A rescue from the United Kingdom and another from the United States illustrate the importance of carrying Pains Wessex marine distress signals.
In the UK, three men, who were stranded for eight hours in a small cabin-cruiser without power in the Solent, were finally rescued by Cowes RNLI lifeboat after firing flares. Pains Wessex Parachute Illuminating Rockets are used extensively by search and rescue organisations.
Trinity, an 18-foot Shetland class, ran aground on a sandbank near the entrance to Beaulieu River. Although the boat refloated on a rising tide, the men were unable to get underway because of mud in the engine.
They dropped anchor and used a mobile phone to call Solent Coastguards shortly before midnight and were found through the lifeboat firing a white flare, and Trinity’s crew waving a torch. The crew, believed to be from the south coast, were later taken safely ashore.
At Linwood Beach, Michigan USA, five people were rescued by US Coast Guards one day in July after their boat took on water and began to sink.
The five passengers in the 1986 float boat fired a flare to alert fishing boats in the area to their plight. They were in the water when the Coast Guard arrived and the fishing boats helped take them back to Linwood Beach Marina. No-one was hurt.
US Coast Guards advise boaters to take adequate safety precautions, including carrying marine distress signals.