At 21h55 NSRI Knysna volunteers were activated following a report of 4 red distress flares sighted off-shore in the vicinity of Brenton-On-Sea.
Conditions were a 1.5 to 2 meter swell 15 knot Westerly wind.
We launched our sea rescue craft Colorpress Rescuer and Jay tee III and on arrival in the area an extensive search commenced in the general vicinity of where the flares were sighted while a search on-shore commenced at boat slip-ways in the area for any boat trailers or vehicles that could lead to suggesting a paddler or boater overdue.
No reports had been received of any boaters overdue.
While questioning members of the public in the area it was found that a group of revelers on a nearby beach had let four “Chinese Lanterns” made of red paper go. The strong winds had given the impression that they were red distress flares.
NSRI PUBLIC MESSAGE:
The NSRI are urging the public not to release “Chinese Lanterns” into the sky. They not only present the impression of being distress flares, which result in a full scale search and rescue operation, but they may also present a fire hazard.