Whilst I was at the Anglesey Sea Kayak Symposium, someone demonstrated one of these new electronic red distress ODEO flares MK3. ODEO stands for Omni Directional Electrical Optical signal. I was so impressed, I decided to buy one. They cost around £100, but I think are well worth the money; they last so long compared to traditional flares with their limited shelf life. It measures just under 10 inches or it is just a tad shorter than an Apple Mac wireless keyboard. For those of you who measure such things in Napoleon, say about 245mm in length!
When it is activated (by twisting the base clockwise) it can last around 6 hours at full illumination. This is opposed to approx 30 seconds for a traditional flare! It is totally safe when switched off too, which means you can take it with you on flights or even stick it in the post! It is a genuine alternative to the pyrotechnic red hand held flare. There is no heat, no flames and no explosives. The light pattern is a flame effect, followed by an SOS sequence. It is very bright and runs off 3 x AA Lithium batteries.