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Old 07-05-2004
GordMay GordMay is offline
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When use mast strobe light?

I think we disagree on the “Legal & Proper” usage of White & Green Flares, and Strobe Lights. We seem to agree more on their “effective” use.

Speaking of White Flares, you indicated that they were “...covered by the col regs with no ambiguity ...”

The COLREGS specify the use of Red Flares & Orange Smoke, but are silent on the subject of White Flares. I can find no internationally recognized standards on the use of White Flares. As I previously posted (but failed to attribute) Pains-Wessex states: “...there is no standard for white flares”.

As I also posted previously, The COLREGS (Rule 36) specifically admonish against the use of Strobe Lights - “... the use of high intensity intermittent or revolving lights, such as strobe lights, shall be avoided.”

It seems to me, that the use of either Strobes or White Flares is not “legal”, or (at least) not recognized by the treaties, & regulations.

Under certain circumstance we may not really care as much about conventions & treaties, as we do about effectiveness. A Strobe Light will be VERY visible over a distance of several miles (limited by DIP to horizon), whereas a Flare might be visible over many MORE miles. If our intent is to alert a relatively nearby vessel to our presence, a Strobe may be effective. If we want to alert the larger world to our presence, a Flare may be more effective.

We deploy either at our own hazard and liability for any unintended consequences.

I’m using (wasting) up bandwidth arguing over semantics, in an effort to answer Jonathan’s original question regarding the “PROPER” use of a masthead Strobe (there is none).

Thanks for taking the time to intelligently engage the debate.


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