Wellingtonians should not be alarmed if they see white parachute flares above Wellington Harbour on Wednesday evening â€“ the flares are part of a rescue exercise.
Sergeant John Bryant, head of Wellington Policeâ€™s Maritime Unit, says the police launch Lady Elizabeth III, the Westpac Life Flight rescue helicopter, Wellington Coastguard and Wellington Airportâ€™s fire service will all be involved in the exercise which starts at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 29 September.
The exercise will run for about 1.5 hours and, depending on the weather, will be either on the eastern side of the harbour north of Ward Island, or between Seatoun and Scorching Bay.
"The exercise scenario involves the simulated rescue and recovery of people and debris from the water," Sergeant Bryant says. "Weâ€™ll be using dummies instead of people but it will still be a very good test of our night time search and recovery capability."
And while he canâ€™t give too much away about the scenario, the exercise will culminate with white parachute illumination flares being released off Camp Bay on the eastern side of the harbour.
"The flares are not distress flares so people should not worry if they see them between 8.30pm and 9pm on Wednesday," Sergeant Bryant says.