The Electronic Flare SOS Distress Light Aids Stranded Boaters After Motor Quits
Written by Averi Melcher
San Diego, CA — During a relaxing evening viewing the San Diego skyline with six friends this summer, Captain Greg Potter’s boat became disabled, requiring aid from local vessel assist services in order to get back to shore.
According to Capt. Potter, the group normally doesn’t stay out much more than an hour or two, but that evening they had decided to enjoy the cool Pacific breeze and decided to motor down and put up the sails around 9 p.m. PST. After sailing in the San Diego Bay for a while, he noticed that the water pump on the boat had quit and the motor wouldn’t turn back on.
Capt. Potter, a U.S. Coast Guard Licensed 100 Ton Master, quickly handled the situation by calling the local vessel assist services and promptly turning on his Electronic Flare SOS Distress Device. Knowing it wasn’t an emergency situation, the crew was able to turn on the light and leave it, enjoying each other’s company until they were found and towed back to the pier.
“This story serves as a true testament to the value of being able to be seen when things go wrong and a reminder that not all rescue situations are life or death. In fact, a vast majority of calls come from boaters like Capt. Greg Potter and his guests who were simply having trouble getting back to shore,” said Anthony Covelli, CEO of Sirius Signal.
Having quick, reliable access to a device that is easy to identify against the city lights and maintains its brightness over a long period of time were key components for the vessel assist operators being able to locate them so quickly.
“We were able to simply turn on the light and wait in confidence. I thought it might be harder for them to find us with all the city lights [rather than on open water], but I think the signal really made my boat a lot more visible to other craft in the area. We were back to shore in no time,” said Capt. Potter.