Sirius Signal’s “SOS Distress Light” Receives Innovation Award At Miami Boat Show

The “SOS Distress Light” Receives Innovation Award At Miami Boat Show

February 26, 2016, Annapolis, MD — Weems & Plath announces receipt of the prestigious Innovation Award recognizing excellence in Consumer Safety Equipment from the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association (NMMA) and the Boating Writers International (BWI) at the 2016 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show.

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Weems & Plath Manufactures NEW Electronic Flare for Sirius Signal

Weems & Plath Manufactures NEW Electronic Flare for Sirius Signal

Weems & Plath is excited to announce its partnership with Sirius Signal to manufacture and market a new revolutionary electronic flare. Named SOS Distress Light, this remarkable product was designed and patented by Sirius Signal. It is U.S.-made and is the only alternative to traditional pyrotechnic flares that meets U.S. Coast Guard requirements. Unlike traditional flares, this SOS Distress Light never expires which solves the challenge of flare disposal.
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SOS Distress Light proves to exceed requirements, after in-field testing


SOS Distress Light proves to exceed requirements, after in-field testing

When getting ready to take a boat out on the water, checking emergency gear and protocol often ends up being on the bottom of the to-do list, if remembered at all.

It’s a common mistake made by many, because no one ever plans on having an emergency. However, it is crucial to make sure your boat and all passengers have the best devices to increase awareness and visibility of a stranded vessel.

The U.S. Coast Guard, has a list of items that each vessel is required to carry in order to enter open waters. Marine distress signal devices, flotation devices and sound signaling devices are just a few of the required emergency items that are required. When looking for a distress device, visibility and duration of the signal is key to being found on water – especially at night.

Sirius Signal, a San Diego-based start-up, knows that a couple of minutes can make a huge difference when in an emergency situation. With the recent release of the SOS Distress Light, they hope to provide boaters and marine enthusiasts with the longest-lasting marine distress devices on the market.

Their device boasts a battery life that keeps its LED light at the peak required intensity for compliance, and total illumination of up to 60 hours. The distance visible is greater than 10 nautical miles.

“Our product not only meets requirements, but exceeds them. We’ve spent a long time testing,” said Anthony Covelli, CEO of Sirius Signal.

The U.S. Coast Guard requires boaters to carry a minimum of 3 day/night marine flares or one non-pyrotechnic electronic distress device and an orange emergency flag. The pyrotechnic flare burn time ranges from a required minimum of just a few seconds to maximum of 3 minutes.

According to the 46 CFR 161.013 night visual distress signal requirements, each electronic distress device must: have a battery life of at least 6 hours, automatically flash the SOS signal and state that it meets U.S. Coast Guard compliancy.

“It’s a simple numbers game,” said Covelli. “The SOS Distress Light lasts 400 times longer.”

As the Sirius Signal device begins to attract more attention in the marine industry, users are confirming that the SOS Distress Light is not only a great alternative to marine flares, but a superior one.

“[I’m] Very happy with everything I see so far with the new Sirius Signal SOS Distress Light – just ran it continually for 60 hours as part of my new product testing. That beats a minute of two from a typical flare,” said one reviewer from Just Marine, a distributor dedicated to innovative marine products.

Written by Averi Melcher, Digital Content Manager for Sirius Signal.

The Real Cost of Improper Flare Disposal


The Real Cost of Improper Flare Disposal

Do you know that 30 million flares will expire in the next 3 years?

Do you know that, of these 30 million flares, only 9% are disposed of properly, with the rest being illegally set off, thrown in household garbage or even tossed directly into the very waters on which we boat (research provided by John Adriany, Principal Scientist)?

“The connection between flares and water is not always clear to boaters. We need to have a discussion about chemistry to truly understand it,” said John Adriany, Principal Scientist at Chemetrics.

According to research provided by Adriany, the problem with disposing of flares isn’t the flares themselves, but the perchlorate contained within them.

Perchlorate is a stable, toxic chemical that is used to support a burning fire in pyrotechnics. When improperly disposed of, it can remain in the soil for many years, eventually coming in contact with ground and drinking water sources. Once contaminated, is very difficult to separate perchlorates from water because of the similarities in molecular composition.

“New technology recently allowed us to see [perchlorates] for the very first time,” said Adriany. “We realize that there are trace amounts in almost all of our water. Trace amounts matter, because they affect our health.”

When people are exposed to high levels of perchlorates over time, it can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iodine, having a negative impact on the thyroid. The thyroid regulates key metabolic functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.

A 2005 study done by the State of Rhode Island revealed that just one improperly disposed of flare can contaminate about 240,000 gallons of water.

“[Now] we know the problem, we can do something about it,” said Anthony Covelli, CEO of Sirius Signal.

Sirius Signal, a San Diego-based start-up, recently released the SOS Distress Light as a response to the growing pollution concerns of pyrotechnic flares. Their light is a non-pyrotechnic marine distress device that complies with all U.S. Coast Guard 46 CFR 161.013 night visual distress signal requirements.

Covelli said the SOS Distress Light is a one-time purchase that contains no perchlorates, because it runs off LED light, instead of pyrotechnics. You can use the SOS light by simply turning the on/off dial, activating a light that is visible over 10 nautical miles for several hours.

Recent state legislatures – including California – have made attempts to clean up our water. However, no Federal laws currently exist for flare disposal.

Until then, each flare that is disposed of improperly will only add to the surmounting problem. For now, the responsibility to reduce water contamination from flares lands squarely on the shoulders of our boaters.

However, even those aware of the pollution risks, find the cost of proper flare disposal to be prohibitive and they haven’t had any other viable options available to them in the past.

Sirius Signal hopes to change that with their SOS Distress Light.

“[We] give recreational boaters that choice,” said Covelli. “For the first time, we have a Coast Guard compliant alternative to dangerous and toxic marine flares.”

Written by Averi Melcher, Digital Content Manager for Sirius Signal.

How Flares Contaminate Ground Water with Perchlorate

Perchlorate Molecule ModelThe improper disposal of flares contaminates groundwater with a toxic chemical called perchlorate. When people are exposed to high levels of perchlorate, the chemical can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iodine and therefore has a negative impact on thyroid function. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate a person’s metabolism including heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the pace at which food is converted into energy. In infants, thyroid hormones impact growth and nervous system development.

Food And Drug Administration Guidelines on Perchlorate Exposure

In 2005, the state of Rhode Island did a study examining perchlorate levels in a state reservoir that is flanked by two major highways. Rhode Island is particularly concerned about perchlorate levels because 70% of the population relies on this reservoir. The study specifically calculates the volume of water that is contaminated by one unburned flare that is not disposed of properly. (240,000 gallons)

Flares and Runoff Contaminate Surface Water in Rhode Island