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Orion Flares and Signals


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Orion Flares and Signals

Orion has been manufacturing automotive and railway flares since the 1920's, they began producing automotive and marine signal devices in 1988 after acquiring those divisions of Olin Corporation. Today, they are the world's largest manufacturer of emergency flares. Orion offers a complete selection of safety and distress signals & flares, first aid kits, accessories, signaling guides and federal regulation information.

Orion Flares Attract and Pinpoint There are two purposes of distress signaling, the first is to attract attention, and then secondly to provide a homing signal to guide the responding party to your vessel. The most effective distress signals for attracting attention are aerial flares and parachute flares because they are moving, spectacular and cover a large sighting area. Once help is on the way, handheld red signal flares, orange smoke signals and orange distress flags serve as beacons helping rescuers to pinpoint your position and keep them on course.


Orion Products

  • Aerial Flares - These alert signals attract attention day or night and signal that you are in trouble. They should be fired after sighting or hearing a potential rescue vessel. The Coast Guard recommends that you fire 2 aerial flares, one right after the other so that rescuers can confirm the sighting and direction of the signal. Parachute flares do not need to be fired in twos since a single parachute flare has adequate burn time (25-30 seconds) to confirm sighting and position.

  • Handheld Flares - These locate signals serve as a beacon for rescuers to identify and pinpoint your position day or night. Surface to surface sighting range on water is approximately 3 to 5 miles, depending on boat elevation. If a rescuer is 5 miles away and running at 20 miles per hour, it will take 15 minutes to reach you. To keep rescuers on course you should have at least 12 minutes (total burn time) of signals onboard to maintain a strong homing signal until help arrives, therefore it is recommended that you carry a minimum of 6 handheld signals and 6 aerial signals.

    Orion Flares Safety Kit

  • SOLAS Approved - Orion offers a wide range of SOLAS, USCG & CCG approved signals, their new SOLAS line features the Safe Trigger Ignition System. Parachutes utilize a 2-handed trigger system, hand flares and smoke incorporate a "pull cord" ignition system.

  • First Aid Kits - The new softpack, modular system lets you choose the level of protection that suits your boating habits, whether a bay boater or a long distance offshore cruiser. Each modular section is packed in a resealable zip lock waterproof bag, and bandages are of premium fabric quality and resistant to water.

  • Non-Pyrotechnic - There are a variety of products offered by Orion that are non-pyrotechnic, including: whistles, distress flags, signaling mirrors, and dye markers.

  • Sound Signals - Safety whistles and air horns are an excellent way to attract attention when in distress, these products are Coast Guard and SOLAS approved. As well, the air horns manufactured by Orion are 100% ozone safe and non-flammable.

  • Lightsticks - Lightsticks offer a dependable light source whenever and wherever you need it. They offer the following benefits:
    • 360° of light
    • Non-flammable
    • Floatable
    • Easy to use
    • Waterproof
    • Lightweight
    • Non-toxic
    • No batteries required
    • Child friendly


    4 Rules of Signaling

    1. Conserve your signals until you are reasonably sure of being sighted. Wait until you see or hear a vessel or aircraft before using "one-time" signals.

    2. Stay with the boat if it is safe to do so. A boat is easier to spot than a swimmer.

    Orion Flares Signaling

    3. U.S Coast Guard approved marine signals improve your chances, but anything that works is good. Use common sense when signaling, some ideas include:

    • Shout
    • Flashing your running lights
    • Wave a piece of clothing
    • Use your windshield as a mirror
    • Flash a flashlight
    • Use anything that is available to attract attention
    • Don't Panic!

    4. Familiarize yourself with your signals before you leave shore. Time is important in any emergency and shouldn't be spent reading instructions.


    USCG Requirements

    Visual distress signals must be carried on all boats which are operated on the high seas, coastal waters (including the Great Lakes), the territorial seas and all waters directly connected to the great lakes or the territorial seas up to a point where the waters are less than two miles wide.

    Inland Boaters

    If you seldom leave sight of land you should carry:
  • Handheld Red Flares (and/or)
  • Aerial Flares: 12-Gauge HP or Skyblazer XLT Signals

    Coastal Boaters

    If you travel offshore occasionally, and do not travel overnight you should carry:
  • Handheld Red Flares
  • Aerial Flares: 12-Gauge HP or Skyblazer XLT Signals
  • Smoke Flares: Orange Handheld

    Offshore Boaters

    If you travel offshore out of sight of land for extended periods you should carry:
  • Handheld Flares: SOLAS Approved
  • Aerial Flares: 25MM or SOLAS Approved
  • Smoke Flares: Floating SOLAS Approved

    Orion Coast Guard Requirements

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