New Technology Electronic Flares Do Not Require Coast Guard Approval for Use on Recreational Vessels


PushButtonEFTo eliminate any confusion as to whether Modern electronic visual distress signal products had to be Coast Guard Approved in order to be carried on recreational vessels;

Coast Guard Approved Pyrotechnic flares are still required to be carried on most recreational vessels to meet the minimum requirements for distress signals. The signal value of a Pyrotechnic flare is limited by the short duration of burning chemicals. A burning flare may get attention, but a burned out flare will not help anyone find you. To reduce the risk of not being found it is a sensible requirement to carry something else that is visible.

Modern LED technology products were specifically developed to address the problems associated with pyrotechnic flares. There are no Coast Guard requirements for these modern electronic visual distress products to be Coast Guard Approved on recreational vessels.

North American Survival Systems, LLC manufactures and distributes electronic visual distress signal products. The company principals have over 75 years of survival, search and rescue experience and sit on a special Coast Guard committee for developing alternatives to pyrotechnics.


    • Carry one that has the range and duration to save your life. The ODEO M3 and the EF-10A-1 Lightning are visible for 6 nm with a duration of 6 to 60 hrs.

      You still must carry 3 day and night flares to be legal. Legal might not be enough signal in a real emergency.

  1. This article does NOT clarify anything – Is it saying that modern LED lights automatically satisfy the requirements for Visual Nighttime Distress Signals or is it saying that a backup to the required Visual Nighttime Distress Signals does not require them to be approved. PLEASE CLARIFY!!!

  2. Hi Bob

    It says that you still need to carry the 3 required flares. There is no requirement for you to use them though.

    It says that you may carry EVDSD products to supplement the short duration flares because flares burn out or you may not get to them.

    It says that EVDSD product do not have to be CG approved to be carried on recreational vessels because most people are comnfused with this issue.

  3. Remember to hold the flare over the side of the boat, so that any hot molten material falls into the water and not into the boat around the fuel lines or tank! Keep your arm extended at all times and wrapped with a cotton towel for extra protection if possible. Best Laser Distance Meter

  4. Reading the coast guard regulations, it seems to say that if these lights WERE coast guard approved for electronic distress signals at sea, that they would then meet the requirement and you would NOT have to ALSO carry chemical flares. So, they have not been approved?

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