Chinese Lanterns when released can travel quickly over the water and be easily confused with marine distress flares which are very similar in colour. When a flare call is reported to the Coast Guard emergency operations centre an immediate response is activated as this could indicate someone is in difficulty in the water and needs urgent assistance. Equally our colleagues in the Fire Service have had to respond to fires over the years after the flame from a Chinese Lantern ignited materials when they landed.
The Irish Coast Guard unit in Howth has already responded in the last week to reports of flares over Dublin Bay which has tied up resources until it could be confirmed to be a false alarm. If you do see what appears to be flare near water never delay, call the Coast Guard @ 112 or 999 immediately. Have a safe and fun weekend.