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Electronic Visual Distress Signals (EVDS) aka electronic flares


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A quick google search found that the UK authorities said in 2013 "None of the EVDS on the market that we are aware of, currently  meet the light intensity required by the IMO Life Saving Appliance Code".

Does anyone have an update?

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There is one SOLAS approved electronic flare. It's just a small flashing light that sits bugger all above the water. You'd be better off with just a bloody good touch.

In a world near drowning in tech that would suggest there is no boater demand for them, no regulatory demand for them so the potential manufacturers see no value in making them.

That does surprise me to be honest. You'd think if you can get a collar that measurers your cats pooh for assorted stuff, true story, you'd expect someone clever clogs to come up with a good reliable form of electronic flare device. 

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You are spot on the money that a good torch would cover it KM. I think the real issue is the disconnect between the standards and real life, and the cost to a manufacturer of achieving compliance and certification with a standard. I'm sure you can relate with chains and stuff.

The cost of getting the certificate adds so much to the cost of the product, that consumer look at what is otherwise just a posh torch, and bulk at the cost. Those costs would not be far off getting an electronic transmitting device with direct link to authorities (i.e. a PLB). If I were going to spend $400 on a laser flare, or $500 on the latest spec PLB, I'd get the PLB, it has a cool strobe light on it anyway...

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2 hours ago, Fish said:

You are spot on the money that a good torch would cover it KM. I think the real issue is the disconnect between the standards and real life, and the cost to a manufacturer of achieving compliance and certification with a standard. I'm sure you can relate with chains and stuff.

Oh hell yes. Certification in the commercial space is a frecking nitemear but a lot of that is due to MNZ being still firmly sat in the 90's.

I know a anchor manufacturer who spent over 30K to get one of their products 'Approved'. That approval makes zero difference to how it works, it just says it does to a degree...a high degree in that particular case.

2 hours ago, Fish said:

The cost of getting the certificate adds so much to the cost of the product, that consumer look at what is otherwise just a posh torch, and bulk at the cost. Those costs would not be far off getting an electronic transmitting device with direct link to authorities (i.e. a PLB). If I were going to spend $400 on a laser flare, or $500 on the latest spec PLB, I'd get the PLB, it has a cool strobe light on it anyway...

My laser flare* cost US$100 odd from memory.

I can see situations where a device that was a combination of gear would be very damn handy. An integrated EPIRP with electronic flare plus pyro. Boat goes down, device is triggered sending alert to SAR via EPIRP. Assets get deployed to the general area. As we have seen getting close is easy but narrowing down that last few miles has proven tricky so by some mechanism (the SAR asset using a remote triggering would be damn handy) the pyro chute/s are fired giving the asset a course but finer location, asset gets closer and triggers the electronic flare giving fine tuned location. All the time if the distressed see other eyes, maybe a boat or aircraft, they can trigger the close in options.

* - More a super fancy laser pointer that send a wide beam not just a point. Great Lakes Resuce Flare or a similar name. I have stood on the cliffs by Taka Grammar and waved it in a eastward direction. A mate on Rakino picked it out in seconds and said it was incredibly easy to pick it out against all the background city lights. I intend to use it to light up overhead aircraft, it is safe on eyes at that distance.

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3 minutes ago, KM... said:

My laser flare* cost US$100 odd from memory.

I can see situations where a device that was a combination of gear would be very damn handy. An integrated EPIRP with electronic flare plus pyro. Boat goes down, device is triggered sending alert to SAR via EPIRP. Assets get deployed to the general area. As we have seen getting close is easy but narrowing down that last few miles has proven tricky so by some mechanism (the SAR asset using a remote triggering would be damn handy) the pyro chute/s are fired giving the asset a course but finer location, asset gets closer and triggers the electronic flare giving fine tuned location. All the time if the distressed see other eyes, maybe a boat or aircraft, they can trigger the close in options.

* - More a super fancy laser pointer that send a wide beam not just a point. Great Lakes Resuce Flare or a similar name. I have stood on the cliffs by Taka Grammar and waved it in a eastward direction. A mate on Rakino picked it out in seconds and said it was incredibly easy to pick it out against all the background city lights. I intend to use it to light up overhead aircraft, it is safe on eyes at that distance.

That is the exact sort of stuff I'm talking about. Must be a full moon, we are starting to agree on something.

Was you laser flare certified, or just a good working one? I am interested, according to Angus, I can do what is sensible and not what the YNZ Regs say, so may be able to get rid of the pyro's after all... ;-)

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3 hours ago, KM... said:

There is one SOLAS approved electronic flare. 

Which one? I suspect this is a marketing mistake.

EVDS are not recognised by the treaty so can't be a SOLAS certified replacement for flares. 

24 minutes ago, Fish said:

 

 

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Some small useless POS not dissimilar to what most boats in Cat anything in NZ already have hanging on their transom. It says it's approved, but then so do many about many things that aren't quite when you drill down into the fine print. I never saw them as much more than a gimmick so never take much notice bar at that approval bit as it generated a huge WTF??

2 hours ago, Fish said:

Was you laser flare certified, or just a good working one? I am interested, according to Angus, I can do what is sensible and not what the YNZ Regs say, so may be able to get rid of the pyro's after all... ;-)

https://www.greatlandlaser.com/rescue-laser-flare-magnum/

You're wasting your time and money even thinking about getting one for the boating you do. I've waved mine around the Gulf many over the last 5 or so years. It has not even raised a passing comment let alone sparked even the tiniest of tiny anything emergency. If you get one the only hope you have it will help in some form is to bang the eyes of the pilots of an inbound aircraft. They should ring the cops to get you arrested as that is both very dangerous and an offence, that should get Doodledar out to you at some stage...if they have nothing more pressing going on. 

I got it to do only that but when offshore. At 10,000m altitude if I can get it into the cockpit the pilots will see it and hopefully want to know where it's coming from. Should that aircraft I'm targeting then change course I'll bang off some chutes. The laser flare could be a kid with a laser pointer, all be it a fecking flash one, but no one I know (maybe bar one ;) ) would mistake what a chute is telling them.

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