Ahoy Sailors, now that we know what to do when we receive a MAYDAY distress call, let’s talk about approved essential pyrotechnics that should live aboard every vessel, flares, and distress signals. Here is a guide to rules, regulations, styles, and brands of flares that are essential for recreational boating. Stay tuned for our next issue when we discuss how to handle and operate flares properly.
There is a visual distress signal requirement for recreational boaters. All boats operating on waters more than two miles wide in U.S. waters, including the Great Lakes and territorial seas, must be equipped with a visual distress signal.
There are several exceptions, so always check your state regulations to ensure you comply.
Regardless of exemptions, all boaters should have the proper equipment to signal for help onboard their vessel.