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maritime DC & PPE Information Center
personnel protection

Distress Marker Lights (For submarine use)


There are four Distress Marker Lights (DMLs) used on USN shipboard Inherently Buoyant (Type 1), MK-1, and abandon ship life preservers. Ships ordering replacement DMLs and new construction ships should transition to the FIREFLY 3 Waterbug Distress Marker Light on all life preservers.  The DML is stowed in the top pocket on the Inherently Buoyant and MK-1 life preservers and in the accessories pouch in the Abandon Ship life preserver. Since it is water activated, the FIREFLY 3 Waterbug DML shall be stowed in the pocket with the light facing upward on the MK-1 and Inherently Buoyant life preservers.   The DML shall have a 1- by 2-inch nylon hook tape patch adhered to the back of the light so it can be attached to the mating patch on the vest or the cranial helmet.