If you find yourself in need of a tow or some other kind of assistance and can’t contact anyone by radio or phone, you’ll need to use some kind of visual distress signal — like a hand-held or aerial flare — to attract attention. But don’t forget that flares carry expiration dates, just like milk. They’re good for 42 months from the date they were manufactured, and after that they no longer satisfy Coast Guard requirements. Worse yet, there’s a good chance they won’t work after the expiration date.
Shared with permission from Go Boating.