Exmouth firefighters back Boat Safety Week
PUBLISHED: 17:25 28 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:25 28 May 2013
Firefighters at Exmouth are taking part in Boat Safety Week by handing out safety advice leaflets and speaking to boat owners.
Boat owners are being urged to carry out vital safety checks by Exmouth firefighters as part of Boat Safety Week.
Advice leaflets will be handed out and firefighters will be speaking to boat owners to push home the message that safety checks can save lives.
The Boat Safety Scheme urges owners to keep their boats well maintained, to be aware of possible leaks, poor running engines and the strong smell of petrol.
The fire service said the number of fires on boats throughout coastal and inland waters was ‘relatively low’, but when a fire takes hold the consequences were ‘often devastating’.
Nigel Snowshall a watch manager at Exmouth fire station kick-started the scheme locally by speaking to Chris Wilton, harbourmaster at Exmouth Marina.
Crew manager Giles White, also from Exmouth, handed over a safety leaflet to Ian Stuart of Stuart Line Cruises Exmouth.
Mr Wilton said: “Exmouth Marina is delighted to support the Boat Safety campaign being run by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.
“Any scheme that encourages boat safety is very important, particularly in light of the recent tragic accident in Padstow.
Mr Wilton said vessels in the Marina must comply with the British Marine Federation rules and regulations, which promoted the use of carbon monoxide detectors, firefighting equipment, safety inspections and certificates.
Mr Stuart welcomed the fire service’s initiative. He said his vessels all complied with the strict rules and regulations imposed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Mr Stuart said: “I travel up and down the River Exe several times a day and I am often shocked to see boat owners filling up their fuel tanks on board whilst still smoking; an accident waiting to happen.
“People don’t realise that petroleum vapours are heavier than air and will sink down into the bilges of a boat.
“Many people have been killed by an explosion resulting from this carelessness.”
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