16 August 2013

Warning after explosive distress flares buried on beach

Boat owners are being urged to dispose of out-of-date distress flares carefully to avoid endangering the public.

Council seafront staff in Brighton are also warning people to look out for dumped flares after a large number were found buried on the beach east of Brighton Marina this week.  Flares are typically red and yellow cylinders about the size of a toothpaste tube, but other shapes and colours exist.

Anyone wanting to dispose of flares should contact the Coastguard on 02392 552100.

Seafront officers say the devices are potentially highly dangerous.  Each contains an explosive charge designed to shoot a flare up to 1,000 feet into the air.

The alarm was initially raised after a member of the public reported finding a couple of flares on the beach.  A search by seafront staff discovered 21 in total. Coastguards were called and they removed the flares for safe disposal in Portsmouth.

The incident has been reported to police.

Council seafront operations manager Viki Miller said: “Flares are extremely hazardous if handled incorrectly or disposed of inappropriately. It is essential boat owners take responsibility for the safe disposal of these devices to ensure they do not harm others.”

Anyone finding a flare on a Brighton beach can also contact the seafront office on 01273 292715