In a tragic turn of events, a man and his young son in Naples, Fla., were severely burned when it appears that a wet/dry vacuum was used to clean up spilled gasoline on a 28- to 30-foot docked boat, the Naples Daily News reported over the weekend. Fire officials say the vacuum may have caused a spark that lit the boat up and injured the 59-year-old man and his 11-year-old son.
With the 4th of July holiday this week, here are a few fueling reminders for those of you planning on heading out into the water (from BoaterExam.com):
- Gasoline spills and vapors are the causes of many marine fires, and can easily accumulate in the bilge.
- When stopping at the fueling station, be sure to dock securely, turn off the engine and ask all passengers to exit the boat.
- Remove any portable gas tanks.
- Turn off all electrical equipment and do not smoke.
- Close doors, windows and hatches before fueling.
- Place the nozzle completely inside tank opening when fueling.
- Never fully fill your gas tank, so the gas has room to expand and you'll avoid gasoline sloshing out of the tank.
- Make sure all valves and vents on the gas tank are open.
- When you're done fueling, be sure to tighten the cap back on the tank to limit vapors.
- Immediately wipe up any gasoline spills with a rag.
- If you can smell gas fumes and you have an inboard engine, turn the blower on for four minutes to get rid of the fumes before you start the engine.
- If you fill portable tanks, keep them in a well-ventilated area away from the engine and anything electrical.
- Keep the bilge free of trash to avoid the risk of fire.
From all of us at POP Yachts, we hope you have a fun, safe and happy 4th of July!