So this happened (I videoed this) Denny and I were in Ensenada working on Sea Bella in January when a boat 3 down from us caught fire. Denny accually was looking in the back transom of the boat and alerted the guy welding on the bottom to the fire.
Fuego!!!! Screamed the Mexicans in the yard and they all came running with fire extinguishers in hand. I watched at least 13 extinguishers get dumped on this fire and they couldn’t get it out.
Wow..what an impression this left on me.
First, there were tons of mistakes made. Welding without a fire watch, No water on site, combustibles near the welding work……
But, what made the biggest impression on me was how fast this happened, how the fire fighter couldn’t get to the source (the bilge) and how the extinguishers couldn’t get the fire out.
Second, we are in Mexico! Who has insurance? Who is required to have insurance. The yard? The owner of that boat who is welding on his own bottom? Crap! I need to rethink my liability plan. We were lucky this boat was steel and the boat house next to it was steel as well. This could have been a lot worse.
I now look at my own boat and think about prevention, access and if we have adequate fire extinguishers. Water cannot be counted on as a resource/weapon when underway or at anchor. Dry power extinguishers make huge messes and are not that effective unless you can see through the smoke and hit the source of the fire.
Currently we are evaluating Sea Bellas systems and extinguishers. All ours were out of date and were expired when we purchased the boat. One was over 25 years old!!!! Needless to say, this is on the top of my “todo list”.
To be continued….