Thanet RNLI Community Safety

rnliwatersafety rnlicommunitysafety becoastsafe
Know Who To Call If You Spot Washed Up Military Ordnance or Discarded Pyrotechnics?
Know Who To Call If You Spot Washed Up Military Ordnance or Discarded Pyrotechnics At The Coast

Our team are regularly asked at events who to call in the event of someone finding legacy military ordnance or a marine pyrotechnic (flare) on the beach or in the sea.  Amongst some of the HM Coastguard’s multifaceted roles includes investigating objects which have been washed up onto the coastline which may present a danger to coastal users.  During a spate of bad weather legacy military ordnance is often washed up onto our beaches. From time to time discarded pyrotechnic’s are also discovered.

Military Ordnance washed up onto the beach – Photo credit: Greenock CG Rescue Team

HM Coastguard advice:

  • In all cases if you ever come across something at the coast or sea which you believe could be military ordnance or a marine pyrotechnic dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ straight away and ask for the Coastguard
  • Move away to a place of safety
  • Never touch the item or move it
  • Warn others of the possible danger
  • Always call for help if you are in any doubt whatsoever

Coastguard explosion proof box with kit (photo credit Greenock CG Rescue Team)

The Coastguard Operations Centre will then task one of their 24/7 on-call Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRT’s) to investigate the find.  Once on scene they will undertake an examination of the item to ascertain if it is either military ordnance or a discarded pyrotechnic.  If it is a pyrotechnic the item will be removed and transported for safe disposal.

Flares found on the beach – Picture credit: Adrossan Coastguard

If the CRT believe it is military ordnance they will request the attendance of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from the British Army or Royal Navy dependant on where the find is located.   Whilst setting up a cordon to ensure public safety awaiting the arrival of the military team.

Picture credit: HM Coastguard Margate

The military EOD team will conduct a thorough risk assessment and detailed examination of the item. The operator will either remove the item back to their base for safe disposal or carry out a controlled explosion at the scene with a safe cordon in place. Police and other other ‘blue light services’ may also be called upon to assist if required.

Further reading:

Controlled explosion for device washed up on Studland Beach

Selsey Coastguard controlled explosion on Medmerry Beach

HM Coastguard roles and responsibilities

Adrossan Coastguard WordPress – blog

How to dispose of time expired pyrotechnic’s (flares) – Thanet CS Team

COVID-19Thanet CoronaVirus RNLICommunitysafety RNLIWatersafety RNLISeasafety margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Respectthewater Bewateraware Lifejackets callingforhelp COVID-19

Acknowledgements

HM Coastguard

Margate, Greenock and Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue teams for pictures

Pop-Up Safety Stand during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend
Water Safety Pop-Up stand at Botany Bay on the Easter Weekend

The Easter Weekend is finally here and the weather forecast is looking pretty good across Kent with sunshine and high temperatures. On Saturday 20th April our Team deployed to Botany Bay with a Pop-Up Water Safety stand. The team really enjoyed chatting to lovely visitors to the beach about a whole host of safety messages including:

  1. How to float if you find yourself unexpectedly in the water
  2. To call the Coastguard for all coastal emergencies via ‘999’ or ‘112’
  3. How to keep your family safe whilst at the beach
  4. Calling for help’ devices for kayackers

Lifeguards are not yet on duty on the beaches in East Kent, so it is important to heed the safety advice above. More information on how to stay safe whilst at the coast can be found either on the RNLI website or HM Coastguard site 

We hope you enjoy your weekends and have a great time.

Five tips to keep your children safe at the beach