Radio: Frequency 156.8 MHz-channel 16. Signal: Mayday (3 times) indicating your name and position, the nature of the problem, and the type of assistance required.
Cell phone: *16 (See chapter 5 for restrictions).
Distress flares can be Type A (parachute flare), Type B (red star shells), and Type C (hand flare). They burn from several seconds to a minute and can be seen for several miles, both day and night. It is strongly recommended that you bring along at least three flares. Even if you plan on staying close to the shore, the wind and currents can quickly push you out to sea where sound-signalling devices are useless. They are compulsory (at least 6) for kayaks over 6 metres (See Chapter 1, Kayaks, Equipment, and Clothing). Check the manufacture date and make sure they meet approved distress signal standards. Flares are approved for four years after the date of manufacture or as per manufacturer’s expiration date.
A piece of orange nylon with either a black square or circle. The nylon provides a continuous distress signal. Any set-up featuring a square flag with a ball above or below serves that same purpose. Also note that a reflective surface like a metal travel mirror or compass back are excellent signal devices too.
Morse code sound or light signalling device. A one second signal equals a dot and a 4 to 6 second signal equals a dash.
Continuous sounding (dash) with a foghorn, a bell or a whistle at intervals of about one minute. Flashlight : • • • – – – • • • (S O S)
The following signals help draw the attention of approaching rescuers. Smoke flares (Type D) and fluorescein dye (see Chapter 5) are examples of such signalling devices. You can also slowly wave your outstretched arms by simultaneously and repeatedly raising and lowering them.