Coast Guard: Day 2 of search following multiple reports of flare sightings off Pacifica coast

Coast Guard officials said theyreponded to multiple reports of flare sightings Wednesday night and found no one in distress, so they reumed the search at first light Thursday. Photo: Robert Noble, KTVU

After responding to multiple flare sightings off the coast of Pacifica on Wednesday night and finding no people or vessels in distress, the U.S. Coast Guard was preparing to resume the search at first light when an additional report of a flare in the same area came through.

Two to three flare sightings were reported Wednesday evening and the Coast Guard diverted a helicopter to search the area. But when it’s dark and crews are unable to find what they’re looking for in the first few hours, the search is called off and then resumed early the next morning, according to officials. 

Both boats and a helicopter were deployed to search the waters Thursday. Officials said reports of flares are not uncommon and there are multiple kinds. For training purposes, flares are supposed to be green to signal someone is practicing.

Officials said there is no confirmation that someone is practicing in the case of the current flare sightings. As of noon Thursday, crews were still investigating the matter. 

The Coast Guard responds to thousands of reports of flare detections each year. It costs taxpayers millions of dollars in personnel and equipment costs. To better prepare yourself on how to respond if you spot a flare, officials have provided a tips to implement that work to improve the Coast Guard’s response efficiency. 

For more information on reporting flares, including contact information for Coast Guard island in Alameda, visit the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centers page. 

KTVU reported this story from Oakland.