What's going to show up more from a helicopter, 200 white plates littering an area, or a MOB pole?
If I'm in the water, I wanna float and I wanna be found. If one of my crew doesn't throw me something to assist my chances with either because they were worried about MARPOL and I get back on board, there is going to be some 'splainin' to do. I've been on a few SAR's and while I've been first on scene a couple of times, the search doesn't really start until the helicopter arrives and I bet a bunch of styrofoam plates would catch their eye pretty quickly.
And before anyone starts calling me a stupid idiot, I carry a MOB pole, lifesling
and a horseshoe buoy along with several floatation cushions in the cockpit. I do not carry styrofoam plates and I don't plan to purchase them for this special use but I don't think it's a bad idea either to assist the person in the water being located. Name calling really chills fresh ideas from coming out.