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Boaters should take a moment to check fire protection

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Nov. 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm with No Comments »
November 10, 2010 1:08 pm

The folks from Boat Owners Association of The United States sent out a press release with a link to spectacular video of a sportfishing boat catching fire.

The incident took place Tuesday on the Intercoastal Waterway in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla. The video was taken by Capt. Clayton Tieman of TowBoatUS Tampa Bay.

Tieman arrived less than five minutes after the first mayday call. He reported by that time the vessel’s deck was hot enough to burn the mate’s feet before Tieman was able to evacuate the captain and mate.

The press release points out that after discovering the fire, “the crew had done everything right by immediately issuing a mayday call with precise location information, set anchor, and attacked with every available extinguisher.”

While fire took place in Florida, I thought some of the questions raised in the press release were applicable to boaters in the South Sound:

Are you ready for a day like this on the water?

What is the condition and location of your fire extinguishers or other firefighting equipment?

Are you ready to abandon your boat in a moment’s notice? Are your survival gear, life jackets and valuables within arm’s reach?

You can find the clips here.

According to Seaworthy Magazine, the top six causes of fires aboard boats are:

  1. AC and DC wiring/appliance 55 percent
  2. Engine/Transmission Overheat 24 percent
  3. Fuel Leak 8 percent
  4. Miscellaneous 7 percent
  5. Unknown 5 percent
  6. Stove 1 percent
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