Chemring Marine will be exhibiting the latest products from its leading marine distress signals brand Comet at the Shipbuilding, Machinery and Marine Technology (SMM 08) trade fair, which takes place in Hamburg from the 23rd to the 26th of September 2008. The exhibition will provide an opportunity for visitors to meet the Comet team and see the impressive range of marine distress signals for themselves.

The range offers new styling, size and method of operation. The hand signals are more compact, being designed mainly for use in life rafts, where stowage space is always at an absolute premium thereby saving vital space in rafts compared to previous products.

All applicable Comet products – Red Handflare, Red Parachute signal rocket, smoke signal orange, light and smoke signal, and Linethrower 250 – conform to the stringent Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) standards and have gained Marine Equipment Directive (MED) approval, along with other national approvals where required (such as USCG and Japanese MOT).

Red Handflare compact flare

The Red Handflare demonstrates the development of technology and product styling now available. A compact flare, which is ideal for storage on a boat or within a liferaft, the Red Handflare features an ergonomically designed grip handle with unique telescopic design.

To operate, the user holds the flare where indicated by the grip ribbing at the bottom, and extends fully the telescopic section. A screw top at the ignition end of the flare is removed, and users grasp a small ball and pull to ignite the flare. After a 2s safety delay, the flare ignites and burns for a minimum of 60s, producing a bright red 15,000 candela light.

The Red Handflare is for short range signalling use in day or night-time, and is used in an emergency onboard commercial and leisure vessels. The similar White Handflare is used for collision warning, signalling and illumination.

Red Parachute signal rocket

The Red Parachute signal rocket is designed to attract attention at long range, firing a 30,000 candela red flare to a minimum of 300m altitude. The signal burns for 40s suspended under a parachute.

The Red Parachute signal rocket follows a similar operating design to the Red Handflare. Users grip where the ribbing indicates at the bottom of the flare (holding the flare upright with the red end down), remove the screw cap, and grasp the ball which is then pulled to ignite the rocket. A key benefit from this design is the reduced recoil – making it easier to fire, even in traumatic or stressful situations. The Red Parachute signal rocket is designed for day or night-time use, and is used in an emergency by both commercial and leisure vessels.

Smoke signal orange

Also available in the range is the smoke signal orange for daytime use. This signal provides a dense orange smoke, for a minimum of three minutes, used to indicate position and wind direction (a great aid for helicopter pilots) during a search and rescue operation. The product is again a significantly more compact design than the previous model and features a flat, peel-off top cap, which facilitates stowage and packing.

To operate the product, the cap is removed to access the friction wire firing mechanism. Once pulled, there is a 2s delay to allow the signal to be thrown into the water safely.

Light and smoke signal, orange smoke and candela signals

Other products in the SOLAS range include the light and smoke signal, orange smoke and two candela signals, which far exceed SOLAS / MED requirements. These are mounted either side of a ship’s bridge wing.

There is a similar smoke signal without the lights. This is for use instead of the light and smoke signal on USA and Japanese flag vessels which require 15-hour lights instead of the standard SOLAS two-hour requirement.

Line-throwing appliances

Also on show are the Linethrower 250 devices, which are self contained, single shot, 250m line-throwing appliances that are fully compliant to the latest international SOLAS / MED and USCG legislation and meet worldwide approval standards. Ships have to carry four linethrowers.

These products are manufactured in compliance with the latest international SOLAS MED and ISO requirements. Comet products are supported and available worldwide through a network of qualified distributors.

Visitors to the stand will also be able to see some of the leisure products in the range, including handsmokes, day and night signals, signal pistols and cartridges plus the newly launched personal and compact distress-signal kits.