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?