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Old 12-27-2010, 04:47 PM   #21
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RE: Caliber of flare gun

I would like to practice with a couple of my outdated flares, but I understand this is frowned upon.

I bought my pre-owned boat in 2008. It's a year 2000, launched in late 1999. The surveyor pointed out that the flares were probably original to the boat and I should get new ones.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:11 PM   #22
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RE: Caliber of flare gun

It is illegal to send a distress message (radio, flare, whatever) unless one is in distress.* Buy/use white flares as they don't signal distress, but do attract attention.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:54 PM   #23
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RE: Caliber of flare gun

Quote:
rwidman wrote:

Have any of you actually used a flare in an emergency?* Did anyone see it and come to your rescue?

Dusk one evening in the early 1980s, about a quarter mile or so south of the north shore of Carquinez Strait, *I lighted a white-gas camping stove (been a backpacker for most of my life) on a cookie tray in the cockpit of my pocket outboard-auxiliary cutter (Bluewater Blackwatch).* Excess fuel spilled out during priming the stove, resulting in flames for a few seconds.* Almost immediately, a boat approached asking if we were in need of assistance.* No help needed, but the offer of assistance was appreciated.

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Old 12-27-2010, 07:01 PM   #24
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RE: Caliber of flare gun

regarding whether we've ever fired flares and had someone respond--

We were having* a safety day at our yacht club and part of the agenda for the day was to fire expired flares.* I contacted the coast guard well in advance and informed them of the time and date and got "clearance" to fire off the flares.* they did not instruct me to do anything the day of to remind anyone.* Not sure if the message was not passed along or they wanted some training, but anyway a USCG chopper did a fly by of our flare demo!*
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:10 PM   #25
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Caliber of flare gun

Here's a couple of pictures of our sanctiond fireing og flares last summer. I always get a kick out of firing flare, especially the 25mm pistol. This was my wifes first expierence shooting a flare pistol:


-- Edited by Rob on Monday 27th of December 2010 09:17:02 PM
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:28 PM   #26
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Caliber of flare gun

Our yacht club, one New Years eve, had a flare off. We checked with Coast Guard and they said yup, no problem. We also , at that time were fairly isolated. So we set off the 12 guage guns, some handheld star types and the parachute rockets. The rockets were by far the most impressive, far brighter , went far higher and lasted far longer than any of the others, as expected.

The only fly in the ointment was the neighbours who didn't know about our escapade. They scrambled at midnight to come to our aid only to find us practicing. The did not have a good sense of humour about it all as it meant some bush whacking. So none of us has done it since because even though the C.G. knew we had no way of knowing or really, advising, all the folks who might see the flares.

One lesson though, I thought and many others thought, that the rockets were overkill untill we saw the difference. And it was the rockets that got our neighbours' attention. Now I keep 4 aboard and no questions. I hope never to need them but if there comes a time I also know that they will be seen when the other will not.

I will add that I also have a 12guage gun as , in the dark, it is the easiest to figure out its operation.

-- Edited by C lectric on Tuesday 28th of December 2010 02:29:25 PM
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:06 PM   #27
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RE: Caliber of flare gun

Quote:
Excess fuel spilled out during priming the stove, resulting in flames for a few seconds.* Almost immediately, a boat approached asking if we were in need of assistance.* No help needed, but the offer of assistance was appreciated.
Open flames on deck should definitely be considered a distress signal.* Effective too..............Arctic Traveller

*
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:46 PM   #28
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RE: Caliber of flare gun

In the UK, the MCA (Marine and Coastguard Agency) is the government's main body for marine matters.

Apart from various mandatory requirements for pleasure vessels (pleasure = less than 24m, used for sport or recreational purposes only, and do not operate for any financial gain to the owner and 12 or less passengers not operating commercially) the MCA recommends,

"4 red parachute rockets, 4 red handheld flares, 4 white handheld flares and 2 orange smoke flares. But for a vessel operating less than 3nm from the coast no parachute rockets are required."

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