Once in a while, something genius is invented and it catches my attention. That’s what happened with the new SOS Distress Light.
The SOS Distress light is an electronic flare that replaces your flare kit. It meets the USCG requirement and far exceeds them.
1) Safe to use.
Wouldn’t you rather be holding a light that doesn’t get hot or drop burning toxins? With the SOS Distress Light you would not need to be concerned about holding it downwind, away from limbs, away from a life raft that could get a hole in it… need I say more?
2) Saves money.
It is basic arithmetic. The cost of a flare kit is about $35-40. You shouldn’t put expired flares in a dumpster because of the toxins, therefore there may also be a disposal fee. The cost of an SOS Distress Light is $100. Weems & Plath is allowing me to share with you their Chicago Boat Show Discount of 25% off. If you buy now with the coupon code, you’ll be saving money when you would normally be purchasing your second flare kit. It is a no-brainer!
3) Better for the environment.
Flares are full of toxins. Last year the USCG reported that only 71 flares were used for emergencies. Imagine all the expired flares that go to waste every year. Where does all that toxic trash go? Out of sight, out of mind? Not for someone who cares about the ocean and the environment – and I know you do! I cringe every time I have to dispose of an expired flare. The SOS Distress Light will last years and years so you are significantly reducing trash and production of throwaway waste.
4) Increased visibility.
The SOS Distress Light can illuminate a very bright flashing SOS pattern for 60 hours on one set of C batteries. Carry a spare set in your ditch bag and that’s 120 hours. Imagine you are trying to signal a ship in the distance. There is one or two sailors on watch, eating chips and scanning the horizon every few minutes. You’ve got 4 flares that burn for 30 seconds each or one SOS Distress Light that will run for 60 hours. Which do you think would more likely be seen? I know what I would bet on.
5) Flexible in emergency situations.
Most flares give you only two options – shoot them into the air or stand and hold the stick of burning lava while calculating wind direction as to not breathe in the toxins – all while an emergency is happening. With the SOS Distress Light you could hoist it up the mast, float it in the water (yes it floats), lash it to your PFD, and even have a child, panicked, or injured person hold it while you deal with the emergency at hand. Holding the SOS distress light is passive and very easy to do. You can even pass it around.
First, the signal might not be as recognized as a flare by recreational sailors.
The pattern for SOS is • • • – – – • • •
Now that you know, be sure to teach a friend!
But if you didn’t know the pattern – what you would know is that you are seeing a flashing light. You know it isn’t a boat so you would look at your chart and realize it isn’t on the chart. You want to know what it is because you are a safe navigator. So you would then look in a reference book, and eventually come to realize that this is the SOS light. Finally, a few minutes later, you would call the coast guard and let them know you have seen an SOS light. It might take a few minutes longer to figure it out, but guess what, unlike a regular flare….the SOS Distress Light lasts 60 hours!
Second, the range of visibility is limited because it is only seen at sea level (unless you hoist it up your mast). Therefore, it is best as a coastal flare (check the regulations). A flare can be shot into the air. However, I’ve seen (or thought I saw) a flare peek above the horizon and disappear in an instant. While a flare (from a flare gun) has an advantage in height, it has a disadvantage in duration and can be easily, very easily missed.
The new code is helloocean for 20% off. And 5% goes to ocean conservation!
So, order yours today and use the coupon code:
CHICSHOW16 for 25% off. You won’t find a better discount anywhere else. And, for a double win, Weems & Plath has agreed to give 5% of each sale using this code to our Hello Ocean conservation efforts!
By the way, we go over emergency drills on our sail-training expeditions. We’ve even been known to get into a lifeboat, set off flares (although we are switching over to the SOS Distress Light) and fire extinguishers, and do repeated man overboard drills. If you want to be prepared for anything at sea, try one of our sail-training expeditions. Visit morsealpha.com.