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Old 01-28-2020, 04:03 AM   #1
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Flashing lights

As an RCMSAR member at Saltspring Island, and with over 40 yrs experience, I have always been taught that a flashing masthead light was a distress signal.
This evening, in the harbour at Auckland New Zealand, I watched as every harbour ferry docking beside us came in with their masthead light flashing, at least 10 of them over the evening hours.
Is this a convention that occurs everywhere in the southern hemisphere? Elsewhere?
I know that in my home waters, nobody exhibits a flashing masthead light unless they are in distress. Where else is this a rule?
My Kiwi friend has told me more than once that Kiwis are crazy. I watched Kiwis bungee jumping from their Harbour bridge this afternoon, so I tend to believe him. Is the distress light flashing at all time just another Kiwi thing?
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:04 AM   #2
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Fast ferry’s / hovercraft exhibit a flashing yellow light.
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:05 AM   #3
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Rules 21 and 23 both mention yellow flashing lights for air cushioned craft, and Rule 23 adds submarines, but I don't think that's relevant here. There is no mention of a white flashing masthead light for distress that I could find. That might be a local convention.


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Old 01-28-2020, 03:29 PM   #4
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A lot of the Westcoast trollers used to use a high power strobe light.
Was a real pain in the eyes when they left them when anchored in
the bays instead of drifting offshore.
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:47 AM   #5
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The flashing light is a thing here in NZ I think for boats of a certain size and capable of a certain speed operating within the harbour limits (Waitamata). Iíll see if I can find the details and post here. You will note the rapid pilot boats doing the same. Enjoy your time here Keith. (Sorry about the state of the waterfront due to the Americas Cup preparations.
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:04 AM   #6
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Auckland Regional Council Navigational Safety Bylaw 2.11-4 ďA fast passenger ferry must display an orange flashing light when it is not made fast to the shore or is not at anchorĒ. So yes I think this translates to ....... a crazy Kiwi thing.
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