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NSRI EMERGENCY
OPERATION CENTRE (EOC)

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NSRI are appealing to the public to not set off sky lanterns.While also posing a fire hazard, sky lanterns, particularly when launched around the coastline, are known to give the mistaken impression of red distress flares.At 18h21, Friday, 14 May, NSRI Port Edward duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of red distress flares sighted off-shore of Port Edward North Sand Bluff Lighthouse and towards the area of Grannies Pool Beach.NSRI crew were dispatched to investigate.MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) were alerted and although there were no reports of any vessel in distress Telkom Maritime Radio Services were tasked to alert a motor vessel 10 nautical miles off-shore to keep a look out.There were no reports of any vessels or craft overdue.Launching sites were investigated to determine if any vehicles were left abandoned by boaters who may still be at sea.Glenmore Ski-boat club and Marlin ski-boat club confirmed that they had no craft outstanding or overdue.All indications gave the appearance to eye-witnesses that red distress flares had been deployed at sea.While a search operation was being launched NSRI found public members on the shore who confirmed that there were 3 sky lanterns that had been set off one after the other within 5 to 15 minutes of each other from land and they each remained airborne for only around half a minute which gave the impression to eye-witnesses further away from the area of red distress flares being deployed.NSRI commend the public members, who reported what they described as red distress flares, for their vigilance and for their concerns.NSRI are appealing to the public to refrain from setting off sky lanterns.
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