Recognizing Distress Signals

Be aware of the following items in Collision Regulations.

The operator of a pleasure craft less than 12 metres shall carry sound signaling appliances or some other means of making an efficient sound signal.

The operator of a pleasure craft in or near an area of restricted visibility, whether by day or night, may sound a combination of prolonged and short blasts using a whistle or sound signaling appliances to indicate presence.

The operator of a pleasure craft shall recognize, use or exhibit the following signals to indicate distress and need of assistance.




a gun or other explosive signal fired at intervals of about one minute.




a continuous sounding with any fog-signaling apparatus.




a signal made by any signaling method consisting of the Morse Code letters    "S O S"    . . .  - - -  . . .



a signal sent by radiotelephony consisting of the spoken word "MAYDAY".





the International Code Signal of distress indicated by the flags "N" and "C".




a signal consisting of a square flag having above or below it a ball or anything resembling a ball.




flames on the vessel.




a rocket parachute flare or hand flare showing a red light.




rockets or shells, throwing red stars fired one at a time at short intervals.




a smoke signal giving off orange coloured smoke.




slowly and repeatedly raising and lowering arms outstretched to each side.




a signal transmitted by an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB).




a piece of orange canvas with either a black square and circle or other symbol appropriate for identification from the air.




a dye marker.




a square shape or anything resembling a square shape.




a high intensity white light flashing at regular intervals of 50 to 70 times per minute.