A red flare reported to Coastguard UK, seen E of Blackpool Sands

Launch No: 493
Craft: Norma Ethel Vinall. B-825
Friday, 5 November 2021
Location: East of Blackpool Sands, Start Bay.

A red flare was seen east of Blackpool Sands and reported to Coastguard UK. They tasked the Dartmouth SAR Coastguard team who carried out a land based search for a vessel in trouble in the area. The CG team sighted an unidentified object off Blackpool Sands and the Dart RNLI inshore lifeboat was tasked to investigate. The lifeboat crew were directed to the object which turned out to be a buoy with two fenders secured to the seabed. The crew carried out an inshore search from Blackpool sands to the east and west and a return search further offshore. Nothing was found and the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

An alert from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Remember, remember...maritime flares are not fireworks and they can look the same at the coast.
Flares should only ever be used in distress situations and not for fun, so please don't be tempted to use them as fireworks as they can easily be mistaken as an emergency at or near the coast.
If we receive an alert when a flare has been launched, we'll always respond and won't know the difference if you are using them as fireworks. This will tie up resources when it is not necessary and potentially divert us from a legitimate emergency when every second counts.


Request Received 8:12pm
Time at incident 13 minutes
Time to recovery 28 minutes
Back on Service 8:40pm


Sea/River State Sea Calm
Wind Direction Northwest
Wind Strength 4-6 knots
ais of Atlantic 85 responding to red flares on the coast

Map: trackaship universal

Lifeboat Crew

Chris Rampling (Helm)
Karl Madge
Mark Conroy
Ewen Menzies

Shore Crew

Deputy Launch Authority

Michael Bryant-Mole

Station address

RNLI Dart Lifeboat Station
Coronation Park
North Embankment
Devon TQ6 9RR

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