Pyrotechnic Visual Distress Signals
- Pyrotechnics are excellent distress signals. However, there is potential for injury and property damage if not handled properly. These devices produce a very hot flame, and the residue can cause burns and ignite flammable materials.
- Pistol-launched and hand–held parachute flares and meteors have many characteristics of a firearm and must be handled with caution. In some states they are considered a firearm and are prohibited from use.
- Pyrotechnic devices should be stored in a cool, dry, and prominently marked location.
- If pyrotechnic VDSs are used, a minimum of three must be carried in the vessel. Any combination may be carried as long as they add up to three signals for day use and three signals for night use. Also, pyrotechnic VDSs must be dated. Expired VDSs may be carried on board, but a minimum of three unexpired VDSs must be carried in the vessel.