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Your old Flares

Discussion in 'Boat Owning, Equipment and Maintenance' started by gibberfish, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. dai1641

    dai1641 Member

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    My mate was telling about a guy who stuck the smoke ones down holes to smoke out rabbits.
     
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  3. fish`n`chips

    fish`n`chips Member

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    I rang milford cg and they asked me if i had tried local services fire and police they don't except them so I just dug a hole and fired them off into the hole on top was a large bonfire got rid of all my out of date flares and most smokers too boot I know it is illegal but haven't been arrested yet lol
     
  4. IvanSki

    IvanSki Member

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    Another alternative, seeing as most recreational boat owners wont hopefully get to fire flares off, is to make a few phone calls first, ring the local Police and ask for a log created and tell them what your doing, then if your near the coast inform HMCG as well. Should anyone see your flares and ring 999, it will most likely be the Police & Coastguard who get the calls, probably both to be fair.

    If they both know, then nobody needs to come looking for you. Information like exact location, mobile No, number of flares & time of firing will be enough to prevent any embarrassment. The onus is on you to choose a safe location where the public will not get damaged. Any calls by the public to the emergency services can be written off.

    Read your instructions carefully and fire off the flares. Now you have done it in slow time, and not under the duress of a failing boat at sea. Your better knowing how to do this safely in a safe training environment rather than at sea of a sinking boat. And confidence using flares safely is better mastered when the pressure is off.
     
  5. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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    I have 10-15 out of date flares and smokes, not sure what to do with them, thought about keeping some on the boat (the most recent expiries) as backups as well as new ones. On that note, does anyone have any recommendations for a flare pack for small fishing boat? What do most people carry, smokes or flares or both, certain colours, how many etc?
     
  6. Clinker

    Clinker Member

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    I'd be very wary of flares that old, particularly the rockets - they're nasty things when they're OK and the heads can corrode or the casings crack in which case they could be lethal on firing - there's always someone who says they fired a 10 year old flare and it was fine but there have also been cases of serious injury. I always had a Coastal Pack: http://www.force4.co.uk/hansson-ikaros-coastal-flare-pack.html?sqr=flares& with a couple of additional red rockets -rockets should be fired in pairs about 60 seconds apart - the idea being that the second one is confirmation as people are generally not sure they've seen a flare. But a rocket flare is a pretty poor option when compared to making a mayday call (voice of DSC) or deploying a PLB - you still have to rely on someone to see the flare, know who to call (less and less 'land people' know you can call 999 to ask for the CG and report a flare sighting these days) and then be able to give the CG a good idea of where it was fired from - not a sequence of events I'd like to put a lot of money on!

    Now I have a PLB I think the next pack I buy will be an inshore pack http://www.force4.co.uk/hansson-ikaros-inshore-flare-pack.html?sqr=flares& as the most likely need I will ever have of a flare is to attract a boat that's nearby, which is when a flare could come into its own - you could also be asked to fire a smoke flare if you're ever involved in a helicopter rescue to give the pilot an idea of wind strength and direction.

    I also have a personal day/night flare attached to three of my lifejackets http://www.safety-marine.co.uk/dist...aros-dayandnight-distress-flare-twin-pack.htm. http://www.safety-marine.co.uk/life...531s63/crewsaver-dayandnight-flare-pocket.htm

    I've always kept the immediately out of date pack, but not the rockets.

    Post number 17 of this thread lists the CG stations that will take them - ring to make an appointment, don't just turn up, but also worth contacting your local chandlery as some are now taking in old flares if you're buying new.
     
  7. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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    Excellent Clink thanks very much.
    Crikey the coastal pack is a lot more money, those red parachutes must be the reason. What do they do, go higher or just come down slower? i assume coastal is one step further out than "inshore"
     
  8. Glenlivet

    Glenlivet Member

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    I've just got a couple of orange smokes for the reason Clinker gave. We had the SAR helicopter out with my first yacht and they asked us to set off a smoke, which I did. Not planning night trips so flares a bit redundant.
     
  9. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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    I hadn't thought of that, I don't plan night trips for a long while yet either. daytime stuff only needed for now, still thought there was some value in flares in daytime no?
     
  10. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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  11. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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    I am not sure if any of my old ones are rockets, but if they are I will get rid of those.
    I may keep the others as I have a hell of a lot of old ones, and 3 or 4 old lifesmokes (very old). I don't mind carrying them so long as they are safe to carry on the boat. They won't be relied on, I will have new flares once I decide on a kit to buy, but don't see the point in getting rid of older ones if i have space to stow them neatly somewhere. Unlikely any will ever be needed and obviuosly new ones would be the ones i use, but as you said re helicopters, a few old lifesmokes could be handy if ever asked to deploy one for wind info etc. The only consideration is whether any of them can be dangerous or a fire hazard when not in use just being carried onboard? Rockets aside (I wont have out of date rockets anywhere on boat), are the other handheld flares and lifesmokes safe to carry?
     
