Ocean Signal has introduced what it calls “the world’s most compact electronic distress flare” – and as a cost effective alternative to the single-use pyrotechnic, it looks remarkably well suited to life in your grab bag...

Ocean Signal EDF1 – electronic distress flare

Ocean Signal EDF1 – electronic distress flare. It may be small but it pumps out plenty of light.


At just 187mm long, 42mm wide and 155g in weight, the rescueME EDF1 is around 40% smaller than similar devices and (unlike the traditional flare), it can be used repeatedly, which means you can maintain continued visibility over a much longer period. Suitable for one-handed operation and waterproof to a depth of ten metres, this non-pyrotechnic device is very simple to store and operate. It generates a beam of over 30 degrees through the full 360-degree azimuth, enabling full visibility (from both sea and air) of up to seven miles for as much as six hours at a time.

RescueME EDF1 electronic distress flare

The RescueME EDF1 electronic distress flare is a very grown-up alternative to a box full of pyrotechnics.

In addition to an SOS signaling feature, there are four different modes (Economy, High, Ultra and Forward Beam) and the use of LEDs, quality lenses and efficient circuitry means a constant output throughout the life of the replaceable battery. Like the rest of the Ocean Signal range, it meets all international safety standards - and while an affordable UK price of £89 plus VAT is impressive, the absence of concern over restricted shelf life and safe disposal are also likely to prove very welcome.

Ocean Signal MD, Alan Wrigley, said: “The rescueME EDF1 is a real alternative to the pyrotechnic flare, offering distinct advantages in operational life, safety of use and disposal, as well as cost and size. As with all our rescueME products, the Ocean Signal designers have developed the flare to incorporate a significant size reduction when compared to traditional flares and other electronic flares, representing a real breakthrough in the industry.”

Of course, in an age when we are no longer allowed to buy a multi-pack of Paracetamol from the local Chemist, the idea that we can legally carry a box of emergency pyrotechnics remains rather charming. But as a simple and long-lasting means of visual signalling in an emergency, the merits of the Ocean Signal approach look difficult to ignore.

For more news and features on new marine products and equipment, check out The 10 best handheld VHF radios or the more cerebral 10 Great Modern Sailing Innovations.

Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.