[Stock Photo]

One swims to safety after boat fire in Newcastle

Clarington Fire Chief Gord Weir yesterday reminded residents of the importance of fire prevention after a small boat caught fire in the Port of Newcastle on Sunday evening.

“Before you leave the dock, complete a thorough safety check of your boat and its equipment,” said Chief Gord Weir. “If your vessel has a cabin, ensure the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is working and that the fire extinguisher is fully charged. Open vents to keep the motor area well ventilated. Flammable vapours are heavier than air and can accumulate in the lower part of your boat,” added Chief Weir.

Fire crews responded to the fire at 8:46 pm with five vehicles, including a tanker, two pumpers and Clarington’s Zodiac boat. One person was aboard the vessel at the time of the fire and was able to safely swim to shore. Approximately 15 firefighters from two fire stations responded to the scene. No one was injured, said a media statement.

Boat safely and help prevent fires by following these safety tips:

  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and ensure they have working batteries.
  • Ensure a fully-charged Class BC fire extinguisher is on board and that it’s easily accessible. Boats six metres or less in length require a five-pound extinguisher. Boats over six metres require a 10-pound extinguisher.
  • Keep the motor area and battery compartment well ventilated; turn vent motors on three to five minutes before starting the engine.
  • Check that all required safety equipment is on board. Depending on the size of your vessel, this might include a bailer or hand pump, waterproof flashlight or flares, and a sound-signalling device.
  • Make sure a personal floatation device is available for every person on board.
  • Never operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.

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