Flares?

Discussion in 'Kayak safety' started by beef78, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. beef78

    beef78 Well-Known Member YakPack

    So, when I first started fishing nights, I read through the CT boating hand book and read that vessels under 16 foot under manual propulsion were only required to carry Visual Distress Signals (flares) at night and while they were in Fisher's and Long Island Sound. I assumed this meant kayaks and that every one who fished at night in the sounds carried kayaks.
    Due to a recent Facebook conversation I had, I emailed CT deep boating to get clarification and they said that the sound is governed by the coast guard regulations and that all personnel operating a manually propelled vessel under 16 feet are required to carry Visual Distress signals.
    Does anyone else carry flares at night in the ocean?
    IMG_3330.PNG
  2. Jeff270

    Jeff270 NEKF Vice President YakPack Board of Directors

    What is the definition of a "visual distress" signal? I have a strobe on my pdf, does that count?
  3. beef78

    beef78 Well-Known Member YakPack

    Only if it automatically flashes S.O.S. and is marked that it meets the Coastguard requirements for a VDS.
    IMG_3332.PNG
  4. beef78

    beef78 Well-Known Member YakPack

    Definititions of VDS according to the regulation. IMG_3333.PNG IMG_3334.PNG
  5. slappy

    slappy Moderator Staff Member YakPack

    so it looks like a light meets the definition.
  6. beef78

    beef78 Well-Known Member YakPack

    Only if it meets the requirements of 46 CFR 161.013 which means it had the capability to automatically flash S.O.S. and has a label on it that says it meets that federal regulation.
    Am I crazy or is that what it says? Most of the kayakers I have been talking to tend to think this doesn't apply to us, but the DEEP representative was pretty clear.

    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-i...888&mc=true&node=sp46.6.161.161_1013&rgn=div6

  7. beef78

    beef78 Well-Known Member YakPack

    So, I finally called coast guard headquarters today to get clarification. According to the person I talked to you ARE required to carry a visual distress signal when you are in the coast guard's jurisdiction while operating a manually propelled vessel under 16 feet long between sunset and sunrise. A visual distress signal can be approved flares or a light that flashes S.O.S. and is labeled that it meets the requirements of the coast guard as a VSD.

    That being said, I have never heard of anyone in a kayak being fined for not having flares. I have never heard of a kayaker being asked for flares on a safety check. I also think it would be pretty unsafe for a kayaker to use a flare.
    I will keep mine in the kayak just in case to avoid any fines.

    Tight lines!
  8. beef78

    beef78 Well-Known Member YakPack

  9. Rockport24

    Rockport24 NEKF BOD YakPack Board of Directors

    thanks for tracking this down, Beef. I have always carried an approved strobe which I think qualifies, but this is good to know (not that I fish at night often! lol)
    beef78 likes this.

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