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Public warned not to touch or move Maritime distress Flares


The Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team is issuing an urgent warning to the public regarding maritime distress flares.

In recent weeks, a number of flares have been found washed up along the Ayrshire coastline and have been picked up by members of the public and conveyed to local Police Offices.

Maritime distress flares are exceptionally dangerous especially when they are out of date, which they regularly are when they are washed up. The fact they have spent time in the water also bring additional risks as the warning signage, operating instructions and the outer casing can be severely degraded.

We are urging the public to avoid touching anything they find along the coastline which they believe to be a maritime distress flare and follow these simple steps:

* Do not touch or move the object

* Note it's location with something visible or in relation to a nearby landmark

* Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Under no circumstances should these items be picked up, moved and conveyed to a local police office.

Coastguard Rescue Teams are trained and equipped to safely remove distress flares and convey them to a secure facility for disposal.

We are also urging boat owners to dispose of time-expired distress flares responsibly at a local chandlers or contact your local Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC), who will advise you on how the flares can be disposed of safely. For our local area, contact should be made with Belfast CGOC Tel: 03443 820 037

Our closest disposal site is Girvan Coastguard Station which is usually open on a Sunday to take time expired pyrotechnics.

Search and Rescue - it's what we do.

In a coastal, beach or cliff emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.


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