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post #1 of 12 Old 09-30-2013 Thread Starter
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White Flares

Hi All,

Was going through a couple drawers full of PO's "I'll leave you all this stuff" and found an unopened pack of white pistol flares that say "FOR PRACTICE ONLY". I thought this was pretty neat. Can I just go out into the bay and pop off a couple without getting excessive attention? Never saw it done anywhere and never talked to anyone who did it.

Dave

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post #2 of 12 Old 09-30-2013
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Re: White Flares

You can shoot them legally "for practice" but you may still attract attention, in our area a fishing boat crew was rescued during a storm when someone on shore saw them shoot their last flare, yep, a white "practice" one.

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post #3 of 12 Old 09-30-2013
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Re: White Flares

We, like most folks that have owned their boats for an extended period, have accumulated a stock of out-of-date but still functional flares that we occasionally like to use for live-fire training exercises. In the pre-9/'11 days, one could merely make an all stations announcement of VHF Ch# 16 that a live-fire flare training exercise was being held at whatever hours (local and Zulu) at position whatever North, whichever West and that flares observed from/about that position for an interval of X-minutes/hours would be for training purposes only. Subsequent to 9/'11, the rules have become somewhat more stringent but are not unduly burdensome. To ensure we were in compliance with local requirements, however, I sent a letter of inquiry detailing our plans for a live-fire exercise to the USCG, Tampa Bay, last June, noting time, date, location et al. The following is the response I rec'd:

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Good afternoon,

I received your letter the other day asking about proper protocol for conducting training with meteor flares. All the measures that you mentioned in your letter are prudent and appropriate. By notifying us 24 hours or more prior to the evolution, we will release the broadcast for you. In order to release the message, please contact the Sector St. Petersburg Command Center at (727) 824-7506 and provide the following information:

Type and amount of ordinance you will be testing including color
Location where you will be expending the ordinance
Time duration of the planned exercise
Your name and a reliable phone number (preferably two)

On behalf of the Coast Guard, I greatly appreciate you contacting us to confirm your procedures. By talking with us now, you have potentially saved a significant amount of resources that would otherwise responded to this incident.

If you have any other question or concern, please contact the Command Center.

Respectfully,
LT Michael Persun
Sector St. Petersburg Command Center
P: (727) 824-7506
I suspect the foregoing would apply in your locale as well.

FWIW...
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-30-2013
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Re: White Flares

good to know and I am sure the CG was glad to know people were actually practicing

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post #5 of 12 Old 09-30-2013
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Re: White Flares

The white ones are good because they are half the price of the non-practice ones. Great for shooting at pirates.

Oh, and practise too!

They are very hard to buy.

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-30-2013
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Re: White Flares

I'm sure the CG was glad to know someone was telling them they were "practicing" before actually doing it.

I have fired old 12GA marine flares on land and yes, I have had to run and put out the resulting grass fire. It seems they are often still burning when they hit the ground.

I used to live adjacent to a rice field which was flooded annually and miles from any navigable body of water. I never had a single grass fire result when I fired flares over a flooded rice field.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-30-2013
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Re: White Flares

Actually, white flares are very handy things to have within arms reach on dark nights.

Letting one of those off in the direction of the stinkpot who "hasn't seen your nav lights" and is about to run you down is a far more effective (and absolutely legal) way to let him know you're there than shining a half-flat torch on your sails..
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-01-2013
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Re: White Flares

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Letting one of those off in the direction of the stinkpot who "hasn't seen your nav lights" and is about to run you down is a far more effective (and absolutely legal) way to let him know you're there than shining a half-flat torch on your sails
I'm in California, 60 miles from Mexico, a few would panic and call the coast guard, the rest would shoot back, and the only flares would be tracer rounds.
BTW for anyone who hasn't fired one of those 12 ga. flare guns, they are depressingly puny on the ocean on a pitch dark night.

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-01-2013
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Re: White Flares

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Originally Posted by capttb View Post
BTW for anyone who hasn't fired one of those 12 ga. flare guns, they are depressingly puny on the ocean on a pitch dark night.
You're absolutely right Capttb.
If you just want to meet coast guard requirements, the 12 gauge flares are ok. If you might want to actually signal for help some day, you need Solas flares.

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-01-2013
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Re: White Flares

Good info to know, as I have quite a few boxes of 26.5mm white parachute flares.

S/V Chrysalis
'80 Watkins 27
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