Flares are primarily used to indicate distress and to pinpoint a vessels location. Certain distress flares can also be used to establish the wind direction and to provide illumination. Flares are essential safety equipment and remain the most instantly recognisable form of distress signal.
The current regulations stipulate that leisure craft of 13.7 metres and over which are operating commercially must carry flares. Other craft carry marine distress flares at their discretion but it is clearly advisable to do so.
A handheld red flare at night or in times of poor visibility and an orange flare by day are effective solutions for ensuring that a craft can be pinpointed in the final mile of a search. White flares are used as collision warnings or to provide targeted illumination.
At Pirates Cave we offer red, orange and white hand held flares by Pains Wessex who have been manufacturing distress signals for over 100 years. Pains Wessex flares are highly reliable and cost effective. The flares are waterproof and safe to use on petrol or oil covered water.
We also feature the Pains Wessex Orange Floating Lifesmoke Flare. This is an orange distress signal which can be used for marking your position or for indicating the wind direction during a rescue.
So how many individual flares should you carry?
Inshore zone (up to 3 miles from the shore)
Carry a minimum of 2 red hand held flares and 2 orange hand held smoke flares.
Coastal Zone (up to 7 miles from shore)
Carry at least 2 red hand held flares and 2 orange hand held flares together with 2 red parachute rocket flares.
At Night or in Foggy
Carry a few white hand flares in addition to the red and orange flares to signal your position in order to prevent collisions.
Offshore area (over 7 miles from shore)
Carry 4 red hand held flares, 2 buoyant orange smoke flares and 4 red parachute rocket flares.
If you require several flares to top up your equipment then our flare kits are a practical and cost effective solution. We offer inshore, coastal and offshore kits for your convenience.
Please note that flares are potentially hazardous products and so must be collected from our store.