Reliability, Performance, Compliance


Australian boaters reminded to check flares are in-date

PW flare

Australian boaters have been reminded to get their flares checked to ensure they are in-date and to safely dispose of expired flares.

The call came from Port Macquarie Marine Rescue, New South Wales, which provided a mobile van flare disposal service one day in February 2019.

Boaters were invited to bring their expired marine flares to Westport Park to talk about boat safety with a Roads and Maritime boating education officer.

The boaters were reminded that two orange smoke hand-held distress flares and two red hand-held distress flares are required for commercial and recreational fishers in open water. Flares have an average shelf life of approximately three years. Port Macquarie Marine Rescue unit commander Greg Davies told the website that boaties were required to carry a mix of flares for their own safety.

"Its important to change flares when they are out of date, it's part of the law that you must carry serviceable flares while at sea.” This is especially important when travelling greater than two miles out to sea, and you can be in trouble unless your vessel is in safe condition.

"If the flares are out of date you don't have confidence that they will work, to do the job they are meant for."

The mobile collection van is part of a marine flare disposal program organised by Roads and Maritime Services.  

The image shows an in-date Pains Wessex flare being fired.

For more information about flare disposal, please visit

Mar 06, 2019