Don't use Chinese lanterns, public warned

2011-12-22 12:00
Johannesburg - The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Thursday appealed to the public not to light up Chinese lanterns as they could be mistaken as a call for help.

"Chinese lanterns, once airborne and floating through the sky, are often mistaken by eyewitnesses as red distress flares," the NSRI said in a statement.

The appeal follows an incident in Still Bay in the Western Cape on Wednesday night in which dozens of lanterns were set off from the beach.

"Multiple reports of red distress flares sighted were received by the emergency services only to be found, on investigation, to have been Chinese lanterns."

The NSRI said not only could the lanterns create alarm, they were also a fire hazard and had been known on occasion to ensnare animals in their wire frame.

Chinese lanterns are made out of a balsa wood or thin wire frame, a paper shell and a candle or burning device in the centre.

The candle is lit allowing the generation of heat to send the lantern skyward where it floats through the sky (similar to a hot air balloon) until the candle burns out and the structure falls to the ground.

"The practice of setting off Chinese lanterns into the sky is irresponsible behaviour and we are urgently appealing to the public to refrain from this practice," said the NSRI.

Read more on:    nsri

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.