Posted in Flashlights, Tactical Flashlights

How to Signal SOS with a Flashlight?

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to signal SOS using a flashlight

How to signal SOS?

SOS can be signaled using: Fire, mirrors, rocks, smoke, a phone, a flashlight, and anything that can be used to make a loud enough sound.

The reason why the distress signal is called SOS, is that each letter in the Acronym can be easily produced over and over again in Morse code. S is three individual short beats, O is 3 long beats (this can be represented with the pattern of dots and dashes like this ... _ _ _ ...). The pattern can be easily produced over and over again, which is why they chose the 3 letters. There is no deeper meaning behind any of the letters used in the distress signal. There are existing expressions like "Save our Ship" or "Save our Souls" which have been monikered to represent each letter in SOS, however, these are not the official meanings. Since SOS is the universal distress signal shared by countries all over the world, the simplicity of the signal is more important than the meaning of the individual letters, especially since many countries do not use the English alphabet.

A video of a flashlight blinking 3 times in a short succession, then 3 times in a long succession, then back to three short ones again

SOS using a Flashlight

The SOS signal became the official Morse code distress signal in 1906 and was first used on June 10, 1909, off the coast of the Azores in the Atlantic. One of the first historical SOS calls was used by the Steamship Kentucky where 46 lives ended up being saved. Three years later the Titanic also used SOS to signal for help after colliding with an iceberg, however, their signal was via radio frequencies instead of a flashlight.

Flashlights with SOS

We carry a variety of flashlights that support the automatic SOS signal. If you need a flashlight that provides this function, please discover which Nitecore flashlight provides SOS by using the link below.  

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