Warning about the use of marine flares after incident in Niagara on Sunday night


A warning from police about the use of emergency flares after an incident in Wainfleet.

On Sunday February 14th, at 10:45 p.m. Port Colborne officers were called to the shoreline of Lake Erie in Wainfleet for a possible distress call.

A member of the public had reported seeing a red flare go off and land approximately 75ft from shore.

Officers arrived with the Wainfleet Fire Service and Niagara Emergency Medical Services in the area between Quarry Road and Bessey Road on Lakeshore Road. 

A Canadian rescue aircraft in Trenton was placed on standby in case their assistance was required.

Emergency personnel scoured the shoreline and water for any boats or person(s) in distress.  

Further searches of the area located a discharged marine flare on shore in the area of the initial flare sighting. 

A NRPS UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - drone) conducted flights / scans of the shoreline and water in the area.  No boats or person(s) were found in distress.

Emergency Services personnel were able to leave the scene at approximately 1:15 a.m.

"Marine flares should never be discharged near the water unless during a real emergency.  Careless use of a distress flare can needlessly tie up emergency personnel and prevent them from attending to other emergency calls. Persons who intentionally discharge a flare in a careless manner could be subject to investigation under the Criminal Code of Canada or the Canada Shipping Act. " Niagara Regional Police