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    What To Do If A Fire Breaks Out In The Front Of Your Boat

    What to Do if a Fire Breaks Out in the Front of Your Boat

    What to Do if a Fire Breaks Out in the Front of Your Boat


    Fire is probably the worst thing that could happen to you while on the water. Unfortunately, you cannot reduce the risk of fire to 0%, so you have to be prepared to tackle fires at all times.

    In This Article hide

    What Should You Do Immediately if a Boat Catches Fire?

    1. Cut Off the Engines and Fuel Supply

    2. Shut Off Any Gas Cylinders

    3. Turn the Boat so that Wind Blows from the Back

    4. Send a Distress Signal

    5. Engage Your Fixed Fire Suppression Systems

    6. Gather Your Passengers and Deploy Your Life Raft

    7. Cut the Oxygen Supply to the Fire

    8. Use Your Fire Extinguishers

    What are the Most Common Causes of Boat Fires?

    How to Prevent and Prepare for Fire on Boats

    1. Make Sure that You have Operating Fire Extinguishers

    2. Ensure Proper Placement for Your Fire Extinguishers

    3. Install a Fixed Fire Suppression System in High-risk Areas

    4. Install Smoke Alarms

    5. Follow Fuel and Power Safety Procedures

    6. Perform Fire Drills and Safety Briefs Before the Journey

    What to Do if a Fire Breaks Out in the Front of Your Boat – Conclusion

    However, you can only do so much. Since no one is safeguarded from accidents, today, we would like to talk about what to do if a fire breaks out in the front of your boat. Generally, here’s what to do if your boat caught on fire:

    Turn off your engines, fuel supply, and gas cylinders.

    Turn your boat so that the wind blows the fire away from unaffected areas.

    Send a distress signal.

    Turn on your fire suppression systems.

    Gather your passengers and prepare them for evacuation.

    Try to choke indoor fires.

    Deal with the remaining fire with a fire extinguisher.

    If nothing works, leave the boat.

    Now, we’d like to have a more detailed look at each of these steps to hopefully help you get prepared for situations involving fires on boats.

    What Should You Do Immediately if a Boat Catches Fire?

    In this section, we’ll outline what you should immediately do if your boat catches fire. These steps apply no matter where the fire originates. Most likely, you will not even be able to identify where a fire has started, so you should just do everything you can to prevent the spread of the fire and stop it.

    1. Cut Off the Engines and Fuel Supply

    Ship control panel with steering wheel

    All sorts of things could go wrong if you keep your engines running. Your engine could overheat, exacerbating the fire, or more fuel could ignite as it flows into the motor. To prevent any complications, you should first switch off your motor.

    Aside from shutting the engine off, you should also cut off its fuel supply. All boats allow you to switch the fuel supply to the engine off. If your fuel supply is stopped, no fuel will leak out if your fuel lines get damaged.

    2. Shut Off Any Gas Cylinders

    If you have any gas cylinders on the boat, then turn them off as well. Again, the purpose of this step is to make sure that no gas leaks occur even if your gas lines get compromised.

    3. Turn the Boat so that Wind Blows from the Back

    Next, turn your boat so that the wind comes from the vessel’s stern. If the fire is in the front of the boat, the wind blowing from the stern should help you prevent it from spreading to other parts of the boat.

    This tip could also be useful if a fire has occurred at any other side of the boat. For example, if the fire is on the starboard side, then you should turn the boat so that the wind is blowing from the port.

    Wind by itself is unlikely to extinguish your flames. However, it can help you tremendously with keeping other areas on your boat as unaffected as possible.

    4. Send a Distress Signal

    Next, send a distress signal. This will notify any boats in your vicinity that your vessel is in distress. You could also select the VHF channel 16 (156.8 MHz) or Channel 9 on CB to send a distress message to the nearest USCG or state authority.

    Alternatively, if you have a cell phone signal, you may call emergency services directly. Once you get in touch with emergency services or the Coast Guard, let them know the following:

    Your location.

    Type and size of the boat.

    Boat name.

    A number of passengers.

    BoatUS has a huge guide detailing distress signaling methods. We strongly recommend that you check it out since it contains some crucial and very helpful information.

    If You are Docked in a Marina, Call 911 and Let Professionals Deal with the Fire

    If your vessel is docked in a marina, then you should probably call 911 and let firefighters extinguish your fire. You may not be able to tackle the fire yourself due to two reasons:

    911 Firetruck

    You have inadequate fire safety equipment. You may not have adequate fire equipment on board. Your fire extinguishers may be limited in numbers, or you may not be able to access them. In the heat of the moment (no pun intended), you may be unable to effectively use your equipment as well.

