NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Boaters: A Reason to Check Your Signal Flares
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., January 26, 2010 – Out of sight, out of mind? Unfortunately for a lot of recreational boaters, that’s the reality when it comes to handheld signal flares. Most boaters don’t think twice about their condition until they really need them. However, a feature in the latest issue of Boat Owners Association of The United States’ Seaworthy Magazine reveals that failing to periodically inspect flares could have serious consequences.
This past summer a BoatUS employee opened a sealed orange storage canister that was located in his own 34-foot sailboat’s cabin and found that three handheld flares inside were ruined. Long cracks along their length had developed, and the flare’s combustive ingredients were exposed and spilling out, rendering them useless. There were no signs of moisture inside or outside the canister. In an unexplained twist, three flares with older manufacturing dates — stored in the same sealed orange canister - were found undamaged.
stored in the same sealed orange canister - were found undamaged.
BoatUS first learned of this issue three years ago when a BoatUS member in Washington State reported a similar problem. In that case an O-ring sealed the flare container tightly, along with a band of duct tape in an attempt to further prevent any moisture from entering, yet three unexpired flares inside were destroyed.
“Most boaters know that emergency signal flares have expiration dates,” said BoatUS Seaworthy editor Bob Adriance. “However, these two puzzling stories tell us that it’s also best to check your flares a few times a season. I would also add flare guns to the list, too,” he added.
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety also offers a full report with real-world tests of aerial, smoke, and handheld flares at www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/Findings/Findings45 . To view video footage of the tests, go to http://www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/Findings/findings45/videos.asp .
To get your own quarterly copy of the boat damage and injury avoidance publication Seaworthy, an annual subscription for $10 is available by going to www.BoatUS.com/seaworthy .
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money saving services. For membership information visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.