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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Plea to stop using lanterns on Walney

A WORRIED resident is pleading with people to stop using increasingly-popular Chinese lanterns when staging celebrations on the seafront near her home.

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SAFETY FEARS: A resident of West Shore Park, Walney, is concerned about paper lights being let off from West Shore car park, around a mile from Walney airfield, pictured above JOE RILEY REF: 0460839

West Shore Park homeowner, Julie Lightfoot, is concerned about paper lights being let off from West Shore car park, around a mile from Walney airfield.

She regularly sees them floating above the island, despite the fact the lanterns’ packaging says they should not be released within a five-mile radius of an airport.

Mrs Lightfoot is also worried about the risks posed to her and her neighbours’ homes.

The 54-year-old said: “It’s really safety that worries me, when the lanterns drop down into the park.

“If they set something alight, somebody’s chalet could go up.”

Mrs Lightfoot watched two lanterns fall into the chalet park on New Year’s Day.

One got caught on a fence and another landed near to homes at the bottom of the park.

She and her husband often see lanterns drifting past their window, as people release them on the beach below.

Mrs Lightfoot said: “People come in cars and set them off quite regularly. Last year there was about a dozen set off at the same time.

“I understand it’s just people celebrating, but there’s no reason for them to set them off over here. They could do them in their own gardens, surely.”

Chinese lanterns have become increasingly controversial as their popularity has grown in the UK.

Complaints have been made by the national coastguard, which receives calls from people thinking they are distress flares, and the National Farmers’ Union, which worries about crops being set alight and cattle eating the remains of burnt-out lanterns.

Fire crews have also complained about repeated call-outs which turn out to be false alarms because the lights burn out naturally.

A spokesman for Cumbria Fire and Rescue in Barrow said the service had not had problems with the lanterns.

He said: “Despite the fact that these things are regularly released by lots of people, we get relatively few incidents involving them.

“The main thing is, as long as you adhere to the safety guidelines on the packaging, you should be alright.

“In terms of the airfield, Walney does tend to have a lot less traffic than a commercial airport, which I think the guidelines are more aimed towards.”

A spokesman for BAE, which owns Walney airfield, said: “There have been no problems at all with lanterns at the airfield over the last 12 months. This has never been an issue for us.

“Our airfield manager also says that, as far as he is aware, there is no legislation regarding the use of these lanterns within a certain radius of the airfield.”

Have your say

Lanterns can seriously put aircraft in danger so the idiot from DALTON should have his stupid comments removed

Posted by John on 26 January 2012 at 18:20

You lot drive through Dalton 'Cos you can' so Im off to buy 100 lanterns to let off on Walney...Hey ho!

Posted by Dalton resident on 5 January 2012 at 15:27

View all 4 comments on this article

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