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Thread: Electronic Distress Signal

  1. #1
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Default Electronic Distress Signal

    WAS IN THE USCG WEB SITE- LOOKING FOR REQUIREMENTS NEEDED ON MY 24 FOOT BOAT. MAKING SURE I HAVE EVERYTHING WITH DIFFERENT SIZE BOAT.
    I THOUGHT YOU WERE REQUIRED TO HAVE FLARES.
    LOOKS LIKE YOU CAN USE ELECTRONIC DISTRESS LIGHT IN PLACE OF FLARES.
    COST OF REPLACING FLARES MAKES ME CRINGE!
    ANYONE USING ELECTRONIC DISTRESS LIGHT ? IF SO WHICH ONE?
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

  2. #2
    Member GOT TOYS's Avatar
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    Unhappy Electronic distress signal

    The way I read it, electronic is only approved for night use, and within 3 miles of coast.
    Keep buying flares

  3. #3
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Default

    cut and pasted from USCG quick referrence chart.

    (a) One electric distress light or Three combination (day/night) red flares.
    Note: only required to be carried on board when operating between sunset and sunrise.
    (b) One orange distress flag and One electric distress light
    - or -Three hand-held or floating orange smoke signals and One electric distress light
    - or - Three combination (day/night) red flares: hand-held, meteor or parachute type.


    as i read it (a) is for <16 ft
    (b) is for >16 ft

    ??????????????
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

  4. #4
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default Electronic signal is OK

    Per 33CFR175.130, you may use EITHER 3 red flare pyrotechnic devices or an electronic signal which meets 46CFR161.013 standards (battery powered white light that automatically flashes S-O-S code) for night operations. The 16' length cutoff pertains only to the day signal... if you're less than 16' you don't need to carry any signals except at night. If you're 16' or more, you must carry day and night signals.

    Here are the general USCG info pages on the subject:

    http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/me...7/distress.htm

    http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/fedreqs/equ_vds.htm

    And here is an example of an approved signal light:

    http://www.shipstore.com/SS/HTML/ACR/ACR1842.html

    http://www.jmsonline.net/ACR-DISTRES...S-USCG-REQ.htm

    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  5. #5

    Default Acr1842

    Passed the USCG Safety inspection with a ACR1842 on board, I did have flares but they where almost out dated.

  6. #6
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    Default Visual Distress Signals

    AK NIMROD:
    Did you get your question answered to your satisfaction? JOAT posted some good reference sites; here's the one that addresses VDS for recreational boats: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/w...cfr175_07.html

    Here's what you'll need to meet the VDS requirements on your 24' boat (if you don't want to go the pyrotechnic route)

    Daytime: One orange distress flag that meets the CG requirements
    Nighttime: One CG approved electric distress light

    Most boaters go with pyro; there are advantages. Some of the advantages are better visibility; for example, an orange smoke is much easier to see from both the air and the water than an orange flag. At night, the same holds true for flares (either aerial or handheld) since you need to 'aim' the distress light and I'd be willing to guess that most other boaters would recognize the pyrotechnics as distress signals more quickly than either the orange flag or the SOS light. The downside of pyro is the fact that it is dated, expensive to replace, a potential fire hazard and is difficult to dispose of. It's really your choice. PM, email or call me if you have more questions. Mike Folkerts (907) 463-2297 or michael.r.folkerts@uscg.mil

  7. #7

    Default

    I'm not sure the answer to your question, but I do know with almost ALL electronic distress lights or other battery operated saftey equipment that is required by the CG, you will not pass the exam if they have anything but the lithium ion batteries in them. They can run on both that and an alkaline i beleive, but you have to have the Li-ion batt. to pass the exam. FYI.

  8. #8
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default batteries

    This is not correct. The regulation says nothing about the chemistry of the batteries used. It only states that the batteries must power beyond 6 hours. Here's the rule:

    Subpart 161.013_Electric Distress Light for Boats

    Sec. 161.013-9 Independent power source.

    (a) Each independent power source must be capable of powering the
    light so that it meets the requirements of Sec. 161.013-3(a)(1) and
    emits a recognizable flash characteristic of the International Morse
    Code for S-O-S at a rate of between 3 and 5 times per minute after six
    hours of continuous display of the signal.
    (b) If the independent power source is rechargeable, it must have a
    waterproof recharger designed for marine use.
    (c) If the independent power source requires external water to form
    an electrolyte, it must operate in sea water and fresh water.
    Also, the most common distress lights that meet the requirement operate on "D" cell batteries. This size battery is not commonly available in a lithium chemestry. You can get specialty batteries in this class, but they usually come with solder connections (pigtails) on each end and cost $20 a piece. That would be $80 worth of batteries to power a $15 flashlight.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  9. #9

    Default

    Hmm, thanks for correcting me. I was going off of what a CG inspector told me...maybe that was an old regulation, or I may have misunderstood him(i've been known to do that.)

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