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  1. #61
    Achillesheel's Avatar
    Achillesheel is offline Registered User
    Location : Boat; Falmouth, Home: Gloucestershire
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    Quite, but a resort nevertheless.

  2. #62
    Blue5's Avatar
    Blue5 is offline Registered User
    Location : Hampshire and Portugal
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    Given the nanny state we live in I am amazed the Health & Safety actually let you buy these explosives without going on a training course and producing a certificate to say you are competant to handle them..............fuuny old need to be licencsed to make sure you use the correct terminology on the radio but unregulated in handling explosives.

    Trying to fire a flare in anger for the first time in mid channel on a cold dark evening is probably not the best training method

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by NDH View Post
    ....fuuny old need to be licencsed to make sure you use the correct terminology on the radio but unregulated in handling explosives.
    Yes, good idea. Cut open the old flares and use the powder in a flinklock to repell borders. I wonder if they put in nitro or gun powder?

  4. #64
    galadriel's Avatar
    galadriel is offline Registered User
    Location : Chichester Harbour
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by planteater View Post
    Every time the question of flares arises I recall the tragedy that befell Duncan MacDougall while demonstrating their use for a training video.

    For me, they will always be the last resort.
    Exactly. With the potential of making a difficult situation into a life threatening disaster for one or even two crew members, and what if there are only two of you aboard? No, the 'someone will see a flare' is a wrong assumption, there is no more certainty of that than there is of a an electronic device being monitored. Simple thing is, no electronic device is likely to explode in your face.

    Flares took over from burning barrels of tar on the fore deck, 100 years ago flares were the new technology then. However the time to put them in the history books is here.

    This all said, the carrying and potential use of either an orange smoke or HH red is still a good method of giving the Helio a pinpoint position, but by then rescue is with you and for that they stay aboard our boat.
    "You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you"
    Roger Waters 1972

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Duncan MacDougall - A Lesson In The Use Of Flares

    I had never heard of this incident so looked it up on Google and found this (Note I have highlighted the text in red relevant to the lesson): -

    On the 5 April 2006, Duncan MacDougall was demonstrating a hand flare for the purposes of a training video. The hand flare was a Pains Wessex White Collision Warning Hand Flare used at sea to warn shipping about untoward events. Duncan, armed the flare in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and at arms length, pushed the firing plunger in. The hand flare ignited and an explosion occurred. Instead of firing into the air and away from Duncan, the hand flare “backfired” into his abdomen. The hand flare canister became embedded in Duncan’s abdomen and burned at 3000 degrees centigrade for the advertised 60 seconds. This caused significant damage to Duncan’s right hand and abdomen.
    Duncan was taken to Wexham Park Hospital where he was treated for very serious injuries. He had immediate surgery and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit where he remained for 4 months. Duncan lost most of his large bowel, his spleen, some of his pancreas and the tip of the middle finger on his right hand. His right hand was reconstructed thanks to plastic surgery and is partially working. He also has a stoma. Duncan remained in hospital for a total of 9 months and came home at the end of December 2006.
    Sadly Duncan still has significant pain, suffers from PTSD and is at the moment still not able to return to his previous work as a voiceover artist for radio and television commercials or as a course leader for training sailors.
    The accident was clearly caused by the breach of duty of the manufacturers, Pains Wessex and the Consumer Protection Act 1997 applied. Nevertheless, and surprisingly, the Defendants argued that the accident was caused or contributed to by Duncan’s own negligence. The Defendants argued that contrary to its own instructions that Duncan should have held the hand flare parallel to his own body so that if there had been a malfunction the flare would not have struck him. The Defendant’s arguments on contributory negligence were not successful and the claim was settled on a full liability basis for a substantial sum.

  6. #66
    planteater is offline Registered User
    Location : From Soho down to Brighton....
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    The only bit of that news item that stuck in my mind was "...flare canister became embedded in Duncan’s abdomen and burned at 3000 degrees centigrade for the advertised 60 seconds...."

    I'm going to find it hard to forget that if the time ever comes to dig out the flares.
    Last edited by planteater; 31-03-10 at 22:22.

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