Chinese lanterns mistaken for flares

2013-07-21 22:16

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."

  • John Tex - 2013-07-22 02:05

    Really ?

      Geoff O'Connell - 2013-07-22 06:51

      I always thought Chinese lanterns were a good alternative to fire works, but I can see how they can be seen as a distress signal next to the coast. Seems like we won't be permitted more than running up and down the beach with a hand sparkler! Lol!

  • Robert Gabriel Tsvangirai - 2013-07-22 04:25

    Fong kong

  • Robert Gabriel Tsvangirai - 2013-07-22 04:52

    Fong kong

  • Holden Gardner-Caulfield - 2013-07-22 08:19

    Why are the Chinese always being blamed for strange things going on in South Africa? Now it's their lanterns.

      Penny Horey - 2013-07-22 12:26

      ... Are you stupid??

  • Brent Waller - 2013-07-22 12:58

    Funny, From my days in the military distress flairs went up and then came down. 1000ft flares went up and can down slowly. Chinese lanterns go up slowly and then go out and come down principle of hot air??? Odd that this is seen as a distress flair?

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