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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..


Rant over.


Sorry Angus, I know you mean well.

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Everyone is running scared Harry and in doing so are saying 'You must ........ blaa blaa blaa' in an effort to protect their own arse, often at our expense. That is the environment we now live it, dic

nz usually accepts reputable standards from os


why isn't approved by us coastguard enough?


thought only the ozzies were stupid enough to reinvent the wheel of with their own standards board 

  • Complies with all U.S. Coast Guard requirements for “Night Visual Distress Signals” as found in the Code of Federal Regulations: 46 CFR 161.013
  • LED flare flashes ONLY the SOS light sequence
  • When combined with a daytime distress signal flag (included in package),this electric flare meets ALL USCG Federal Requirements for DAY and NIGHT use in lieu of traditional flares


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  • 5 months later...

Correct SWOC.

Now without any longer range visual requirement it's recommended you get in the sh*t only when very close to another boat or in daylight on not very windy days.


And did you notice your 2mt dingy with the 2hp on the back is now required to have nav lights fitted?

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The reality is that boats often carry out of date flares and rockets, on my boat there are some from the 90's left by the previous owner. I cant bring myself to chuck them out just in case but the old handhelds were all out of date so i set them off in the backyard for the hell of it. More than half did not work i.e 6 out of 10  just went pop but no ignition. I have a current coastal pack of course but with VHF, cell phones and EPIRB's not really sure how vital pyros really are. After letting a few off, I think that  you would have to be pretty careful with them in the liferaft :wtf: or in a heaving sea.

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