What Can You Carry on Your Boat to Replace Pyrotechnic Flares?

There are modern, environmentally friendly electronic alternatives to pyrotechnical devices (flares) for signaling distress at night.

An electric light designed as a flare alternative is not a regular flashlight. Instead, an electronic visual distress signal device (eVDSD) is a handheld device that must automatically flash the International Morse Code for S-O-S and float in the water. The eVDSD are approved for nighttime use only and must adhere to specific specifications to meet US Coast Guard safety equipment carriage requirements listed in 33 CFR 175.103.

In order to replace flares and meet US Coast Guard Night Visual Distress Signal safety equipment carriage requirements, an eVDSD must be certified by the manufacturer as complying with the federal design requirements which apply to these devices. To meet USCG nighttime VDS carriage requirements, each eVDSD device must be marked with one or a combination of the following statements on the label or device:


  1. FOR THE ALL WHITE SOS distress light “Night Visual Distress Signal for Boats Complies with U.S. Coast Guard Requirements in 46 CFR 161.013 For Emergency Use Only ” (1979 standard).
  2. FOR THE RED/ORANGE-CYAN two-color SOS distress light “ Complies with RTCM Standard 13200.0 for an eVDSD For Emergency use only ” (CG-ENG Policy adopted 6/21/2018).

All Sirius Signal electronic flares (eVDSDs) exceed the Coast Guard VDS requirements

All of our devices are sold with a 36″ square visual distress flag and whistle which makes each purchase a complete USCG compliance kit when all three items are carried on your recreational marine vessel.

C-1002 Label

C-1002 label

C-1003 Float Silkscreen Art

C-1003 label

C-1004 Float Silkscreen Art

C-1004 label

C-1002, C-1003 and C-1004

C-1002, C-1003 and C-1004