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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Ramsgate
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    To Sandy: Last time EPIRB/PLB response time got discussed, a horse's mouth ( The ex CG who posts here now and then, if I remember rightly) said at least an hour, depending on database checks. ( No specific time has ever been published and nobody will commit to a number..)

    We are told to register the devices to ensure a quicker response time.
    But numerous mariners including me have done this and not even received acknowledgement months later, so we are obviously a bit concerned.

    Putting the HEX numbers on the OFCOM database with the Ship's Radio licences, on the RYA safety scheme app, and any other database presumably helps as they are all checked before tasking, so I am told.
    "Put your HEXes and boat names on any and every database, and cross your fingers" basically.

    Apparently not having contacts for next of kin slows down the rescue but many are unable or unwilling to give any, and no authority will quantify the delay this lack entails. If any?

    I'm sure HMCG staff are not happy about the situation either, I hope the problem gets firmly gripped asap.

    A young CG is keen to crew on my yacht when I get to the S.Coast, so hopefully I can pump her brains unofficially, when she is out of uniform.
    Last edited by Ohlin Karcher; 13-11-19 at 23:08.
    "Now shall the gentleman haul and draw with the mariner"
    John Hawkins

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Bewdley, Worcs
    Posts
    602

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    Yep, add it to the test list

    The device I have been playing with is LED and somewhat more powerful .. it has a higher current draw and is intended for fixed installation on a yacht, rather than somehting to wave in your hand ...

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Bewdley, Worcs
    Posts
    602

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohlin Karcher View Post
    To potential 999-dialers on the cliffs walking their dog, it's just another winking light. One at sea level, so as bad as it gets for visible range. If it launched itself to 300m with a loud whhooshing noise, and descended on a parachute, emitting unambiguous red light and smoke, that would be a step in the right direction.
    EPIRBS get a relatively slow response ( I agree that more than one may reduce delay searching databases before scrambling the helo etc)
    So, pyros are better at everything. If you don't like them, it is your call, of course, but it may compromise rescue.
    +1

    Spot on Sir!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    North West
    Posts
    594

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohlin Karcher View Post
    To potential 999-dialers on the cliffs walking their dog, it's just another winking light.
    A flare might be also, and of course only burns for a minute or so.
    I think these things have a value alongside a smaller array of, hopefully fewer, flares. The main advantage being that they run for hours.

    I also agree that the poor understanding of what constitutes a distress signal really needs to be sorted out. Some people here could use a SOLAS card stuck up somewhere it seems.

    RKJ's round the world trip would have ended had his flares been seen, and the Bailey's didn't get much luck out of theirs. A continuous light might have been seen.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Bewdley, Worcs
    Posts
    602

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJag27 View Post
    A continuous light might have been seen.
    Correct, I think it needs a two-pronged approach.

    An effing great big pyro rocket for attractign attention .. even the general public know what that is.

    A significantly bright continous (or at least continuously flashing) light to enable those despatched to the area to then find you.

    Having only one of those elements is unlikely to be succesful.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Me: Johannesburg South Africa Yacht: Richards Bay East Coast Africa
    Posts
    7,347

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    S O S is one of the recognised signals



    I did fit a flashing white light at the top of my mast to allow the S O S to be signaled together with others ways to attract attention.

    There are lots of emergency flashing beacons available mainly for road use.

    https://www.google.co.za/search?biw=...4dUDCAc&uact=5

    To me its anything to attract attention.
    Life is too short not to have a sea view
    Distantshaws tinyurl.com/yclt6l68

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Long Beach. CA.
    Posts
    2,854

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    The bottom line is most people will recognize a flare or smoke based on TV shows, those old commercials and just a general sense of something that doesn't look right. A rocket flare doesn't give a good location but it will be seen by a lot of people who will make the call. I really don't think one of these LED things will have the same effect, I am a professional mariner and no one has ever show me what they look like. I have seen some videos online but that is all, put up a flare and I know exactly there's an issue. pretty sure that any mariner worldwide would too irrespective of any language barrier or training.

