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False alarms prompt warning on flares, EPIRBS
Barry Wiseman Ray Buchholz from Marine Safety with out-of-date flares.

Owners of safety and emergency equipment such as flares and EPIRBs are being warned to use and dispose of them responsibly after recent false alarms wasted police and volunteer resources.

Broome Volunteer Sea Rescue Commander Colin Kenworthy said there had been two incidents last week involving the misuse of EPIRBs and flares.

Police had alerted the group to an EPIRB that had been activated on land. However, three hours later, the beacon was found discarded.

“It had been thrown out in the rubbish and not disposed of correctly,” Mr Kenworthy said. “The correct way is to ensure battery wires are disconnected or to contact Broome Sea Rescue for disposal.”

In a separate incident, an EPIRB and a number of flares were reported stolen from a boat in Roebuck Estate.

Sightings of the flares were later reported and found to be another false alarm.

Mr Kenworthy said owners of EPIRBS and flares needed to ensure equipment was kept in a safe and secure location and dispose of them appropriately.

“Police resources and BVSR was tied up in locating the EPIRBs,” he said.

“It creates concern with the Marine Authority and Water Police in Perth.”