Monday, November 08, 2010

What a Weekend - Boat Fires, Capsizes and Rescues

boat capsizes off New Jersey
Rescue off Point Pleasant, NJ. U.S. Coast Guard photo
Boaters Keep Authorities Busy Across the Country

Despite the cold weather throughout much of the US (we got our first snowfall here in CT this a.m.), there were still enough boating incidents over the weekend to share some valuable boat safety lessons. Stories of boat fires and small boat capsizes popped up in Oregon, New Jersey, Ohio, and Florida. Luckily, there were few injuries reported due to heroic efforts by local police, fire and Coast Guard personnel, and in some cases, a lot of luck.

Fire Onboard
In Portland, Oregon, a boat fire that started with a propane leak on one boat, eventually spread to five boats, and set off a power outage across the neighborhood of the marina where the boats were docked. The burned boats included some liveaboards, and a couple of the boats were cut loose and set drifting (and flaming) towards a nearby yacht club, so it is very lucky there were no injuries. (Full story)  Avoid this by checking FirstBoat’s boat fire safety resources.

Four Men, Small Boat, Big Waves
Part 1. In New Jersey on Saturday, four men set out on a 17 foot skiff for some November fishing on a choppy day on the water. The good news is that these men had on life jackets and used a marine handheld radio to notify the Coast Guard of their location when they capsized a mile offshore from Point Pleasant, so they were quickly rescued. (See Photo, Full Story)

Part 2. Four men also had to be rescued after their 21 foot boat capsized in 4 to 8 foot swells on Lake Erie on Friday. Unlike the four men rescued in New Jersey, these guys used a cell phone and called 911, which should not be your first choice when you get into trouble on the water. Luckily, these guys were close enough to the Cedar Point breakwall to avoid going down with their boat. Full Story.

Former NFL quarterback Steve DeBerg swam to shore on Friday after his 16 foot Hobie cat capsized on Lake Keystone in Florida. Once authorities made sure Mr. DeBerg was safe and warm, and had enjoyed a cup of tea (joking; anyone familiar with DeBerg's career know he is one tough dude!), they sent a crew out to rescue the other 3 passengers, including DeBerg's wife, who had been treading water for 30 to 45 minutes (serious; not sure if there were life jackets involved). Full story

It’s not just US
Down under, it was small speedboat vs. big ferry on Sydney's Parramatta River injuring six people – all passengers of the speedboat. Witnesses and those commenting on the story seem to be jumping to the conclusion that the smaller boat was speeding and should have gotten out of the way of the larger, slower ferry.

Additional resources can be found on our boating safety pages, and comments are welcome on our blog:


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