Recognized distress signals for boaters

The operator of a pleasure craft shall recognize, use or display the following signals to show distress and need of assistance. KNOW AND RECOGNIZE THEM! 

Arm signal distress

Arm signal: outstretch your arms on each side and do slow repetitive gestures from top to bottom. (Do not use this technique near a helicopter because this gesture does not mean the same thing to a helicopter pilot);

Arm signal distress

EPIRB

Emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB): this is used to signal an emergency location.

 

EPIRB - Emergency position indicating radio beacons

Radiotelephony

Signal transmitted by radiotelephony or by any other signal system

Radiotelephony

S O S

S O S (…---…) in Morse code or possibly using a flashlight

S O S (…---…) in Morse code or possibly using a flashlight

Shot gun

shot gun or other explosive signal may be fired at intervals of about 1 minute;

Shot gun

Distress flag N and C

Use distress flag N and C from the International Code of Signals;

Distress flag N and C

 

Multi Star Red Flare

Rockets or shells that shoot up red stars one at a time at short intervals;

 

Multi Star Red Flare

Signalling device

continuous sound with any fog-signalling device;

 

Signalling device

Rocket parachute flare

A rocket parachute flare or hand flare shoots up a red light;

Rocket parachute flare

Smoke signal flare

smoke signal that gives off orange coloured smoke;

 
Smoke signal flare

Piece of orange canvas

piece of orange canvas with a black square and a black circle;

Piece of orange canvas

Dye marker

Dye marker

Square shape 

Square shape 

High intensity white light

high intensity white light flashed at regular intervals of 50 to 70 times per minute;

High intensity white light

Square flag with a ball

A signal consisting of a square flag with a ball or anything resembling a ball.

Square flag with ball