Warning, rant follows!
I went to the briefing about this years coastal classic last night. I bought up the topic of LED flares. To be brutally honest I thought the response by Angus (The YNZ safety coordinator) was at the least poorly phrased, if not totally unsupportable.
We were told that there was no actual data to say that flares were actually useful (???) as there was no data!
When I asked that if there was no evidence that they were useful, then why were we forced to carry them?, the response was "what if we removed the rule and someone died as a consequence?" To prove a negative is a nonsense. Anyway, I was asking about substituting LED Flares for Pyros, not removing flares altogether.
What I expect of YNZ is that, if no-one else has done so, do (or have done) a comparison - visibility ranges?effectiveness etc, LED/Laser type as compared to the current list of acceptable pyrotechnic based flares.
As soon as the LED type meet or exceed the existing pyro flares abilities, then change the regulations to accept them. I do not think ANYONE would deny that the idea of carrying pyrotechnics is unsound in this era.
IMO it is the place of YNZ to lead the way in this type of issue, and represent the sailors of NZ, not to take the easy route and hide behind the "we don't have the data" nonsense. Go and get the data..
Sorry Angus, I know you mean well.