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Old 09 January 2004, 12:01   #1
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Distress Flares

Not wanting to start a flame thread but just wondered others opinion.

On opening up the latest issue of RI and seeing Bear and his team finishing and firing what appears to be a handheld red pinpoint flare it struck me about the misuse of distress flares in this situation.

This appears to have become normal practise for finishing big events but surely there is no acception to the rules.

Do any of the CG members have a take on this - has there ever been any prosecutions or even warnings?

Concidering the publicity that the finish of races and events get I would have thought this does nothing to discourage the missuse of flares, expecially with some high profile sailors actually holding the flare.

Don't want to take anything away from the achievements but surely there are other ways to celebrate.

Cheers

Mike
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Old 10 January 2004, 07:22   #2
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Use of flare at end of races

I have often thought the same. I think it is a matter of turning a blind eye and that the CG are totally aware that it is going to happen so there are no resources tasked.
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Old 10 January 2004, 08:13   #3
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It has become quite common practise in finishing races or even at football matches on the continent. Mainly usage of smoke flirs are during day time and mainly in good weather so I feel starting this thread has more to do with individuals own paranoyeing rather than it will upset any real SAR man. My personal opinion is there are nothing wrong celebrating completion of an event/race in this manner and I am an ex SAR person.
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Old 10 January 2004, 08:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by bogib
My personal opinion is there are nothing wrong celebrating completion of an event/race in this manner and I am an ex SAR person.
HEAR HEAR!!
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Old 10 January 2004, 10:02   #5
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Bogib - Manos

I know exactly what your saying - My concern is not the actual use of the flare in this situation, as it is clear that it is not a real distress situation. My worry is the x thousand people watching the event that may see it as an approval that there is nothing wrong with letting off distress flares.

For example see below extracts from Gosport and Fareham inshore rescues report.


"As the clock chimed the hour hundreds of fireworks light up the night sky. Among these fireworks were numerous marine distress rocket flares by cross referencing their position it could
be established that most were fired from on shore. However both Portsmouth & Hayling Coastguard reported flares fired from a vessel at sea about 6 miles from our Lifeboat station, the rocket flares fired from this vessel were augmented by hand held red pin
point flares indicating the vessel as in “grave & imminent danger”.

At 0022hours our lifeboat was alongside the vessel firing flares, on communicating with the crew they reported that they had no problem on board. The Incident was put down to the
party atmosphere and the freighter’s crew wishing to join in with those celebrating ashore."

From what I have read and heard there are a significant number of lifeboat launches to flares which are put down to hoaxes or incorrect use of flares I would have thought a zero tollerance stance would have a significant effect on this.

Cheers

Mike
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Old 10 January 2004, 10:59   #6
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Mike B

Cant help but agree with you.
What people do at continental football matches is neither here nor there.
If it's OK to let off flares when celebrating a nautical victory, where do you draw the line?
"It's Fred's birthday, let's let off some flares for fun.
While we are at it, why dont we all take turns to sing him Happy Birthday on Channel 16 ?"

Should be zero tolerance.

Brian (with a snivelling cold-so I've got the grumps).
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Old 10 January 2004, 11:44   #7
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They could use white collision flares at the end of the race?
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Old 10 January 2004, 13:10   #8
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Re Flares

Reckon some people need to get a life. If you can't tell the difference between celebrating a memorable win and a distress situation I pity you. As usual in this country of ours there are always some sad people who want to stop others having fun. If I am ever fortunate enough to win a race watch me celebrate with or without flares.
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Old 10 January 2004, 13:13   #9
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Interesting to see a police officer suggesting that people pick and choose which laws they comply with . . .

John
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Old 10 January 2004, 13:22   #10
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Noddy,

Interesting stance from a police officer !

May be if I win a race I'll celebrate by robbing a bank, because its ok by you ?

NB if you took the time to read the thread in full you'd see that it is not the race situation I had concern over its the possible encouragement this gives to others.

