Advice on broken flare disposal please.^

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NeilG
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Post by NeilG » Fri Dec 08, 2006 6:17 pm

Stick it in a box of soil or sand (as neither burns very well!) and leave it somewhere safe until your next trip to the coast. You can then bury it at sea (ie deep water which i think is what the coast guard do a fair bit) or hand it to the coast guard for disposal.

I have to say (at the risk of reveanling my occupation) I see a lot of flares handed in because the owner does not know what to do with them. We give them to the Coast Guard and they are usually not pleased....
It may be because Solent CG is inundated with them due to the huge number of leisure boats in the area.
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SeaDoug
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Friendly Local Fireman

Post by SeaDoug » Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:35 pm

Problem solved.

Friendly local (retained) Fireman rang his mate at RAF Wittering, who do have bomb disposal team, and I can drop it in at the local Fire Station next Wednesday training night to be picked up by his RAF mate, for them to sort.

Thanks for all the suggestions - hope the thread helps someone else in future!

SeaDoug

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:42 pm

I really don't see the issue with how far the CG is away. Phone or talk to any of the relevant emergency services (including coastguard) and let them come to your house and deal with the flare. If they aren't trained they will contact an agency that is. I would not expect any of them to say "bring it here and we'll sort it out", they will either collect or deal with it in situ.

I merely suggested that the relevant authorities may well opt to get the bomb disposal unit to collect or deal with it. Since they will know in advance what they are dealing with you aren't going to find 50 coppers with a mobile incident room and marksman descending on your street. It may just be 2 guys in an army landrover with a bucket of sand to take it to their base. I really don't know, they will.

Either way why bother guessing and taking unnecessary risks? All you have to do is pick up the phone and see what they say.

Jim

SeaDoug
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Risks

Post by SeaDoug » Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:00 pm

Jim

My whole point was to avoid risks - but at the same time I dont want to create a situation similar to the current "over the top" reaction at airport security with liquids, relating to flares held safely and legitimately by SeaKayakers.

Even expecting the "authorities" to react and send a team to pick up a duff flare could get picked up by the press and blown out of proportion (sorry about the pun). I can see the local headlines now - "Bomb Disposal Team seals off Seakayakers house ......" " Call for all flares to be banned...." "Danger lurking in Seakayakers kit...." "Crazy Seakayaker blows up garden...." - yeah thanks Denzil.

I have a good, local solution - with no risks, and hopefully no publicity, apart from a healthy discussion amongst ourselves.

I did talk to a local professional - the guy who would have to cope with the aftermath if I did get it wrong. Just like our Forum, he called his mate who was in a position to advise, and the solution was agreed.


SeaDoug

Dave Thomas
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Re: Friendly Local Fireman

Post by Dave Thomas » Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:14 pm

SeaDoug wrote:... I can drop it in at the local Fire Station ...
Well, maybe put it carefully down at the local fire station?
Dave Thomas

SeaDoug
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Not to drop....

Post by SeaDoug » Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:26 am

Yes Dave - bad choice of word. I will hand in to the Station and then scarper pretty quick!

The broken end has made me reconsider the way I normally carry flares (in a drybag pack in the cockpit behind the seat, with miniflares in BA pocket). I think I will make up gutter/water pipe tubes to provide more protection in future.

SeaDoug

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:08 am

Well, I now have two of the damn things l;ying in my gaden after a failed attempt to add to the local fireworks!

On one, the cord broke before the pin released - releasing the pin manually did nothing! That was was 1 year out of time, and had been kept in a poly bag inside a dry bag.

The other one has a sort of lever device, which did rock all with the firing pin and broke. That particular flare had a year of "life" left, and had lived in a w/proof tube.

VERY far from impressed.

I'll let you know waht my local enquiries about disposal produce!

Regs - MIke

Taff H
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Old flares

Post by Taff H » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:34 am

Hi, ref the RAF camp, if you can get in touch with the lads in the Armouer/Bomb dump thay may be able to help you.

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:38 am

Update - Clyde CG confirmed the advice about soaking in water for 24 hours, with the foil cover removed and then taking to the "nearest disposal centre". Further enquiry to them on what constitutes a "disposal centre" tells me that is "your nearest yacht chandlers, Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre or any other organisation with facilities to store such pyrotechnics safely".


But no suggestion as to where / who that might be!

Closer daylight inspection of the small one (made by XM Yachting Ltd)shows that the internal firing pin seemed to have worked ok, but the propellant charge didn't fire.

I've not worked out yet what failed with the large one, a Pains Wessex Mk3 Parachute.

If anyone has one, it would be interesting to get a pic of the firing mechanism - it should be easy enough to do that safely. I want to see how the "lever mechanism" is supposed to be set up BEFORE operation. Can anyone help? Pics to editorATukseakayakguidebook.co.uk please.

Regs - Mike.

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Post by CaileanMac » Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:40 pm

MikeB,

Happy New Year. Get in contact with the Solway Sector Manager - his sector is in Liverpool's patch as apposed to Clyde's (closer to you?) and may be able to help you out with disposing of the mis-fired flares. The sector base at Kirkcudbright will more than likely have a flare locker for holding out of date flares and in turn the RN Bomb Disposal lads will get rid of them.

CaileanMac

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:16 pm

Update on this situaation is as follows:

I contacted my local CG who was most helpful by phone, and sent me this email which confirms the position, locally here anyway -

(Email starts)

Mike
Thank you for your enquiry into the disposal of 2 missfired red
distress parachute flares, found on my anserphone this morning, which
are currently at your home address of ********* Dumfries.
I have passed this information to the Police on your behalf.
//
At this time HM Coastguard do not have suitable facilities/ containers
to collect, transport or stow these missfired items safely, in this
area.
It is not and never has been the responsibility of HM Coastguard to
fulfil this role, but in the interests of safety have obliged the
public
wherever possible.
The MCA, MOD and other Government Agencies are currently in talks
with makers and suppliers of Maritime Pyrothechnics to resove this ever
increasing national problem.
//
Kind Regards
Tony


(Email ends)

Shortly after speaking to him by phone I received a call from the local Police, the outcome of which was a visit by two of the local pc's. The outcome of that was that they contacted the Bomb Disposal experts who travelled from Edinburgh, placed the flares into a container and took them for disposal!

Given I now live in a modern housing estate, you will not be surprised that the mid-morning arrival of a large white lorry caused some immediate "interest" from my neighbours!

Image

Acute embarasement from my good self, but I have to say the CG and Police were highly supportive although it was politely pointed out that my actions were perhaps not somehting to repeat next year. THe BD guys were non-plussed.

Mike.

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:30 pm

Received this from Roly McKie, SAR Operations Manager -



(EMail starts)



Mike (copy Tony Wood)

I note from the web forum discussions that the flare in question is
damaged. This makes it an unstable device and the person involved would
be quite sensible to take it to the Police who should have procedures
in
place for reporting unexploded devices, ammunition, etc. to the Joint
Services Explosive Ordnance Disposal (JSEOD) centre at Didcot (24 hour
ops room). They coordinate the RAF, Army and Navy bomb disposal teams
to
respond to UXBs and any items that the public may present to the
Police/Fire service/Coastguard that needs their expertise.

As for the Coastguard being trained to deal with these things: we are,
sort of. We are not trained nor equipped to dispose of pyrotechnics.
That is the job of specialists: either the EOD teams of the armed
forces
or private commercial companies, some of whom offer a disposal service.
We can take small quantities of expired pyrotechnics from individuals
(but not commercial quantities because we have very small storage
facilities) and store them pending collection for disposal.

However, the Coastguard option is only feasible for people who can get
to the coast. The procedure is to ring the nearest Coastguard MRCC
(numbers on our website http://www.mcga.gov.uk) and ask if their storage
facility can take any more pyrotechnics (they do get full up). If the
answer is yes, then the person wanting to dispose of the pyrotechnic
has
to bring it to the storage place and we will arrange a mutually
agreeable time for someone to meet them and take the pyro's off their
hands. If the store is full, they will have to wait until it has been
emptied and try the Coastguard MRCC again.

We also have problems dealing with damaged pyrotechnics and any
seriously damaged and unstable ones we report directly to JSEOD and ask
if a EOD team can collect it/them asap.

It should be noted that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (the agency
that is the home of HM Coastguard) are working with government
departments and other interests (leisure and commercial representative
bodies, etc) involved in the problem of disposing of time expired
pyrotechnics (TEP), to find a practicable way to resolve the issue. The
debate and discussions are ongoing.





Roly McKie
SAR Operations Manager
HM Coastguard
Bay 1/07, MCA HQ
Tel: 023 8032 9332
Fax: 023 8032 9488
Roly.McKie@mcga.gov.uk




(Email ends)

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NeilG
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Post by NeilG » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:58 pm

At least the wheels are in motion to resolve the problem. As I said earlier, Solent CG are not pleased when flares are presented (perhaps because it happens so often). Calling out the JSEOD seems a drastic response for every flare that needs collecting so an agency definately needs to take resposibility. The police seem to end up with all the WW2 shells that get found and don't have storage facilities for them. Perhaps each police force should have a central facility that could accommodate flares aswell, otherwise the cost to the tax payer for collecting a duff flare is enormous (your photo of the EOD lorry says it all).
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ChrisS
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Post by ChrisS » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:10 pm

The manufacturers should take responsibility in the same way that car manufacturers are now required to dispose of their old models. It might make the products more expensive but that is the only way to go. The taxpayer shouldn't have to foot the bill.

SeaDoug
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Bomb Disposal

Post by SeaDoug » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:46 pm

See my post of 8 December in reply to Jims suggestion. I am concerned that part of what I worried about happened this time ie the big white van! I hope the second part, with press reports doesnt happen, as we could end up in a descending spiral of restrictions.
I know dinghy sailers etc have similar problems, but seakayakers are an identifiable and easily traceable group as we all keep our kit at home, not at a Marina or Yacht Club. Hopefully the headlines wont happen.....

SeaDoug

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MikeB
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Re: Bomb Disposal

Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:32 pm

SeaDoug wrote:See my post of 8 December in reply to Jims suggestion. I am concerned that part of what I worried about happened this time ie the big white van! I hope the second part, with press reports doesnt happen, as we could end up in a descending spiral of restrictions.
I know dinghy sailers etc have similar problems, but seakayakers are an identifiable and easily traceable group as we all keep our kit at home, not at a Marina or Yacht Club. Hopefully the headlines wont happen.....

SeaDoug
Nearly three weeks on and there are no headlines - which is nice, given the local rag's focus on filling space with everything from wheelie bins being burned to the local chaps in blue stopping drunk drivers.

Even the neighbours speak to me still.

Mike.

ian.miller
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Post by ian.miller » Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:57 pm

Great photo Mike. Made my day but I can't help wondering if you haven't been indulging in a bit of photo trickery! Was it really bomb disposal or have you re-badged a Tesco delivery or perhaps Securicor delivering your wages?
I tried your route of covering up disposal at a fireworks party and when one flare failed to go off we stuck it in the fire and stood well back. Nothing happened for a surprisingly long time and then it burned with a bit of a pop and not much else. I wouldn't try it with a parachute. The bonfire was in a remote location so it was not a risky enterprise. Looking at the other options I would be tempted to do this again or I will consider deep disposal in the garden.
The only reason your neighbours are still talking to you is they reckon you are a dangerous man and they don't want to offend you!

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:33 pm

LOL - nope, the pic is 100% genuine - I have noticed that the neighbours are all wearing those transparent face shields, and full body armour these days - - -

Mike.

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geyrfugl
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Post by geyrfugl » Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:56 am

I know this will be classed in a similar vein to denzil's ideas, but for what it's worth...

I used to be in a caving club with a chap who worked for Standard fireworks,who ran big public displays. They always got a number of pyrotechnics that failed to go off. Bob used to repair these himself and keep them for doing displays for charities (Cave Rescue was one, Cambridge University rag week was another). Needless to say, the failure rate on these repaired ones was a bit higher than on the new ones, so we always had a few big rockets and things left over, which weren't considered worth repairing twice. There was also inevitably quite a bit of wooden framework, spent firework cases, etc etc.

The disposal technique was always the same. Make a big bonfire, with the dud fireworks at the bottom - any that sent projectiles would be orientated to fire towards the ground. Light it and retreat - not even very far. I remember doing this on midsummer common in Cambridge after the rag display, an area to which the public had full access. Someone came across to complain about us having a fire on the green, and Bob was just explaining how this was the safest way to deal with failed fireworks when one big one went off in the bottom of the bonfire. Everyone (except Bob) jumped a mile, but Bob never batted an eyelid, didn't even turn round to look at the fire, in fact. This must be thirty years ago now, and Bob is still alive and well and, as far as I know, still in the same line of work.

Some of those public display rockets send their "warheads" very high, comparable to parachute flares. For things like hand-held flares and the orange smoke ones, I'm sure this would be a perfectly reasonable way to deal with them. Maybe I'd think twice about a parachute flare in a small garden on a crowded housing estate ...

BTW, bonfire was also the method of choice to dispose of explosives by those cavers who only had day-use licences (so weren't allowed to store any not used overnight). Explosives burn quite safely if not actually detonated. Detonators were let off separately, usually somewhere quite irresponsible ...

Andy

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MikeB
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Re: Advice on broken flare disposal please.^

Post by MikeB » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:05 am

Updated on the situation at present - I wrote to MCA to ask what progress was being made for safely disposing of time expired flares and got the following update, reproduced with their permission.

"Dear Mike

Your correspondence with Roly Mckie on the disposal of Time Expired Pyrotechnics (TEPs) has been forwarded to me to give you the current position. I apologise for the delay in replying.

The MCA (HM Coastguard) remains in discussions with other government stakeholders and industry to look at the development of a credible self sustaining solution for the disposal of TEPs. To date no solution has been identified and discussions continue. Whilst discussions continue the MCA has agreed to provide the current service through HM Coastguard supported by the MOD as a public safety issue. Unfortunately this is a complex issue which cuts across a number of government departments.

thank you for your ongoing interest.

Best regards"



The MCA site is currently giving this advice on disposal of TEPs.

Regs, Mike

SeaDoug
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Re: Advice on broken flare disposal please.^

Post by SeaDoug » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:39 pm

"Complex issue" and "number of Government Departments" - sounds like the same chance of early solution as river access.....
Meanwhile, my original points are still valid, we are a high profile sport every time we roll into our home drive with big pointy things on the roof, so all the neighbours know our sport. It could become an issue with a community if something happens to highlight the pyrotechnics we keep at home (in date or not) as few other seagoing boats are kept in garages etc with safety kit.
So far so good, but I have a fair collection of flares stored in my garage, and a couple of years ago my former neighbour carelessly put a used disposable BBQ in his shed with predictable results. I used my garden hose across the wall until the professionals arrived, but only later noticed my melted guttering/vent on the house and the burned facing on the garage......if my garage had caught I would have lost all my boats, and possibly spread the fire some distance as the flares/camping fuel/parafin all contributed to the mayhem. Didnt happen, but....
SeaDoug

BoaterJH
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Re: Advice on broken flare disposal please.^

Post by BoaterJH » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:50 pm

I have been informed by the the RNLI in Exmouth that the local recycling centre (dump/tip) will take out of date or missfired flares. Might be worth a phone calling them to check before turning up with a box full of flares though!
Joe H

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