Chinese lanterns mistaken for flares

2013-07-21 22:16

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Johannesburg - The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has appealed to the public to not set off Chinese lanterns along the coastline as they are often mistaken as red distress flares, the NSRI said on Sunday.

This follows the NSRI responding on Saturday, around 20:30, to reports of what was believed to be a red distress flare between Shelly Beach and Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, spokesperson Craig Lambinon said in a statement.

During a preliminary investigation, which involved NSRI crew acting as spotters to determine where, if any, boats may still be at sea, it was found that the suspected red distress flare was in fact a Chinese lantern.

"In a recent incident in the United Kingdom, that has been much publicised, a Chinese lantern landed on a plastics factory causing a blaze at the plastics factory," said Lambinon.

"This highlights an additional danger that Chinese lanterns may pose."

Read more on:    nsri  |  durban  |  search and rescue

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