I hope that its your boat that is in need of a lifeboat while they are investigating a celebratory new year flare and not mine.
(Sorry if that seems harsh).

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Old 10 January 2004, 13:35   #11
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wow boys my job has nothing to do with it so dont throw that one at me. When you have to resort to that kind of reply I know I am right. Sad or wot. Lighten up and have some fun in your lives. Dont worry John B If I ever get into trouble I wont ask for help from you
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Old 10 January 2004, 13:43   #12
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Noddy

Your missing the point.

What we are saying is other people will think its ok to let off flares, if they see others letting them off for non distress reasons.

Like dialling 999 flares are there for a reason - distress
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Old 10 January 2004, 13:56   #13
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Jono

Sorry Jono I dont think I am "missing the point" at all. The whole idea of this forum is to give our opinions or at least I thought it was. I have never heard of people dialling 999 to celebrate an occasion or a win?
I dont expect people to agree with me but I would never resort to the tone of the previous two replies in order to try and win an argument.
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Old 10 January 2004, 14:02   #14
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A chap in Kent has recently been successfully prosecuted by the CG for firing flares at a party.

He apparently rang the ops room to ask permission and gave his details and address. When he was told he couldn't fire them unless in a distress situation at sea, he retorted that he was going to fire them anyway (the conversation was recorded).

Upon firing them at his party, it generated a couple of 999 calls from concerned persons.

He was then issued with a summons to appear at court by CG.

At his court case he admitted the offence, under I think the misuse of explosives act, or some firearms offences - will check up on that and correct where appropriate.

It looks as if some areas will prosecute, whilst others will not.

Its a pity because a lot of our calls in this area are flare sightings, esp in winter.
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Old 10 January 2004, 14:03   #15
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I must admit when i first read this thread i thought 'what harm is there ' but then thinking about it more and noting the remark about the morons 6 miles out doing it i changed my mind; safety is a serious business and should not be compromised.
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Old 10 January 2004, 14:07   #16
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Hit The Nail On The head

Quote:
Originally posted by Noddy
I have never heard of people dialling 999 to celebrate an occasion or a win?
That because its stupid. Like using any form of distress signal to celebrate a win.

The Point that you are Missing:

My concern is not the actual use of the flare in this situation, as it is clear that it is not a real distress situation. My worry is the x thousand people watching the event that may see it as an approval that there is nothing wrong with letting off distress flares.

Please dont take my post to be 'out of tone' i'm not trying to win any arguent because there is no argument to be won.

As you said just putting my point of view forward
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Old 10 January 2004, 14:21   #17
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All,

Thanks for your opinions (including Noddy).

Noddy
Apologies if I caused any offence with my response.
If I were ever able to offer any assistance to you I would.

Mike
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Old 10 January 2004, 14:21   #18
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jono

Dont suppose the x thousands of people watching a celebration or similar would know the difference(or care) between a flare and a firework. Anyway I am going to take my tongue out of my cheek now and let you guys get on with it, happy in the knowledge that I stimulated further discussion on the subject. Unhappy though, that It doesnt seem to be the "done thing" on here to have an opinion which differs to others without having a cheap swipe taken at you.
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Old 10 January 2004, 14:33   #19
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Re: jono

Quote:
Originally posted by Noddy
. Unhappy though, that It doesnt seem to be the "done thing" on here to have an opinion which differs to others without having a cheap swipe taken at you.
Everyones entitled to an opinion and you was the one with the cheap swipe when you said we needed to "get a life" !!!!!!!!

May be you should think about your insults on other peoples opinions before posting.
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Old 10 January 2004, 14:43   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by John Kennett
Interesting to see a police officer suggesting that people pick and choose which laws they comply with
He's probably from the Serious Crime Squad where everthing you say will be written down in pencil, erased, altered beyond all recognition and used in evidence against you. Personally, I prefer the middle east custom of blasting off with an AK47 to celebrate.

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