Editor's Note: Photos by Daniel Gonzalez. Text by Robert Camerino.
On Saturday, the Sag Harbor Yacht Club held a Winter Safety Seminar on its docks, to instruct its members on the safe and proper use of distress flares.
Sixteen hardy yacht club members and guests participated in this function, with the temperature a brisk 27 degrees and winds blowing from the North at 10 to 15 knots, accompanied by snow flurries.
United States Coast Guard ME2 Victor H. Davalos, Weapons & Law Enforcement Petty Officer from CG Station Montauk, an expert in this field, instructed the participants in the correct use of flares and flare guns.
SHYC’s Cruise Committee initiated this event after it had come to their attention during a prior club seminar with the Coast Guard, that a boater caught in a dire situation at sea, where their boat might be taking on water, can experience an inherent conflict between reality and the regulations governing the use of flares. This conflict arises due to the fact that most boaters have never set-off a flare, having never been in an emergency at sea and because it is illegal to set-off a flare, unless one is in an emergency situation. Obviously, an emergency is not the time to learn how to safely use a flare.
When Steven Brennan of the club’s Cruise Committee brought this to the attention of the Coast Guard, they agreed and worked together with him to arrange this event. The flare shoot was followed by a hot dog BBQ on the Yacht Club’s patio.