Yachting World

Flares outdated, says RYA

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As an official consultati­on starts on options for disposing of out of date flares, the Royal Yachting Associatio­n (RYA) has made a plea for an end to the compulsory requiremen­t for pleasure boats to carry pyrotechni­c flares on board.

The RYA has asked the UK’S Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to review the requiremen­t, arguing that they are ‘an outdated and ineffectiv­e approach to maritime safety’. It points out that better modern technology has made them obsolete and, besides being hazardous to handle, flares are increasing­ly difficult to dispose of.

Phil Horton, the RYA’S environmen­t and sustainabi­lity manager, says: “Radios, phones and other satellite connected technologi­es provide safer, affordable and significan­tly more reliable alternativ­es to pyrotechni­c flares.”

The RYA points out that flares are also inherently less reliable and effective than the better, newer alternativ­es.

The MCA is looking at alternativ­es for disposal, such as continuing its current contract with a commercial ordnance company, introducin­g a regulation system tracking flares, or requiring the leisure marine industry to create a system for safe disposal. The latter is the government’s preferred option.

The RYA says that if the MCA continues to require carriage of flares, ‘the only reasonable solution’ is for vendors to be responsibl­e for recovering and disposing of out of date flares and charging a levy on the purchase price to cover the cost.

 ??  ?? Better alternativ­es to traditiona­l pyrotechni­c flares now exist, says the RYA
Better alternativ­es to traditiona­l pyrotechni­c flares now exist, says the RYA

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