Dunbar Lifeboat Launches Following Sighting of Suspected Flare

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew at Dunbar RNLI launched the all weather lifeboat at 20:09 on Friday evening (1 November) shortly after returning from assisting at the Dunbar community firework display.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

A crew member conducts a visual search from the stern of the boat.

The crew commenced a search from Dunbar to Peffer Sands following the report of a red parachute flare in the area. Coastguard teams from Dunbar and North Berwick conducted a land based search of the same area. With nothing found and no further flares reported the lifeboat was stood down at 21:38 and returned to it’s mooring.

Although nothing was found during the land based search it is suspected that the sighting was of a firework or flare fired from land close to shore during seasonal celebrations.

Coxswain of Dunbar Lifeboat, Gary Fairbairn said, “We do not speculate in situations like this as it could just as easily be someone in genuine distress. We ask that the public continue to report any suspected sightings to the Coastguard.”

Gary added, “If you are planning a fireworks celebration near to the coast it is a good idea to inform the Coastguard in advance. This can help us to rule out false alarms and also allows us to concentrate our searches to more defined areas following a genuine flare sighting.”

Damaged or out of date flares should not be used at sea and never on land or as fireworks. They should be disposed of safely as soon as possible either by utilising a ‘take back’ scheme from the manufacturer or enquiring with your local council.

More information about disposing of flares can be found on the RYA website, here: www.rya.org.uk

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.