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Use Distress Flares For Emergencies - Not For Fun

Marine distress flares must not be used as part of Guy Fawkes Day celebrations, unless approved for non-emergency use by the Maritime Safety Authority.

This year the only approved demonstrations of marine flares for training purposes on November 5 are:

Date/time Place What

5 November Buffallo Beach, Flare Demonstration 7pm-9.30pm Mercury Bay, Whitianga

5 November Cape Egmont Flare Demonstration 8pm-10pm Boat Club, Okato

5 November Wakefield Quay, Flare Demonstration 8.30pm-10.30pm Port Nelson

Anyone using a distress flare on 5 November or any other time, except in a genuine emergency or without the prior approval of the Director of Maritime Safety, could face a fine of up to $ 1 000 under maritime rule Part 23, Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions 1988).

If people see a red (may appear bright pink) distress flare at sea, they should notify the authorities, having confidence that they are reporting a genuine emergency.

Demonstrations of distress flares require prior written permission from the Maritime Safety Authority. Only demonstrations for training purposes will be approved under the Regulations.

ENDS....

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