Boat Catches Fire at Marina in Wayne County, New York

by | May 24, 2024 | Maritime Law, Personal Injury

There was a boating accident in Wayne County, New York on May 23, 2024.  According to reports, a boat caught fire at the Oak Park Marina.  The boat’s owner sustained severe burn injuries as a result.  At the time, he was reportedly cleaning the boat when it burst into flames.  A prior fuel leak may have contributed to the incident.  Additional details have not yet been released.

Small boat fires pose a significant threat to both the vessel and its occupants, with fuel leaks being one of the most common and dangerous causes. Fuel leaks can occur for various reasons, such as damaged fuel lines, loose connections, or punctured fuel tanks. Even a small amount of leaking fuel can create a highly flammable environment, particularly in the confined spaces of a small boat. The volatility of gasoline and other marine fuels means that vapors can ignite easily, potentially leading to a catastrophic fire or explosion. Regular inspection and maintenance of fuel systems are crucial to identifying and addressing leaks before they can cause severe damage.

The presence of fuel vapors is particularly hazardous because they can accumulate in bilges and other low-lying areas of the boat, where they may not be immediately noticeable. These vapors are heavier than air and can spread quickly, creating a widespread fire risk. Any spark or open flame, such as from an electrical switch, engine ignition, or even static electricity, can ignite these vapors. Ensuring that bilge areas are well-ventilated and free of accumulated vapors is essential. Installing and maintaining a bilge blower system to expel harmful fumes before starting the engine can significantly reduce the risk of ignition.

Proper handling and storage of fuel are also critical in preventing leaks and subsequent fires. Boaters should always use approved containers for storing fuel and ensure that fuel caps and seals are secure to prevent spillage. During refueling, care should be taken to avoid spills, and any fuel that does spill should be cleaned up immediately. It’s also important to refuel in well-ventilated areas away from open flames or electrical equipment. Additionally, educating all passengers about the dangers of fuel leaks and the importance of safety protocols can help prevent accidents. By following these precautions, the risk of small boat fires caused by fuel leaks can be substantially mitigated, ensuring a safer boating experience for all.

There have been a number of recent incidents involving vessels.  Two people were injured when their boat ran aground on Lake Sam Rayburn in Texas on May 17, 2024.  A small boat struck a sandbar in Corpus Christi, Texas on May 20, 2024.  There was a crane fire at the Gloucester City Terminal on the Delaware River on May 21, 2024.  An 11-year-old boy was struck by a boat’s propeller in Rowan County, North Carolina on May 19, 2024.

Our experienced lawyers handle maritime personal injury and wrongful death litigation of all kinds and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured as a result of a maritime accident. The lawyers of Spagnoletti Law Firm have handled maritime lawsuits throughout the country.

The experienced and aggressive vessel accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident on a ship. There are strict and short time limits on making claims related to maritime injuries, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your rights.