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Old 06-03-2020, 08:58 AM   #1
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Is this a good idea or not?

I purchased a pack of blinking LED fishing lure lights from amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BVM8VHK
For 5 of them, it was $17 bucks.

They are designed to be clipped to your fishing line and when they hit the water, the two contacts start conducting electricity using the water to bridge the gap between the two contacts and the led starts blinking a random color pattern. As long as the device is in the water, it blinks.

I clipped it to life preservers, up high, so if you get dunked, it blinks. Even though it isn't terribly bright, any light at night would be helpful. It is automatic, and as long as there is water on the contacts, the light is blinking, for up to 800 hours. 800 hours in the water, you have more problems than the battery...

Easy to test the unit, just wet two fingers and touch the two contacts on the sides of the unit. If the battery is OK, it will blink a colored light. If not blinking, replace it.

The batteries are not replaceable, and are molded into the unit and sealed with clear epoxy so you get a waterproof unit good for years, and hours of light life if needed.

Sure, it's not designed for a life preserver, and the loop where it hooks on isn't terribly thick, but it appears to be stainless steel wire into the epoxy.
It would be better to have a more durable light, but the cost is low, so you can equip every life preserver with a light for cheap.

There are some lights like this that have a AA or AAA replaceable battery, but that adds a lot of bulk to the light, and unless you use lithium batteries, chances are, within a year or so, the AA or AAA battery will corrode the device contacts...
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:12 AM   #2
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I have one of the ACR battery powered blinking LED lights on my PFDs. My answer to your question is that anything is better than nothing. I would determine how far away the light can be seen in the dark. Try to visualize being able to see the light in small waves at 100 yards. That distance is modest when looking for someone overboard.

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Old 06-03-2020, 09:22 AM   #3
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As long as the device is in the water, it blinks.......I clipped it to life preservers, up high, so if you get dunked, it blinks. It is automatic, and as long as there is water on the contacts, the light is blinking,......
IMHO, I wouldn't bother outfitting my life preservers with these. They are designed for the light blinking while in the water & if mounted high up on your life preservers they won't be in the water.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:32 AM   #4
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IMHO, I wouldn't bother outfitting my life preservers with these. They are designed for the light blinking while in the water & if mounted high up on your life preservers they won't be in the water.

Very good point...I would have to see one in action to make an intelligent suggestion.


Faint light in todays world isn't as critical as my guess is many rescue outfits use night vision and IR while searching.
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:22 AM   #5
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I guess that I would ask you what is your life or someone that is on your boat worth to you? Why not just put a quality and approved light on the PFDs? The cost isnít that much in the whole scheme of boating. This is safety equipment. I would not want to loose someone overboard and not be able to find them. You would always regret not doing everything to help rescue the MOB. Safety equipment isnít important until it is vital and then it is too late to do something different. The proper safety equipment is usually a one time expense so I would recommend doing it right. Just my opinion, your may be different.
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Old 06-03-2020, 10:55 AM   #6
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I believe he was thinking this may be a better alternative to USCG safety equipment that often fails because of over engineering, etc.... SOLAS equipment often describes how USCG approved equipment is inadequate.


Heck, when I was active duty an alarming amount of survival equipment Coasties were wearing failed in actual situations.


While part of it might actually be better.... there is the actual use performance that needs testing.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:19 AM   #7
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We each have an ACR ResQLink which we wear when off shore.

They are not inexpensive but we wouldn't go out through an inlet without having them on.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:33 AM   #8
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But PLBs and EPIRBs are generally not effective for quick rescues of MOBs, gathering PIW at night to a common spot or final pickup of survivors from rescue craft....

So PFD lights do help a lot.

And yes, PLBs and EPIRBs are valuable for being found by outside rescue resources.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:41 AM   #9
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We have lights on our inflatable PFD's that we wear on the boat. Not all PFD's on the boat are so equipped, just mine and my wife's. They are the twist-to-activate kind and are firmly affixed to the shoulder are of the inflatable. Now before any of you start jumping on me about not having automatic on type lights, we've had these for so long they didn't have the automatic lights when we bought them.

Here's a link to Defender's web page where they have an assortment to choose from.

https://www.defender.com/category.js...135&id=2290136
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:12 PM   #10
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But PLBs and EPIRBs are generally not effective for quick rescues of MOBs, gathering PIW at night to a common spot or final pickup of survivors from rescue craft....

So PFD lights do help a lot.

And yes, PLBs and EPIRBs are valuable for being found by outside rescue resources.
The PLBs have strobe/infrared strobe lights.

https://www.acrartex.com/products/resqlink-view
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:26 PM   #11
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The PLBs have strobe lights.

Sorry, mine was pre-strobes.


Bad news with strobes...often they are so bright they wreck night vision....but in the water it's better to be seen than need to see.


If you see a helo coming at you, when it gets near and hovers towards you....at least in my days...you can turn it off to save the crew's vision.


Not sure how visible strobes affect the new gear.
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:27 PM   #12
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Since they are designed to attract predators (fish) and entice their attack, if your crew are going to fall overboard in shark invested waters, this may not be a good idea.
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:38 PM   #13
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They are certainly not as bright or effective as strobe lights, but every man (before women got aboard) topside on USN ships for a night evolution like refueling had an activated chem-light on his type I PFD; that could be upwards of 75 men. We also had single D-cell clear-dome lights which were pretty dime to useless - probably designed more for gathering the crew in the water into a mass than for any rescuing vessel to see.

While I like the OP's innovative thinking, I agree that a purpose-designed strobe would be better. This does not mean you couldn't put the lure on PFDs too as belt and suspenders.
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:54 PM   #14
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I guess I didn't realize the C-light II was about the same price as 5 of the fish lure lights.
There is commercial, SOLAS rated hardware to do this, and it isn't terribly expensive, in the $12-$15 per light range. Regardless, putting the lure light next to the $15 C-Light II device wouldn't be a bad idea, since the lure light would last LOTS longer, and any light is better than a light with a dead battery. Anything using AA or AAA batteries for this type of device should have LITHIUM batteries, regardless of what ole' Copper top advertising says. They will leak / explode / corrode, etc., you just don't know when they will do it. I think most battery advertising is printed lies, since a 10 year garantee is no value if you're in the water and find the copper top has corroded inside the device. I had a box of devices, apple smartmice, flashlights, scanners, etc., ruined with coppertop batteries and all they do is reserve the right to send you a check or possibly replace the device, if you go through all the hassle of sending the device and batteries back to them for their examination.
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