This message is so important that we’re skipping our customary lead-in language and getting right to the point: whatever you do this Halloween, DON’T use special effect contact lenses purchased without a prescription. The bizarre looking contact lenses being sold online, at flea markets and convenience stores are dangerous, illegal, and can cause serious eye injuries.
Sellers of illegal lenses are exploiting unsuspecting buyers without regard to their safety. Illegal lenses have been known to cause eye infections, conjunctivitis, impaired vision and even blindness. Trafficking in illegal lenses is big business. Earlier this month, a cooperative operation of several U.S. agencies called “operation Double Visions” resulted in the seizure of more than 20,000 pairs of counterfeit and decorative contact lenses.
To be safe, people should only use FDA approved contact lenses that they buy through a licensed provider who requires a prescription. The popular Halloween retailer Spirit Halloween offers FDA approved special effect lenses, but they won’t sell them to you without a prescription. Given the risks of cheaper illegal lenses, pay the added cost and protect your eyes.
Parents, check with your kids to make sure they have not purchased any illegal lenses and make sure they understand the dangers. If you or your child develops eye redness or irritation after using any of these lenses, get to an eye doctor immediately and take the lenses that were used with you. If it turns out that the lenses were illegal, keep the lenses and all purchase information as evidence and report the illegal sale to the FDA.
Heintz & Becker is watching out for the safety of our readers and hopes that no one is injured this Halloween, whether by illegal special effect contacts lenses or through someone’s negligent driving or other actions. We have taken special interest in eye injuries due to illegal contact lenses and urge you to call us if you or a member of your family has been harmed by the seller of illegal lenses.
Source(s): The Tribune, “Colorado ICE officials warning public about decorative contact lenses”, posted October 30, 2015; FDA, “Buying Contact Lenses”
Mayday (originally from the French term “venez m’aider” meaning “come help me”) is the universal distress signal to call out to marine rescue and other vessels that you are in imminent grave and life-threatening danger and need immediate assistance. A Mayday call has absolute priority over all other transmissions.
Knowing how to make a Mayday call is essential and may someday save your life. If you experience a life-threatening situation (fire, explosion, life-threatening injury or illness, taking on water, person overboard), here is a summary of the basic steps to make a Mayday call:
- Tune to marine VHF radio channel one-six (16) or Frequency 161.400 or 156.800 MHz; marine MF/SSB on 2182 kHz.
- Push the red “DSC” button, if you have one. “DSC” or “Digital Select Calling” will automatically transmit your GPS coordinates to the coastguard along with a Mayday beacon.
- Press and hold the talk button and CALMLY say “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday this is [your name] on the [vessel name] callsign [state your callsign]. Also give your Mobile Service Identity (MMSI)) if you are using a VHF-DSC radio.
- Release the button momentarily and then continue “Mayday, this is [vessel name], we are located [give current position, speed and bearing], we are a [describe the type of boat] with [number of people on board] experiencing [describe emergency]. OVER.”
- Wait for a response and follow instructions. If you do not hear a response after 15 seconds, repeat the call again.
- If you hear another vessel issue a Mayday call you should cease all transmissions capable of interfering with subsequent messages and continue to listen. There is a possibility that YOU may be close enough to render assistance. If so, use channel 16 to transmit that you are responding to the distress.
Even more instructive than reading about how to make a Mayday call is listening to a real Mayday recording. One of the most infamous Mayday calls from our area is the one made on May 9, 1980 when the carrier ship Summit Venture ran into the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The impact caused a large section of the bridge to collapse and fall 165 feet into the waters of Tampa Bay, taking with it a Greyhound bus and six other vehicles, and causing the deaths of a total of 35 people. Click here to listen to the actual recording: Sunshine Skyway Disaster Mayday Call.
Heintz & Becker takes the issue of boating safety very seriously and encourages all boaters to follow our boating safety series. Many boating accidents can be prevented through safety preparedness and education. If you really want to make boating safety and being prepared a priority, why not make a commitment to participate in boater safety courses and engage in safe boating practices. And remember, Heintz & Becker offers free, no-obligation consultations to anyone who has been injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s fault.
Source(s): 1st Coast Guard District SPECIAL NOTICE TO MARINERS 2001 Edition, wikiHow, “How to Call Mayday from a Marine Vessel”, Wikipedia, “MV Summit Venture”