Reliability, Performance, Compliance


White illuminating flares used in Essex search and rescue


Flares were used in early morning darkness to help in the search and rescue of a man on a broken down Dutch cruiser in the Thames estuary in Essex.

The Sheerness and Southend RNLI lifeboat crews took part in the search in early May.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness all weather lifeboat The George and Ivy Swanson launched after the UK Coastguard reported a 39-foot Dutch cruiser with one man on board had broken down.

The cruiser was believed to be at anchor one-mile west of Southend Pier with a mobile phone as the only means of communication. But the Sheerness lifeboat could not see the vessel there, so it searched up to Canvey Island.

Two white illumination flares were launched from the lifeboat in the hope of getting a response, and a flashing light was seen close inshore at the top end of Ray Gut.

As there was insufficient water for the lifeboat to approach, the smaller Southend RNLI lifeboat was launched, which took the craft to deeper water and secured it on a mooring in the creek.

The image of the white flares is credit of RNLI/Vic Booth.

May 15, 2018