    As said a strobe/ flashing light is probably not going of look out of the ordinary. I think if you carry the 2nd you need the first for intial alerting, the strobe for locating maybe...

    Are SOLAS looking at these in anyway? If not then there really is no future for them other than as a gimmick or a leisure 'toy'.

    I understand the concerns about pyrotechnics but given signal flags and balls with orange backgrounds are still official distress signals I don't see things changing anytime soon...

    Do one of the RYA or RNLI courses and practice trying out a flare - they're really not that scary, especially if you have some heavy gloves in the pack. They do fail but so do modern electronics. I have been on many boats where even toches don't have working batteries - can you know the strobe or other electronic device does?

    Again there are requirements for emergency batteries on commercial vessels to ensure communication capabilities but none for leisure vessels. And trust me I've seen some serious commercial issues so not trying to denigrate the pleasure side of boating, just again trying to get peole to look outside the box and as I said before please PM me if you want help or advise.

    To be open I do make money out of this normally but given the help and support I have been given here I am trying to give back for no charge - maybe a rum if you're in town would be accepted

    W.
    Last edited by PilotWolf; 14-11-19 at 13:25.
    .

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    On the Celtic Fringe
    Posts
    14,522

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohlin Karcher View Post
    To Sandy: Last time EPIRB/PLB response time got discussed, a horse's mouth ( The ex CG who posts here now and then, if I remember rightly) said at least an hour, depending on database checks. ( No specific time has ever been published and nobody will commit to a number..)

    We are told to register the devices to ensure a quicker response time.
    But numerous mariners including me have done this and not even received acknowledgement months later, so we are obviously a bit concerned.

    Putting the HEX numbers on the OFCOM database with the Ship's Radio licences, on the RYA safety scheme app, and any other database presumably helps as they are all checked before tasking, so I am told.
    "Put your HEXes and boat names on any and every database, and cross your fingers" basically.

    Apparently not having contacts for next of kin slows down the rescue but many are unable or unwilling to give any, and no authority will quantify the delay this lack entails. If any?

    I'm sure HMCG staff are not happy about the situation either, I hope the problem gets firmly gripped asap.

    A young CG is keen to crew on my yacht when I get to the S.Coast, so hopefully I can pump her brains unofficially, when she is out of uniform.
    Thanks Ohlin lots of useful information there.

    Perhaps we need the CG to be a bit more public about things. I also have a few contacts and will ask unofficially and officially.

    I spend five years with a Mountain Rescue Tream back in the day when the milatary provided SAR helecopter cover. We had a great understanding of signalling to them, a flare was an ideal way of pinpointing us on a mountain.

    We all need a mix of summoning help and personally I consider pyrotechics are part of that mix.
    Cynical Scottish very nearly retired engineer who sails a Gib'Sea 96.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    North West
    Posts
    594

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by PilotWolf View Post
    The bottom line is most people will recognize a flare or smoke based on TV shows, those old commercials and just a general sense of something that doesn't look right. A rocket flare doesn't give a good location but it will be seen by a lot of people who will make the call.
    I think a lot of the general public would recognise SOS flashing. Whether it'd be enough to get them to call is a different matter.
    Rocket flares might be a lost cause on the hoi polloi, as they see so many rockets these days.

    Actually didn't the Titanic's rocket flares get ignored by professional seamen?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Bewdley, Worcs
    Posts
    602

    Default Re: LED Flares - Expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJag27 View Post
    I think a lot of the general public would recognise SOS flashing. Whether it'd be enough to get them to call is a different matter.
    Rocket flares might be a lost cause on the hoi polloi, as they see so many rockets these days.

    Actually didn't the Titanic's rocket flares get ignored by professional seamen?
    I thought the Titanics radio call was ignored, as it was sent a few minutes after the radio officer on another passing liner had just gone off watch.

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