National Boat Safety Week is aimed at ensuring boat owners, crews and passengers check that their boat is safe from fire. There are nearly 100 boats destroyed by fire each year and on average three people will die. Fires in boats at sea can be impossible to reach and not only result in the destruction of the vessel but the possible loss of life. Devon and Somerset Maritime School posed the question of how many owners and crew are qualified to carry out such an assessment?
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has recently launched its own Training Academy which has a Maritime School based at Camels Head in Plymouth that specialises in training masters, crews and boat owners in firefighting.
The courses start with basic one day boat masters courses designed for day crews, pleasure boat owners, dive boats and fishermen, all the way to STCW95 basic and advanced courses for the professional mariner.
Most mariners will pay great attention to detail when going to sea, checking seaworthiness, navigation and signalling systems, and life preservation if forced to abandon ship.
Another question could be asked as to the number of mariners and owners that are trained in elementary firefighting? Training may mean preventing a fire starting or even the complete loss of the vessel perhaps including the lives of crew and passengers.
It is not only boats at sea, fires on vessels on inland waterways often happen in remote locations with difficult access for fire appliances often resulting in the destruction of the vessel and everything on board.
Posted: 10.45am, 02.06.11