NSRI issues warning over Chinese lanterns

BY CHARL BOSCH - NOVEMBER 13, 2015

The National Sea Rescue Institution (NSRI) has called on members of the public living near the cost, not to set off Chinese lanterns as it could clash with distress flares.

Speaking in a statement, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander Ian Grey, said a crew was dispatched just before 20h00 on Thursday, after eyewitnesses noticed a number of what appeared to be flares coming from the direction of Summerstrand.

“When beachcombers at Summerstrand were interviewed, it came to light that they had witnessed a group of people arriving at the beach and setting off around 10 Chinese lanterns believed to have been set off as part of a memorial service,” Grey said.

He added that an extensive search of the area continued as the witnesses were adamant that the lights were from flares. The investigation was called-off hours later after no leads turned-up.

“We urge the public not to set off Chinese lanterns as they are too often mistaken as red distress flares besides also posing a potential fire and aviation hazard,” Grey concluded.