Marine flare amnesty proposed

Do you have out of date marine flares you want to dispose of for free?

Mariners know that marine flares should be part of their boat’s safety kit, and while these can be bought from a number of stockists, disposal of out of date flares (known as Time Expired Pyrotechnics, or TEPs) can prove more problematic. The regulations have become more stringent and make it an offence to dump TEPs at sea or to fire them as fireworks, and placing them in the general rubbish puts the waste collectors or even the ‘bin lorry’ in danger if they explode or catch alight.

Unfortunately there isn’t anywhere locally for individuals to return out of date flares – the closest place is Falmouth Coastguard, but only by appointment – so Salcombe Harbour Authority is proposing to co-host a ‘flare amnesty’ with a commercial company which specialises in their collection and safe disposal.

This won’t cost Harbour users a penny as the Authority intends to absorb all of the costs, but they would like to gauge the local demand to ensure that the appropriate facilities are booked, as Harbour Master Adam Parnell explained: “We want to run a free event for Harbour users as part of our ‘Safe Salcombe’ campaign, but we need to know in advance if we’re talking 10s or 1000s of flares to make sure that we can cope with the demand.”

The event will be run later in the summer, and anyone who would like to use such a service is encouraged to register with the Salcombe Harbour Office so that they can be contacted before the event, but please do NOT bring your marine flares to the office until then.

Further details and guidance on Time Expired Pyrotechnics can be found at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency web site here: