The RYA has issued new guidelines on the Emergency Distress equipment to be carried by pleasure vessels of under 13.7m in length.
Ever since the Titanic went down, and new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations were put in place, all boats have carried flares to signal distress and attract attention. This has meant accepting the necessity of carrying large amounts of explosives on board.
Modern devices, such as EPIRBs and DSC radio, use sophisticated satellite technology to locate vessels in distress. This has lessened the importance of flares and the RYA have acknowledged this in their latest recommendations.
The new guidelines, for skippers of pleasure craft under 13.7m in length, provide information on the combinations of equipment you could consider carrying and using depending upon the type of your vessel and where you use it.
The RYA’s Cruising Manager Stuart Carruthers explained: “Our revised guidance will allow boaters to make informed decisions about the types of equipment they choose to carry.
“We are not saying don’t carry flares, but combined with modern devices you might not need to carry as many as previously recommended; think about what you want on board as you may prefer other methods for alerting attention.