A Course for Safe Boating
Accident Prevention and Rescue
An unexpected fire can burn a vessel down to the waterline if the boat
operator and passengers are not prepared for this type of emergency.
Use safe fueling procedures as described in chapter three.
Check fuel lines and connections for leaks. Make any repairs before
Clear gasoline vapors from the bilge by using the power blower for at least
Stop the boat and have all passengers put on a life jacket. Everyone on
board should move away from the fire area.
Keep the fire downwind.
If the fire is in the stern, turn the bow of the boat into the wind.
If the fire is near the bow, turn the stern of the boat into the wind.
If the engine catches fire, turn off the engine and turn the bow of the
boat into the wind.
Use a paddle to keep the boat turned with the fire downwind.
Shut off all fuel supplies and sources of electrical power.
Get your fire extinguisher and aim it at the base of the fire, sweeping back
and forth. (Remember PASS) Repeat if the fire flares up again.
Do not use water on a flammable liquid or electrical fire.
Call for help using your VHF radio or cell phone.
The vessel operator had just finished fueling and attempted to start the engine.
Suddenly there was an explosion that started an engine fire. The fire spread
and completely destroyed the vessel.
1. Identify the mistakes that the operator made and the proper actions that
could have been taken.
2. What could this operator have done differently to prevent this accident?
3. What steps could you take to rescue the victims and/or make the
REFER TO CHAPTERS 2–3
PAGES 23–24, 61–62