If you live close to the coast and are an avid follower of local coastal interest pages on social media you will may have seen the images and video’s showing the recent cliff collapses around the country. Very sadly, a cliff collapse in February caused the death of a dog in the west country.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.