What would you do if you were stranded off shore and needed some help? What if you were miles and miles away from any land? This is why there are several different options for distress signals that you can use, if they are available. Not everyone will have all types of signals. Having a radio to contact someone would be the best, but not all vessels will have one. ... read more The first two, you probably, will never be without. Waving your arms until you grab someones attention. This, obviously will only work if your are close to shore or have other vessels close by. The second is Fog horns continuously sounding. Now you may not have a fog horn on your boat, but that is what the boat horn is for. Almost every boat will have one. This should work farther away from shore, but not by much. But that is why they tell you to do it continuously.
Now another signal for others, if your boat is on fire, would be the flames and smoke. Hopefully someone passing who sees smoke is nice enough to come help with fire extinguishers or to get the proper help. But flames and smoke is pretty hard to miss.
There are several other items that should be on your boat at all times. Better to have and not need, then to need and not have. Flags, either an orange flag with a black square and a black circle, or a black square flag and ball. A flare gun or dye in the water.
You can also have person tracking beacons called EPIRBs on hand. If your curious as to what an EPIRB is, click here to learn all about them. All you have to do is switch one of these puppies on and wait.
There are more you can do, Moarse Code, flashlights, other flags, radio transmissions, but we just wanted to highlight a few. Hopefully none of you will ever have to use these signals, but its always nice to know and have. Good luck and happy boating everyone!! read less