NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard recommends boaters have signaling devices on board their vessel in case of emergency during this National Safe Boating Week.
All boaters should be able to signal for help. When day and night signaling devices are required, the devices must be U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
Signaling devices can be either pyrotechnic or non-pyrotechnic. Pyrotechnic red flares and orange smoke used for night and day distress signaling, respectively, are examples of pyrotechnic devices. Non-pyrotechnic devices include orange distress flags (day only) and electric distress signals (night only).
Each of these devices have expiration dates and a different operating/burning time. Check the label for currency and to see how long each pyrotechnic device will remain illuminated. Choose a device best suited to the conditions in the area where your vessel is typically used; other signaling devices include, but are not limited to, flashlights, whistles, signal mirrors and horns.
The Coast Guard also recommends boaters equip their boat with an emergency position indicating radio beacon. An EPIRB is an economical safety device that automatically transmits an emergency signal when it is placed or floating in the upright position. The signal allows the Coast Guard and other rescue agencies to pin-point your exact location. Now small enough to be carried in your pocket, the device is designed to send an accurate location as well as identifying information to rescue authorities immediately upon activation.
To register an EPIRB, please click here.
For more more information on Coast Guard-approved signaling devices, click here.