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Don’t shoot off flares along the coast – it forces Coast Guard to launch expensive Helo and water craft!


Courtesy photos: Coast Guard, U.S. Army

News Lincoln County received a number of phone calls New Year’s Eve wondering what all the helicopter searching up and down Waldport’s Bayshore Drive was all about. We called the Coast Guard in North Bend and they said they were investigating reports of red flares offshore from the Bayshore area but finding no one in distress. The officer said the flares were possibly launched by people who may have run out of standard fireworks and so turned to shooting off flares.

Those who are shooting off flares along the coast may not realize that by launching those bright glows into the dark night skies, they are forcing the Coast Guard to launch air and water based rescue craft. So stop with the flares unless you’re experiencing a real emergency (and an empty champagne glass doesn’t qualify).

Coast Guard officials at Coast Guard Station North Bend say by law, any flare launched into the air is to be treated as an international call for help and they, by law, must go to the area where the flare was launched and look for anyone in distress. And for each flare launched strictly for fun, it’s another false alarm and another wastefully expensive flight and water mission for the Coast Guard and could cause delays in responding to actual emergencies.

The Coast Guard says they understand that its New Year’s Eve, but please do not fire off flares!

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