Pyrotechnics to be replaced by night-vision goggles

Coastguards around the UK have been told to stop using flares in land-based rescue missions.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the devices were of “very little operational value” and that volunteer shore-based rescue teams should concentrate on using modern alternatives, like night-vision goggles and infrared cameras.

A spokesman for the MCA said: “We did a survey over a few months asking our 400 volunteer rescue teams when they last used flares, why they used them and how they used them.

“The feedback we received was that they were hardly ever used. Flares don’t have a long shelf life and, if no-one uses them, they’re not cost-effective. It’s not a good use of money to have a box of fireworks sitting in a van.”

They insisted that the ban was not, as was reported in some newspapers, down to health and safety fears.

Full Story: Gazette