3rd Sept: Hamble Harbour Sea Safety Day

Ian Davis had asked if I would like to help him represent Calshot NCI at the Hamble River Sea Safety Day. It turned out to be a dull day with increasing wind and rain forecast. Publicity for the day was poor – a web search only revealed a mention on the Calshot NCI blog! As a result most of the people who turned up were bringing out of date flares for disposal. However some of these showed a genuine interest in NCI so it was a useful day.

The event was scheduled for 10am to 2pm. I got there about 0830 and my car was used to support the banners which were only 2/3rds erected and weighted down with 2 x 25lb lead weights each! On another occasion I think that a gazebo tied to the car and weighted at the front with lead weights would work. The banners could be tied to the car or the gazebo.

The guys collecting the flares on Saturday were actually a bomb disposal team! They set off a couple of flares – a hand-held orange smoke flare and a red hand held distress flare. It was windy and the orange smoke flare was remarkably ineffective since the smoke became dispersed a short distance down wind. The photo montage shows the technique used for letting off the red distress flare. First you go a long way down a pontoon away from anything which might catch fire or be harmed. You then don a large helmet with full face mask and put on a thick leather gauntlet. Then you light the flare and hold it slanting downwind so the copious white hot embers which fly off the flare don’t set fire to your clothing.