Monday morning a tragic scene occurred whenever a blaze started in Scottsboro, AL at a marina that accommodates boats, houseboats and pontoon vessels. According to USA Today, eight individuals are confirmed dead, while 35 vessels burned. Some boats sank at the dock while some drifted from their moorings and sank. Authorities are unsure what caused the fireplace.
“Boat fires are rare,” says Ellsworth Buck, V . p . of Insurance, Florida's largest independent marine insurance agency. While infrequent, when boat fires to occur, they can get out of control quickly.
In 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported 337 vessels were involved in a fire. Most accidents involved fuel and were the result of spilled fuel or fuel vapors. These incidents often produce explosions more than fire.
A boat fire can result in an overall total loss. “Property losses are gone $10 million annually because of boat fires,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of Insurance, Florida's top independent boat insurance agency.
Boat fires are preventable. Make sure to avoid a lapse in
maintenance and appearance your fuel-system regularly. Faulty wiring or corrosion in
your wires ought to be repaired right away. Keep the proper number of
working fire extinguishers on board. Regardless of what type of boat fire you're
fighting, extinguishing foams and dry chemicals may be used on any fire.
However, water will almost always exacerbate the problem.
Take extra precaution to prevent boat fires and know how to extinguish them. The USCG comes with an memorable acronym should one occur.
FIND the fireplace and determine its
INFORM all passengers, move them
away from the fire, have them into life vests and prepare to abandon ship.
Create a distress call.
RESTRICT the fireplace. Shut hatches
and lower the air supply towards the fire. Turn off power to the electrical systems
and close off fuel lines and ventilation. If fire occurs in the dock, move passengers
and portable fuel tanks ashore.
EXTINGUISH the fireplace.