When signaling for help in marine locations, reliable and powerful illumination are critical for immediate detection. For boaters, the two main signaling options for times of distress include the following: pyrotechnical units (flares) and non-pyrotechnical variants (artificial lights). Read on to learn more about the LED Distress Light and its applications in large bodies of water.
Electronic LED Flares vs Traditional Flares
Non-pyrotechnic LED signal lights can be used during the day or night. A standard unit is comprised of a robust light, a rugged housing and an automatic distress signal function.
Compared to traditional flares, which require adult supervision to use, this type of signaling solution is extremely dependable. The units can get wet and do not spew out toxic smoke and ash. Such elements can lead to burns and obstruction during rescue operations.
Parachute flares are considerably safer to use than hand flares. However, because the contraption comes with firearm-like mechanisms, there is risk of injury for the operator and other individuals on the vessel. Furthermore, strong winds can greatly reduce the effectiveness of parachute flares.
Electronic LED flares don’t suffer from such drawbacks. For extended signaling or hands-free operation, the units can be placed on a flotation device or mounted on a pole.
Adhering to USCG Guidelines
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) sets forth several regulations surrounding the use of visual distress lighting signals for boat operators. Night signals are almost always mandatory, for vessels operating between sunset and sunrise.
Day distress signal devices can be both non-pyrotechnic or pyrotechnic. At the most basic level, a distress flag may be utilized for notifying other operators at sea. The flag should measure 3 feet by 3 feet and must be equipped with a black square and ball (orange background). For improved visibility, it is recommended to mount the flag on a tower.