What Should You Do Immediately if a Motor Boat Catches Fire?

With hundreds of boats on the water body, the number of boat accidents is increasing with every passing day. Among these water vehicle accidents, around 70% occur due to sudden fire eruption. The boat-fires can be pretty dangerous, and it can claim lives if it goes out of hand. So, every passenger and boat operator should know about fire safety tips.

A common question to all the Boat Ed exams is “What Should You Do Immediately if a Motor Boat Catches Fire?” Well, the right answer would be turning off the boat engine and separating the fuel from the fire.

What are the causes of boat fires?

According to boat insurance companies, the boat fires are caused due to faulty batteries, off-boat sources, engine electrical etc. Boats use fuel like gasoline which is pretty flammable. Other than this, a little spark in the engine or short-circuit can also result in a devastating boat fire. A running boat gets plenty of oxygen, and that is why boats are more likely to catch fire.

What can be done if a boat is on fire?

For the sake of the boat and the passenger onboard, every boat owner should be equipped with a fire-extinguisher, and they should also learn about the fire guidelines set by the USA government. Here are the top four steps one can follow to get rid of the boat fire.

Position your boat properly

For god forbid, if you find your boat on fire, you should first adjust your boat’s position so that plenty of air comes inside the boat. The wind will minimize the fire and will push away the harmful smoke from the boat. This way, the passengers can breathe easily.

Use fire extinguisher

If you apply a fire extinguisher as soon as possible, it can put out the fire completely. You should aim the fire extinguisher right at the source of the fire. The fire extinguishers are generally kept near the boat deck.

Distribute PFDs

With fire, you never know whether it is under control or not. So, if you see a fire, ask all the passengers to wear their PFD or life jackets. If the fire keeps spreading in your entire boat, the passengers would be able to jump on the water and save their life this way.

Summon help

Every boat is equipped with a marine radio. In case of a fire emergency, you can use this VHF radio to ask for help. If you see any other boat passing by, you can signal them too.

How can you prevent fire while on a boat?

As a boat operator, you should monitor your engine and fuel system almost regularly. You should also ensure that your boat remains well-ventilated all through the journey. You can install multiple devices like a smoke detector, gas vapor detector, etc., on your boat. Last but not least, always turn off the boat engine and other boat devices while you are not on board.

Take fire safety seriously and put some time into designing a master fire escape plan. Apprise the passengers with this plan of yours, and safety will be guaranteed.

Sources:

Boat-ed