and GREAT Britain in fifth, meaning positions are changing frequently at the top.
Posted on 23 Jun
Meet St Katharine Docks neighbours and teammates Tom and Marta
As teams compete in final, Atlantic Homecoming Leg of the race, some crew be headed a little closer to home than others. As the teams compete in this final, Atlantic Homecoming Leg of the race, some crew be headed a little closer to home than others. Once back in London, many will still have to take a plane, train or automobile before they can really say they are home, but for our two St Katharine Docks residents it will be little more than a short stroll for their sea legs to handle.
Posted on 23 Jun
Gladwell's Line - Emirates Team NZ launches shadow AC50
Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC4 Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC45S - as the test boats are called in the Protocol which governs the 2017 event. The bloated Protocol, which now runs to 83 pages of legalese, is restrictive on the size of boat that can be built as a test platform but doesn't restrict the number that can be built.
Posted on 22 Jun
Wind shift in Atlantic Ocean delivers challenge for Clipper Race fleet
Many of the fleet suffered unfortunate kite and spinnaker mishaps in the changeable conditions and difficult sea state. Team focus and concentration is being put to the test in fruity conditions as an exhausting number of spinnaker drops, hoists and peels have been required to keep up with the changing weather and try to stay with the pack.
Posted on 22 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ launch their AC45S - Video
Emirates Team New Zealand launched their first AC45 S (Surrogate) on Tuesday afternoon at their Auckland base. Emirates Team New Zealand launched their first AC45 S (Surrogate) on Tuesday afternoon at their Auckland base. The team is expected to start their on the water testing program in a few days.
Posted on 22 Jun