News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int
Sail-World.com : Non-pyrotechnic flares for my boat - Can I or can't I?
Non-pyrotechnic flares for my boat - Can I or can't I?

'Traditional flares are inherently dangerous and practice sessions are necessary'    Guy Perrin    Click Here to view large photo

There has been much controversy recently about the carrying of non-pyrotechnical flares on sailing boats, otherwise known as Electronic Visual Distress Signal Devices (EVDSD). In June 2013 Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) put out a statement which eloquently put the current status, but is that the whole story?:

To be effective, distress signals must be internationally recognised and whilst acknowledging the potential benefits of EVDS the MCA considers that a change would be needed to Annex IV of the COLREGS to permit these devices full recognition as distress signals.

Work has commenced in this area, the US Coast Guard for example has commissioned the international standards organisation, Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM), to research the effectiveness of EVDS. The MCA positively supports this initiative, through monitoring progress, contributing views, and supporting this work in the appropriate international fora. The ultimate aim is to work towards recognition of these devices, if they are shown to be fit for purpose, by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and a subsequent change to COLREGS Annex IV regulations.


This naturally does not limit their carriage as an additional safety device. Manufacturers of such devices maintain that there are advantages to the electronic versions over traditional pyrotechnic equipment.

Jim O’Meara of Washington-based North American Survival Systems is adamant that the EVDSDs have additional benefits.

Proper EVDSD Gear, EF -10A -1 and Green Laser Flare in Kit -  James O'Meara   Click Here to view large photo


Compact EVDSD -  James O'Meara   Click Here to view large photo
O'Meara claims that they have a unique ability to locate and recover, beyond currently accepted pyrotechnic flares. 'The current pyrotechnic 'distress signal requirements' are inherently flawed as their short signal duration lacks adequate LOCATE capabilities,' he says. 'However, EVDSDs are designed to provide the vital LOCATE segment of a distress signal as shown in the USCG published test results of commercial EVDSD products in CG-D-06-12. Page 20 and Page G5 of this report charts commercial EVDSDs performance and limitations for the uninformed.

'Informed mariners know having EVDSD products onboard reduces the risk of potentially fatal consequences and will result in safer lives, safer ships, and cleaner seas.'

However, the bottom line is that, while government agencies continue to investigate, any world-wide distress system needs to be internationally recognised, and until that happens, pyrotechnic flares are still the mandatory equipment to have on board our sailing boats. EVDSD products may be high intensity, floating, clean and very safe, and have some abilities beyond pyro-technic flares, but they are not yet recognised, and must be carried, for their excellent qualities, as extras, not substitutes.

Background
The international regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) apply to all vessels at sea and by special application to vessels on inland waters. Annex IV of these regulations sets out the signals used to indicate if a vessel is in distress and in need of immediate assistance. The equipment needed to make some of these signals (e.g. pyrotechnics) is required to be carried on all seagoing commercial vessels, and most non–seagoing commercial vessels. They are also required to be carried on all pleasure vessels of 13.7 metres in length and over. The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention describes the standards that distress equipment must meet and whilst not mandatory for all pleasure vessels it follows that to avoid confusion similar standards need to be adopted.

Advice for Mariners
Where the carriage of flares is mandatory, hand-held distress flares must meet the requirements of the Marine Equipment Directive which incorporates European and IMO requirements. None of the EVDS on the market that we are aware of, currently meet the light intensity required by the IMO Life Saving Appliance Code and as such do not conform to the Directive. This means that they cannot be carried as a substitute for pyrotechnic flares on
vessels to which mandatory carriage applies.

Where carriage of flares is non–mandatory and due to the possibility that EVDS may not be recognised internationally as a distress signal, the MCA advises that EVDS, for the time being, should not be carried as a substitute for conventional pyrotechnic flares. However, for all pleasure vessels, seagoing commercial vessels, and most non–seagoing commercial vessels EVDS may be carried and used as a locating device, though their limitations should be
recognised and all parties involved made aware of the type of signal being generated.

If you would like more information, go to infoline@mcga.gov.uk


by Des Ryan


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=120231

7:12 PM Tue 18 Mar 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Cruising USA



You scratched my seagrass! by Steven Katona, Newport, RI














The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show by Greg Nicoll with Frank Leffelaar and Friends,


Are you ready to enter that marina? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida










Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons by Australian Maritime Safety Authority,




World ARC fleet bids farewell to Bali by World Cruising Club,














World ARC crews in Bali by World Cruising Club,


Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida








The Boat Cookbook by BoatBooks,








World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali by World Cruising Club,


EU Naval flagship- frigate assist yacht twice maydays in pirate zone
An offer a Galley Guy cannot refuse
World ARC fleet to enter Indian Ocean for the first time
What can you do to prevent electrocution and ESD?
Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting
Salty Dawg Rally Seminar Series planned October 8 in Annapolis
Europe tightens up on skippers competency certification
World ARC fleet departs Darwin under full sail
NOAA expedition discovers ship’s timepiece silent for nearly 200 years
Blue Planet Odyssey - Northwest Passage gate opens
A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 6.0 now available
Africa Europe Challenge introduces 'Spectator's Package'
Niagara-on-the-Lake, a popular cruising destination in Canada
The crowd-pleasing comforts of catamaran cruising
'Sailing Stones' of Death Valley seen in action for the first time
20 coral species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act
A case of crossed wires? A shocking situation!
OHPRI Teen Summer Camps make a splash
How amazingly awe-inspiring the Arctic really is
Boaters urged to attend anchoring meetings next week in Florida
New atlas provides thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean   
Canal Boating in the Alsace with the Galley Guys   
World ARC fleet arrives in Darwin   
Timeless Tonga - Charter sailing in a Polynesian paradise *Feature   
A fine conclusion to the ARC Baltic 2014   
Where in the world are our strongest corals?   
Incredible efforts to save yacht from being lost at sea   
ARC Baltic fleet visit six countries and six capitals in six weeks   
Helen Island, Palau -a beautiful and unique place   
Barnacle Busting   
From Penguins to Polar Bears   
Cornell turns back from the North West Passage   
Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science   
Missing German tourists in the hands of Abu Sayyaf Group   
NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel   
Positive news for cruising boats in Greece   
Bivalves' ability to clean chemicals from waterways   
Are You Sailing with 'Weak Links' in your sailing rigging?   
Week-long cruise turns into 16-year round-the-world voyage   
World ARC fleet cruising the Coral Coast   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT