Clap to show your appreciation for the NHS and keyworkers but please don’t set off flares

A Coastguard Rescue Team which had just finished applauding the NHS and key workers had to drop everything for a shout because a distress flare had been launched.

The flare had been launched as part of the appreciation for the NHS event despite all HM Coastguard advice to take part safely.

Please do show your gratitude to the NHS tonight by clapping but distress flares and Chinese lanterns, which can be mistaken for flares, should not be used.

When a report of a suspected distress flare is received, the teams from HM Coastguard have to investigate which can tie up resources when it isn’t necessary.
The Hayling Island Coastguard Rescue Team had gathered at the station last week, observing social distancing.

Station Officer Geoff Hicks said: “It was a very special moment when an NHS ambulance went past just after 8pm, so out of respect we engaged our sirens as they passed. It was a real goose bump moment.

“But, no sooner had the clapping finished, the team had a 999 call out, as a distress flares had been launched.  

“While we completely understand that people want to show their appreciation for the NHS and we ourselves have done so on Thursday evenings with the rest of the country – Chinese lanterns and flares are not the way to show it.”

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