Change flare rules for leisure boats, RYA tells Coastguard

RYA calls rules on flares "unreasonable and illogical" in light of new technologies available

The RYA has called the Coastguard’s rules on the carriage of pyrotechnic flares “unreasonable and illogical” as it pushes to have the rules on emergency signalling devices changed.

The Coastguard currently requires all boats over 45ft to carry four parachute flares and four handheld flares, but the RYA said there was no longer a “compelling case to support mandatory requirement of flares”.

EPIRBs, PLBs, and GPS-linked DSC VHFs are now common on boats, and laser flares are becoming increasingly available, yet none of these technologies are recognised in the current UK regulations regarding emergency signalling.

“The RYA has been shown no persuasive evidence that flares have search and rescue benefits that cannot be provided by modern technology,” the RYA’s cruising manager Stuart Carruthers said.
“Couple this with the significantly reduced disposal service for flares and the argument for continuing to mandate flares becomes unreasonable and illogical.”

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