Dorset Police, MDL Marina and Ramora UK have joined forces to hold a family Sea Safety Day and Flare Amnesty on Easter Saturday.


Out of date flares can be disposed of safely for a small charity donation by explosives disposal services company Ramora UK at the event on 15 April, organised in partnership with MDL Marina’s and Dorset Police’s Marine Section.


Safety demonstrations by the RNLI, Powerboat Training UK and Ocean Safety will run on Cobbs Quay from 10am until 2pm, and there will be refreshments and fun for all the family.


In line with the safety theme, the first 40 people to join the flare amnesty will also receive a free copy of the RYA’s popular handbookRYA Introduction to Boat Handling for Sail & Power by Rob Gibson.

On the day there will be:

  • Emergency vessels from Marine Police and RNLI
  • Life jacket checks
  • Man overboard and flare demos
  • Fire-aboard action demo by Red Watch fire crew
  • Lift raft and EPIRB demonstration
  • RYA book giveaway

All donations on the day will go to Blue Phoenix, which funds local marine charities.


Dorset Police Marine Officer Lyn Parsons said the event, designed to raise awareness about the dangers of expired flares, was the first of its kind in Dorset. She said: “Prevention is key here. It’s a good reminder for boaters to check expiry dates so that you can be sure you will be properly equipped in an emergency. It’s also a great opportunity for Dorset Police to give something back to the community.”


Dave Welch, Ramora UK’s Senior Explosive Officer (SEO) said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Dorset Police Marine Section as part of our ongoing flare amnesty initiative. The collection and disposal of these potentially dangerous items is vitally important to public safety and should be dealt with by experts. We are proud to provide this compliant service to members of the public living in or visiting the Dorset area.”


Paul Glatzel, owner of Powerboat Training UK, said: “The Safety Day and Flare Amnesty at MDL Cobbs Quay is a natural development of the RYA Active Marina concept which has run successfully for many years at the marina. It’s a great way to promote safety yet at the same time gear everybody to start the season.”


Why do you need to check your flares?

Flares are used to get the attention of other boats or aircraft in the area if you need help on the water. They should be carried on craft operating in coastal waters. Flares may be hand held or for longer range visibility rocket flares may be used. For day time use smoke flares.

Flares have a life span and should be replaced before they expire. Expiry dates are printed on the individual flares.


The disposal of out-of-date flares is a growing problem for boat owners who face severe penalties if they fail to dispose of out of date flares appropriately.


Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race
Crew members of Green Dragon, PUMA Ocean Racing, Telefonica Blue and Telefonica Black fire hand-held distress flares during the RYA ISAF Offshore Safety Course at the Marine Safety Training Centre, South Tyneside College, UK.

For best practice follow the RYA’s top tips:

  1. Keep flares in good condition and accessible at all times on your boat. You should clearly sign where safety equipment is kept on your boat.
  2. Make sure you know how to use flares before you go out on your boat so you’re ready in an emergency.
  3. Check the expiry dates on safety equipment regularly and replace them before they expire.


For more advice on flare disposal visit www.rya.org.uk/go/flaredisposal


To learn more about the RYA’s training courses visit www.rya.org.uk/training


To visit the RYA’s bookshop visit www.rya.org.uk/go/shop


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