    Source : www.desperatesailors.com

    If a Fire Erupts on Your Boat

    If a Fire Erupts on Your Boat

    If fire erupts on your boat:

    Stop the boat if you are underway. Have everyone who is not wearing a PFD put one on in case you must abandon the boat.

    Position the boat so that the fire is downwind.

    If the fire is at the back of the boat, head into the wind. If the engine must be shut off, use a paddle to keep the bow into the wind.

    If the fire is at the front of the boat, put the stern into the wind.

    If the fire is in an engine space, shut off the fuel supply.

    Aim the fire extinguisher at the base of the flames, and sweep back and forth.

    Never use water on a gasoline, oil, grease, or electrical fire.

    Summon help with your VHF marine radio.

    Source : www.boat-ed.com

    What To Do If Fire Breaks Out in the Front Of Your Boat

    What to do if a fire breaks out in the front of your boat? This article provides a step by step guide on how to handle the emergency.

    What To Do If Fire Breaks Out in the Front Of Your Boat

    You have had a lovely evening watching the Northern Lights. You are on a scientific expedition to the Arctic, and nighttime has the added advantage of a free “disco lights show”.

    The time comes when you must rest and wake up early and continue with your journey. You and your team retire to sleep,switching off the main boat engines and the small auxiliary boiler to provide heating on board the boat.

    You snuggle in and fall asleep as you watch the lights display through the open port window.

    Suddenly you are jerked awake by the fire alarm and the rest of your team running up and down the boat. There is a fire coming from the front side of the boat. They seem unsure of what to do in such a situation.

    Table of contents

    What to do if fire breaks out on the front of your boat

    The environmental protection measures if a fire breaks out

    General fire safety tips to ensure a safe journey

    First things first, you should hopefully have boating insurance which should cover you in an unfortunate event of fire onboard.

    What should you do immediately if a boat motor catches fire? We all want a safe and fun boating experience so it's always best to take steps to prevent any emergencies happening

    Before even starting, make sure you have a proper unused fire extinguisher. It's always better to be safe than sorry. If you haven't got one, you can find lot's on Amazon.

    The steps to take when fire starts at the front of the boat

    1.      Switch off the engines

    Most boat fires become worse if the engine is still running. The fuel coursing to the engine can easily catch fire and an explosion may occur.

    2.     Turn off the fuel supply

    All boats come with a safety mechanism that enables you to switch of the fuel supply to the engine. This is to ensure that fuel does not spill out in case the fuel lines have been compromised by the fire. Leaking fuel can cause the fuel to reach the tank and explode.

    3.      Turn off gas cylinders

    If there are gas cylinders on the boat, turn off the nozzles to make sure that there are no gas leakages should the fire compromise the gas lines. Although the cylinders are at a risk of exploding due to the heat of the fire, turning off the nozzles reduces the risk.

    4.      Turn the boat into the wind

    Turn the boat such that the wind is coming from the stern. This helps in slowing down the spread of the flames from the front. The wind will blow towards the front,thereby keeping the flames in that area. If you turn the boat into the wind,when the fire started at the front, then the flames will spread faster from the front towards the stern due to the wind.

    5.      Beware of smoke

    Smoke from a fire carries harmful substances. If fire breaks out in front of the boat, you should make sure that you run away from the smoke. Carbon Monoxide can easily become fatal, or cause incapacitation allowing the fire to overwhelm the victim.

    6.      Radio for help

    It is always best to have a portable radio handy for such emergencies. Use it to radio for help, incase there are other boats or ships that can come to your rescue

    7.      Muster the passengers to a safe area

    if you have passengers who do not have sailing experience, you should muster them into a safe area where they can all be accounted for. While you are gathering them, make sure they put on their life jackets, in case you have to abandon the boat before the fire is extinguished.

    8.      Use the marine fire extinguisher

    Get the extinguisher and put out the flames that you can manage. The best marine extinguishers are the foam and carbon dioxide extinguishers. Never try to use water when the fire is caused by leaking fuel or grease from the galley. The oily materials simply float on the water which sweeps them faster across the surface causing the fire to spread quickly.

    9.      Use the fire extinguisher effectively – Always remember the PASS method:

    a)     P – Pull the PIN.

    b)     AAIM at the base of the fire.

    c)      SSQUEEZE the handle of the fire extinguisher.

    d)     SSWEEP the fire by swinging the extinguisher from left to right in a sweeping motion.

    10.  Deploy the life raft

    Source : www.deepsailing.com

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