NSW boaters encouraged to dispose of expired flares

BOATERS will have the opportunity to dispose of their expired flares from this month in Port Stephens via a free mobile collection program.

Transport for NSW Executive Director NSW Maritime Mark Hutchings said mobile collection sites will be set up along the NSW coastline.

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Collection sites will be at two locations in Port Stephens (Soldiers Point and Little Beach on Wednesday November 23, and again on Wednesday, 11 January, before a Tea Gardens collection point is set up on Wednesday, 12 April.

“This collection program provides boaters with a safe and convenient way to dispose of old flares responsibly and promotes a culture of safer boating,” Mr Hutchings said.

Marine flares can signal someone is in trouble and help provide a location for aircraft or vessels engaged in a search and rescue. Generally, a minimum of two red hand flares and two orange smoke flares are required on all vessels operating in open waters.

“Most flares have a use-by date of three years and must be replaced before expiry,” Mr Hutchings said.

“It’s important to remember that penalties apply for not carrying current flares on a vessel in open waters. We’re encouraging boaters to use the expired flare collection program as a timely reminder to check their safety equipment regularly.

“Expired flare collection is no longer available at any service centres, registries or maritime sites – which is why it’s so important for boaters across NSW to take advantage of the collection program, if and where possible.”

Upcoming local collection sites.

Tea Gardens Boat Ramp, Marine Drive, Teagardens (Opposite Tea Gardens Swimming Pool), 7.30am to 10:00 am on Wednesday, 12 April 2023.

Little Beach Boat Ramp, Lighthouse Road, Little Beach, 11:00am to 14:00pm on Wednesdays 23 November and 11 January.

Soldiers Point Marina Boat Ramp, Mitchell St, Soldiers Point, 7.30am to 10:00 on Wednesdays 23 November and 11 January.

For more information on collection dates and locations across NSW, enter your postcode at https://www.nsw.gov.au/topics/waterways-safety-and-rules/lifejackets-and-safety-equipment/flare-disposal

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