Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Out of date flares – How Do You Dispose Of Them Safely?

If you are a sailor, yachtsmen or other water sport enthusiast who has purchased flares or pyrotechnics, you will have asked …..”how should I dispose of flares or time expired pyrotechnics (TEP’s) safely”.

The advice is to firstly contact your supplier where you purchased the flares from and enquire whether they offer a ‘take back facility’ which may incur a small charge. Alternatively, speak with a life-raft maintenance centre or enquire with your council recycling centre.

 

If the flares are still unable to disposed of safely then you are recommended to contact your nearest Coastguard licensed site.  Please bear in mind that due to current COVID-19 safety protocols being operated by the HM Coastguard it may not be possible to dispose of them via this route at this time.

The nearest CGOC (Coastguard Operations Centre) for East Kent is based at Dover and can be contacted on 01304 210 008.

Other licensed coastguard disposal locations are as follows:

CGOC Aberdeen (licensed site: Buchan coastguard operations base) Tel: 01224 592 334.

CGOC Aberdeen (licensed site: Inverness coastguard operations base) Tel: 01224 592 334.

CGOC Aberdeen (licensed site: St Andrews coastguard operations base) Tel: 01224 592 334.

CGOC Belfast 02891 463 933.

CGOC Belfast (licensed site: Girvan coastguard rescue equipment store) 02891 463 933.

CGOC Falmouth 01326 317 575.

CGOC Falmouth (Licensed Site Paignton coastguard operations base) 01803 882 704.

CGOC Holyhead Tel: 01407 762 051.

CGOC Humber Tel: 01262 672 317.

CGOC Humber (North Norfolk coastguard operations base) Tel: 01262 672 317.

CGOC Milford Haven Tel: 01646 690 909.

CGOC Shetland Tel: 01595 692 976.

National Maritime operations centre (licensed site Daedalus training centre) Tel 02392 552 100.

CGOC Stornoway Tel: 01851 702 013.

London Coastguard operations base Tel: 02083 127 380

RNLI headquarters Poole Tel: 01202 336 336.

(Reference : Maritime Coastguard Agency website)

The HM Coastguard have no responsibility for flare disposal and will only accept a small number at their discretion from private indviduals and small independent fishing vessels.

On contacting the relevant CGOC they will ask the following questions:

  • Who you have previously contacted to arrange disposal
  • How many flares you need to dispose
  • How old are the flares
  • What condition are the flares in
  • If the CGOC can help, they will arrange for a time for you to deliver the flares to an appropriate base/location where staff will be able to accept them safely

You may be asked to travel a significant distance to attend a disposal site and wait several weeks

 

It is worthy to note not to turn up without an appointment at a HM Coastguard premises as you are likely to be turned away (not all premises are staffed 24/7) flares can’t be accepted from a business organisation.

 

Flares are highly dangerous

  • DO NOT dump carrier bags of flares on the doorstep of Coastguard Station’s, Coastguard Rescue Equipment Stores, Fire Stations, Police buildings or Lifeboat Station’s. Many of these locations maybe unstaffed and the dumping of potentially dangerous flares is a safety hazard and against the law. Irresponsibly discarded flares may be picked up by children who could be seriously injured or killed by an abandoned pyrotechnic. In one incident a military Explosive Ordnance Disposal team had to be called out to a device which had been left outside a Coastguard station which also put the Coastguard team unavailable for emergency calls.
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Photo Credit: Margate Coastguard Rescue Team
  • Do not put flares in household rubbish, garden waste or public litter bins. They can cause extensive damage to refuse collection facilities and may injure persons who come into contact with them. An incident involving a worker at a recycling centre found out to his cost.

As a reminder

  • It is illegal to fire flares on land or in a harbour; fire flares at sea for testing, practice or as fireworks
  • Damaged or out of date flares should never be used.
  • It is illegal to dump pyrotechnics at sea.
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Margate’s All Weather Mersey lifeboat – Photo credit: Sarah Hewes

Every year lifeboat crews and Coastguard Rescue Teams are called out to the sighting of flares out at sea.  Whilst personnel from both organisations will never complain about being called out to an emergency or what looks to be someone in need of help, in whatever weather and at any time of the day or night they urge people not to let off flares at sea unless it is a genuine emergency.

Acknowledgements

HM Coastguard, Greenock Coastguard Rescue Team

RNLI

 

More useful links

HM Coastguard

British Sub-Aqua Club

How To Make The Most Of the Last Weekend of Beach Lifeguard Cover In Thanet

This Sunday (6th September) marks the end of RNLI lifeguard cover across Thanet beaches. But, there are more than 100 beaches which will still have patrols, some for longer than during a ‘normal’ year.

