Summer for most people means being in the outdoors. Activities like camping and boating are common summer activities. Most of these activities have some hazards associated with them like campfire safety, dealing with bugs and sun, and travel to and fro. But, the risks of boating are seldom discussed or fully understood. In reality, fire and explosions cause the majority of the most serious damage to boats and marine craft, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
In most cases, the fuel is the culprit. Poorly ventilated areas, failure of mechanics or spills can result in serious hazards, damage to property, and personal injuries. The flammability and evaporation of gasoline, especially when the temperature is higher, create a perfect storm of hazards for boating enthusiasts in the summer. Most boat engines have a mechanism in place to ventilate and prevent gas fumes from building up and igniting. However, these mechanisms can also fail.
It is still unclear in many cases why boat engines blow up, but it does happen. A serious boating accident just featured in the Washington Post reported 8 people suffered burn injuries which required hospitalization following a boat engine explosion in Maryland. Right after fueling the boat, it stalled. The operator was trying to restart the boat when it exploded resulting in 3 children being transported to a burn unit, with 5 other kids and adults transported to local area hospitals.
These cases of boat engine explosions are more common than most people know. There are important tips that boaters can follow to prevent accidents like ensuring there is adequate ventilation when fueling, following appropriate protocol when fueling occurs, regular maintenance and inspection, avoiding flammable materials, and having fire extinguishers on board.
However, even the most experienced boaters can have accidents. If you or someone you love have been the victims of a boating accident due to faulty equipment or fire, the experienced attorneys at the Solberg Stewart Miller law firm in Fargo, ND can help. We are leaders in litigation regarding personal injury and product liability accidents.