  12. Glenlivet

    Glenlivet Member

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    One of the yachtie mags did a piece on led/laser flares. They didn't rate them particularly highly :thumbsdown:
     
  13. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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    yes at that price, i think i would rather have another pack full of pyros which would include stuff that goes up in the air! If i had thousands to spend i might be tempted but otherwise i think i will stick with what we know! looks like i am going for a coastal pack, didn't realise all these handheld things don't fire up in the air until now! spot the dunce
     
  14. Clinker

    Clinker Member

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    Rockets are the only ones that go up at all - the orange smokes just let out orange smoke and the red pin-points just burn with a bright flame at the top of the cylinder - they can be pretty nasty and get very hot so a good idea to have a gardening glove in the flare box. Helps to secure the flares too - you don't want them bouncing around inside the box on a high speed boat - a little bit of bubble wrap can also help secure them, just don't wrap them up to the point where you can't get at them.

    Never use a red-pin point if you have a fuel leak or theres's oil on the water!

    The LED flares like Odeo are meant as a replacement for a red pin-point only - no where near as bright and not solas approved but of course once the sixty second burn of the traditional flare has passed, the Odeo flare is a lot brighter. If you're equipping a boat from scratch, a PLB and a hand held VHF would be much higher on my list than an LED flare.

    The laser pin point type flares are IMO a complete waste of money.

    I don't think you'll get a definitive answer on how dangerous the orange smokes and red pin points are once passed their date - the manufacturers and CG will only tell you to hand them in on the expiry date - I've never kept them more than one 'cycle' past their date which to me seems a reasonable compromise - whilst they're not as explosive as the rockets, they should all be treated with respect.

    Whilst you're taking a look at your flares, have a good look at the instructions and familiarise yourself with how they operate - particularly, there should be a large yellow arrow indicating which way up they should be held - some have a firing mechanism at the top, typically pin points and smokes and some have the firing mechanism in the base - rockets are always like this - so the arrow is perhaps the most important instruction of all!!
     
  15. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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    Haha, what a stupid mistake but one I can actually imagine making in a panic! I am fairly sure I would have thought of that, but much more likely to now so thanks for stating the flaming obvious and perhaps not so obvious under duress!! ;)

    OK so rockets are to be new only. the handheld smokes will go in a spares/extras bag, the lifesmokes too.
    On that note, do you have a "grab bag" on board? If so, what's in there? Unless you are going to say another two grand's worth of kit that is :D
     
  16. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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    PS, Clink I am going to follow your lead (as usual :))
    I am ordering a Coastal pack now. Wondering whether to add a couple of rockets as you said. Just one question, are there rockets without parachutes? The reason i ask is the kit I am ordering (https://www.mailspeedmarine.com/flare-pack-coastal.html) has two smokes, two handheld flares, and two parachutes. Can you get non parachute rockets which I assume is what you had a few extras of?
     
  17. Clinker

    Clinker Member

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    No I bought a pair of additional rockets (sometimes referred to as parachutes - it depends on whether you're talking about how they go up or how they come down!) same as in the flare pack - they're all available individually as well as part of a pack.

    Personally, now, I would save the money, get an inshore pack and buy a PLB with the saving - if ever needed, a PLB will be far more effective than rocket/parachute flares.
     
  18. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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    hmm, ok probably easier if i ask...... can you get rocket flares (i.e. flares which go up) but do not have a parachute for the coming down bit? :D
    if so, i will add a couple of those to the kit.
     
  19. Clinker

    Clinker Member

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    As far as I know, the only rockets that don't have parachutes are the compact personal flares (e.g. http://www.painswessex.com/products/non-solas/personal-distress-signal) which don't fire to anywhere near the height of a full size rocket, but give you quite a few more 'goes'. Not sure why you would want a rocket without a parachute - the parachute adds a lot time to the visibility of the flare.

    What I was trying to say was that 'parachute' and 'rocket' flares are just different ways in which the same thing is referred to.
     
  20. JoeySnowey

    JoeySnowey Member

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    aah, right thanks. so a couple more rockets will be in order when funds allow. for now i think my coastal pack should suffice, with a few old hand smokes to grab from under seats if some extremely unlikely scenario happened, or more likely if i am asked to deploy smoke for assistance to heli like you mentioned.
    If i start night fishing or going out very early mornings (in darkness) i will reassess in case i need more, maybe a white parachute for MOB
     
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