An unidentified man in Everett, WA was severely injured recently while working on his 19’ sportboat. The boat was on a trailer in his driveway when fuel vapors exploded. “Fuel vapors ignited when the man tried to start the engine,” said Gary Bontrager, a fire investigator with the Snohomish County Fire Marshal's Office. Crews rushed the man to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, and he was later taken to the Seattle trauma center.
|The sailboat “Tranquility” where the explosion occurred.|
Just to prove that powerboaters aren’t the only careless people blowing themselves
up on dry land - a man working on his sailboat at the Northside Marina in Dennis,
MA in May was severely burned from an explosion in his boat. Indications are that
an electrical spark ignited gasoline vapors in the cockpit of his dry-docked sailboat
The resulting explosion caused first and second degree burns. Dennis Fire/Rescue responded to the scene and immediately called for MedFlight. The victim, 39-year old Matthew Name of Provincetown, was transported by Dennis ambulance to Barnstable Municipal Airport where he was transferred to the helicopter which flew him to Massachusetts General Hospital.
|The boater had safely removed his gas tank but not the gas vapors.|
The Boss Says…
Bruce Springsteen said you know you can’t start a fire without a spark. Guess what you create when you add electricity to your starter by turning that key??? Go on, guess. Yes, a spark!
Years ago the boating industry decided there was a need for evacuating those pesky vapors BEFORE starting the engine, and voila… the blower was born. It has big fat hoses that start down at the bottom of your bilge, run through the blower fan, and exit out the back of your boat, sending fumes on their way. All a boat owner has to do is flip the switch and wait four minutes.
Man off a trimanran which exploded in
Malta after refueling in May 2008.
|Picture of boat blown in half in 1965 in Michigan.|
We’ve all seen people in a hurry when starting their boat, even after fueling. We
would like to hear from our readers who have observations and stories to tell…comments