A few years ago a bunch of us hopped into a zodiac one dark morning for an Alcatraz swim from over near pier 39. We were all sporting our new, exciting white blinky lights. We all lit them up and were marvelling at how wonderous they were - so bright! so blinky! Just then a police boat or coast guard vessel approached (it was a few years back and my memory already begins to fail me). "Are you in distress?" the man on board asked us. "Um... no, why?" we responded. "You're sending a distress signal with your flashing lights," the man on board told us. "If you aren't in distress, you ought not to use a flashy light!" "Oh," we replied meekly. Then we set our nice new bright white lights to the non-flash setting and the patrolers and safeguarders of our bay zipped off. The moral of this *true* story? Visibility is important, but sending the right message even more so. Set your blinky light to NON-BLINKY prior to leaving the cove.
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