Between April and October six amnesty events were held at marinas along the South Coast and on the Isle of Wight to encourage private boat owners to hand in out-of-date distress flares.The disposal of out-of-date flares is a growing problem for boat owners who face severe penalties if they fail to follow the correct procedures.
Owners were asked to donate at least £2 for each flare that was handed in. This money was subsequently used to purchase a new dinghy for Brading Haven Sailing Club. This will be used by young people who would not normally get the opportunity to experience sailing and was presented on Tuesday at Ramora’s HQ in Fareham.
Sergeant Damon Kennard from Hampshire Constabulary’s Marine Unit said:
“The various flare amnesties run this year in conjunction with our partners at Ramora UK have been a tremendous success with 9,240 out of date flares collected and safely destroyed. We’d like to thank Ramora for their support with this important public safety campaign.
“The amnesties also provided the Marine Unit with a great opportunity to engage with fellow mariners and reinforce the need for vigilance in and around our coastline.
“I am pleased to report that in conjunction with Ramora UK we will be looking to run further amnesties next year and will publicise dates and venues in due course”.
David Welch, Ramora UK’s Managing Director said:
“The generosity of the boating community through donations collected at the various events has been superb.
“We are delighted to be in a position to present the brand new Laser Pico dinghy to Brading Haven Sailing Club to assist them with their excellent work getting youngsters on the Isle of Wight involved in sailing via the RYA Onboard Scheme.
“We have also been able to supply Hamble Volunteer Lifeboat who are very active within the Solent with a state of the art AED (Defibrillator) which I know they have been fundraising to secure for some time”.
Sarah Thorpe, Energy and Environmental Compliance Advisor to public sector organisations including Hampshire Constabulary added:
“These amnesties have been a great success by providing a safe and compliant way to dispose of flares; reducing the potential detrimental risks to both people and the environment through inappropriate and irresponsible disposal methods.”