Unwanted marine flares

Marine flares are an essential lifesaving tool and must be carried by vessels operating outside of protected waters in Western Australia.

These seemingly simple signalling devices produce a bright light and smoke through the combustion of pyrotechnic material. The flares burn hot, discharge embers and can be dangerous. This means when they are outside their expiry date or damaged, they need to be disposed of appropriately by qualified people.

Some commercial pyrotechnic or fireworks contractors are qualified to dispose of marine distress flares. Flares may also be handed in at a collection point nominated by the Western Australian Department of Transport's Marine Safety Division.

Do not dispose of marine flares by:

  • placing them in the rubbish
  • dumping them at the rubbish tip, in the sea or the bush
  • discharging a flare.

Department of Transport – Marine Safety

WA Police – Water Police

Ph: 1300 863 308

Ph: (08) 9442 8600

Email: marine.safety@transport.wa.gov.au

Email: police@police.wa.gov.au


Find out about collection points and marine flares at the Department of Transport – Marine Safety website

It is illegal to discharge a flare when not involved in an emergency, unless authorised by the Department of Transport's Marine Safety Division.

Refer to Abandoned and unwanted explosives and flares - pamphlet (PDF 1956 kb) for more information.