NSRI are appealing to the public to not set off Sky Lanterns.
Sky Lanterns floating in the sky can present a similar appearance to Distress Flares.
Eye Witnesses mistake Sky Lanterns for Distress Flares.
Eye-witness reports of distress flares sighted around the coastline require the NSRI and the emergency services to launch a full scale search and rescue operation without hesitation and even when the sighting may later be confirmed to have been Sky Lanterns a search operation can continue for quite some time until it can be absolutely confirmed that no persons or craft at sea may be in any difficulty.
Sky Lanterns pose the additional danger of being a fire hazard and this year that risk is greater because drought conditions have rendered open areas to be more dry and more susceptible to fire than normal.