Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

December 26, 2005
Coastguards in night-time search of Brean Down after sighting of flares

A night-time search of Brean Down was carried out by Coastguards during the early hours of Boxing Day, Monday December 26th, after reports of emergency flares being seen in the area.

Burnham-On-Sea's Coastguard team rushed to the scene at 1.15am after staff at Bristol Airport's Air Traffic Control centre made the sighting.

A team of six Coastguards searched the Down for more than an hour and launched several of their own parachute flares to illuminate the rocky outcrop, but nothing was found.

On returning to Burnham at around 3am, the Coastguard also investigated an empty boat trailer and tow truck spotted on the town's seafront, pictured below.

Fearing that the owner may have been out at sea and been responsible for the flares, Swansea Coastguard issued a radio message to all shipping in the area.

Police and Coastguard officers next to the trailer on Burnham seafrontShortly afterwards, the owner of a local fishing boat, 'The Heron', confirmed that the trailer was his and that he was night fishing in the Bristol Channel and had not launched the flares.

Burnham Coastguard station officer Steve Bird said: "On this occasion it was a false alarm with good intent."

"As it was clear and calm at the time with good visibility, it is likely that the rear tail-lights of cars on the Quantocks were mistaken for flares or that fireworks had been let off in the area."


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