Coast Guard reminds boaters not to use rockets as fireworks, reports inadvertently triggered rockets – Homeland Security Today



The Coast Guard is reminding boaters not to use flares as fireworks during celebrations on July 4 this year and to report accidental discharges of flares.

Rockets should only be fired to indicate distress in an emergency situation. Flares can be lifesaving equipment and should be used in distress and assistance.

Each year, the Coast Guard responds to thousands of reports of flare sightings, costing taxpayers millions of dollars in personnel and equipment costs.

If a rocket is inadvertently triggered, report it to the Coast Guard by VHF radio or telephone to avoid unnecessary search and rescue efforts and to keep valuable search and rescue resources available to mariners in actual distress .

One of the alternatives to traditional flares to consider are electronic flares. The electric lights are battery powered, can be seen for up to 10 nautical miles, and emit an SOS signal for up to 60 hours.

“When we see or get a report from a rocket, the Coast Guard launches boats and planes to respond,” said Captain Mike Frawley, chief of incident management, Coast Guard 17th District. “If a rocket is inadvertently triggered, informing the Coast Guard is the right course of action. “

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