I’ve always said that my favorite nighttime signalling device is one that isn’t Coast Guard approved. A good waterproof LED flashlight, with its focused beam, can reach out to any light you can see in the sky. If you can see a boat on the horizon or helicopter searching a focused flash light will definitely catch the eye of someone looking out the window; a strobe light may not.
Distress strobe lights are only visible for about 3.5 miles to the naked eye. The light, dispersed in a 360 degree dome of visibility, simply doesn’t travel as far as that same light, focused and directed.
But standard distress strobes lights are Coast Guard approved and often required equipment for many in the field/ A flashlight, alone, is not a true distress signal. For that you need 60-70 flashes per minute. And while there are other combination strobe and flashlights on the market, they are bulky and are fully manual devices. LSC founder Sam Maness had a better idea: The SIRIUS-LRS (Long Range Strobe).
The SIRIUS and AQUA-SIRIUS Long Range Strobes are fully functional, USCG Approved distress strobe lights that can be switched to long range strobe function to directly signal searching aircraft and vessels, possibly too far away to detect the standard strobe.
The LRS function focuses a high-intensity LED into a seven degree beam that can reach out to the horizon. If you can see them, they will be able to detect the directed beam of the Sirius LRS.
The LRS beam automatically resets to and the device reverts to standard distress strobe mode after ten minutes or it can be manually reset by the user.
Both the SIRIUS and AQUA-SIRIUS LRS are shipping now and are available at www.lifesavingsystems.com. My favorite nighttime signalling device, a focused beam of light, now comes with USCG approval.