Sea Rescue to Carry out Distress Flare Use Training

The St Helena Sea Rescue Service will be conducting a pyrotechnic training exercise on Wednesday 08 March 2023, during which they will be activating a number of handheld and rocket distress flares.

Deployment of Maritime distress Flares will start at 19:30 from a vessel approximately one nautical mile north west of James Bay. Prior to deployment of the first flare, a VHF safety message will be sent out on Channel 16 to notify vessels in the area.

The public are asked not to report any distress flares from this location during this time.

The flares will be deployed in the following order:

  • Three orange distress smokes
  • 12 white illuminating rocket flares (this is a Search and Rescue flare which is used to illuminate an area, not used for distress)
  • 12 hand-held red distress flares
  • 16 red rocket distress flares

Although the training is taking place to upskill members of the Sea Rescue Service, this will also be an opportunity for the public to view what a maritime distress flare looks like. If you are able to view the exercise, please take particular note of the characteristics of the red flares as these are the ones used by vessels in distress.

Anyone with any questions regarding this training should contact the Sea Rescue Manager, Simon Wade, by telephone on 25052 or via email through

06 March 2023

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470