distress flares cause big overnight search in Burnham-On-Sea
Police, RNLI lifeboat crews and Coastguards were called out during
the early hours of Sunday morning (July 1st) after several distress
flares had been launched into the night sky.
were called out at 1.07am after several people contacted the Coastguard
and Police, having seen the distress flares over Burnham-On-Sea
said a number of boats had been broken into at the Sailing Club
pontoons over the past week, with several items being stolen, including
marine pyrotechnic distress flares.
initially searched Apex Park to see if the culprits could be found,
while Coastguards searched around the Yacht Club. Burnham's RNLI
Lifeboats were also launched to help search the river estuaries,
although the falling tide meant access was limited.
of the Coastguard team lined the seawall looking across the bay
while the Lifeboats launched an illumination parachute flare,"
said a Coastguard spokesman.
meant a large area was lit up and we could spot anyone in distress.
The flare went up and we scoured the bay, but nothing was found."
searches along the seafront to the sailing club were extended along
the River Brue footpath towards Highbridge, alongside by a team
in the Coastguard truck.
established that the distance between the flare that the Lifeboats
had let off and the one that had been spotted earlier was very different,
so it was more likely that the distress flares had been let off
Coastguard added: "Once our truck arrived at the boatyard,
two team members were sent on foot along the paths and the truck
continued onwards to the road."
they neared the main road, a handheld smoke flare was spotted laying
in the path, clearly having been used and thrown on the floor, creating
we had passed this info onto Milford Haven Ops room they were happy
that there was no boats or persons in difficulty."
was a case of whoever broke into the boats and stole the flares
acting even more irresponsibly by then firing them."
only had they broken into people's boats causing damage, they have
then stolen their property, and on top of that caused a call-out
that involved two Police, six Coastguards, two lifeboat crews and
associated shore crew members."
was noted that SOLAS Regulation V/35 prohibits the mis-use of any
distress signals which are deemed to be critical to safety at sea.
By misusing them, lives could be put at risk.