 

Our Community Safety Team want everyone to enjoy the beach and coast, but here’s a quick reminder of those safety tips which could help save you and your family/friends from getting into trouble in the water:

  1.   Whenever possible swim at a lifeguarded beach
  2.   Always read and pay attention to the advice displayed at the entrance to the beach
  3.   When visiting a lifeguarded beach locate the yellow and red flags and swim between them
  4.   Always swim with a friend
  5.   If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help. Float on your back until you get your breath back.  Find more out about the RNLI’s Float to Live technique
  6.   If you see someone in difficulty, don’t attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard, or, if you can’t see a  lifeguard, call ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the coastguard.
  7. Please adhere to your government’s safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 and respect social distancing at all times. Please consider whether you should travel to a beach and remember to follow guidelines regarding travelling only with your household.
  8. Leave inflatables at home and keep them for the swimming pool.  Lifeboat and HM Coastguard call-outs this year have significantly risen due to people taking inflatables into the sea and getting into difficulty.
Covid-19 Lockdown Margatemainsands Margate Lifeboat In shorelifeboat Lifeguards Thanet EastKent Sandybeaches RNLI RNLICommunitysafetyteam RNLIWatersafety Bebeachsafe Respectthewater
Margate Main Sands – lifeguarded beach

Here is a list of the beaches that will be covered in Thanet until Sunday (6th September)(taken from the RNLI website):

Botany Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Post Code: CT10 3LG

OS Grid Ref: TR 3915 7117

Joss Bay

10:00-1800hrs

PostCode: CT10 3PG

OS Grid Ref: TR 3992 7017

Stone Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT10 1ED

OS Grid Ref: TR 3992 6869

Broadstairs (Viking Bay)

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT10 1NB

OS Grid Ref: TR 3990 6768

 

Ramsgate Main Beach

10:00-1800hrs

Post Code: CT11 8JD

OS Grid Ref: TR 3875 6490

RNLIcommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety RNLIseasafety Respectthewater Thanetlifeguards RLSS margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat

Margate Main Beach

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT9 1XP

OS Grid Ref: TR 3506 7079

Minnis Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT7 9QR

OS Grid Ref: TR 2871 6971

Have a safe and enjoyable time at the beach! If you are into your social media please share #BeBeachSafe to help spread our safety messages as wide as possible. Thanks for reading!

Further useful references:

Margate Lifeboat Station

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

How to become an RNLI Ambassador

Sign up to our newsletter? 

Be Beach Safe

Thanet’s RNLI Community Safety Team are making waves with this year’s Royal Lifesaving Societies Drowning Prevention Week campaign

Thanet’s RNLI Community Safety Team are making waves with this year’s Royal Lifesaving Societies Drowning Prevention Week campaign

The Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team will be taking part in a UK and Ireland-wide effort, when it takes part in Drowning Prevention Week 2020, in a bid to help families stay water-safe during and after lockdown.

 

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we now know that the usual level of service provided by rescue and lifeguard services are not going to be possible in 2020. Personal water safety is more important than ever before, to save lives.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), fears that families will flock to beaches and inland water locations this summer, without considering the potential dangers, putting themselves and others at risk.

In a bid to ensure families in Thanet and visitors to the area know how to keep themselves and others safe our team will be supporting RLSS UK’s annual Drowning Prevention Week campaign, this year running from 12-19 June.

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RLSS UK launched the campaign seven years ago as a way of focusing the UK’s attention on the importance of water safety, during one focal week of activities. A wide range of free, downloadable resources have been produced to help supporters promote water safety through schools, leisure centres, swimming clubs, community ventures and businesses.

 

The Charity hopes that through the campaign, the UK and Ireland will see a reduction in the statistics that see approximately 700 people losing their lives to drowning every year – that’s one every 12 hours. Many more suffer injury, sometimes lifechanging, following a water related incident.

inflatables DPW Royallifesavingsociety Respectthewater RNLICommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety RNLIseasafety Thanetlifeguards beachsafety margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat

Our team is proud to play its part in trying to reduce this figure, and ensuring there isn’t a rise in fatalities because of the current situation. Our team will be sharing images and content via their social media platforms throughout the campaign week.

Andy Mills (Thanet RNLI Community Safety) said: “It is so important to remind people to stay safe and take personal responsibility near water, especially during these unprecedent times. We are only too happy to be involved with the RLSS’ Drowning Prevention Week.

“Most people are surprised to learn that you are more likely to die from drowning in the UK, than you are from being hit by a car or in a domestic fire. We urge as many people as possible to take advantage of our on-line material and learn what could be potentially lifesaving skills”.

 

Other useful links

Royal Lifesaving Society – Drowning Prevention Campaign

RNLI Respect the Water

How to Float to Live

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