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Form our sponsor, Great Lakes Boating;
By Wayne Spivak
National Press Corps
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
Photo's courtesy of Ed Sweeny, National Press Corps

Every year, near every major recreational boating center, a shattering event will make the local and sometimes regional news. It's not the type of event that the Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary find satisfying, rewarding or invited.

In some respects, the only "good" which will come from this event is the inevitable object lesson. And as object lessons go, we'd rather not have this type of event from which to pull the example.

We're talking about a boat explosion folks. Every year, some mariner failed to follow proper fueling procedures, and their vessel explodes. We're talking a big B O O M !! In 2001, the Coast Guard reports 153 explosions, with 73 injuries and 2 fatalities. Property damage was estimated to be in excess of $3 million.

Please read the full article Here.

If you're not gonna do that, at least read these safety tips on fueling your vessel;

Whether you're using an outboard engine with a portable gas tank, or a 65' cabin cruiser, there are procedures that need to be followed to keep you, your guests, your vessel and those who are around your boat. The procedures are simple, definitely NOT time consuming, and quite frankly there are NO EXCUSES! Your life hangs in the balance!

Here are the basic procedures prior to you pumping your fuel:
1. Secure your vessel to the fuel dock.
2. Stop all engines.
3. Turn off your batteries.
4. Close all hatches.
5. Ask all your guests, crew and pets to leave the boat.
7. Have a fire extinguisher near-by.

While fueling, here are some more simple procedures:
1. Always keep the fuel nozzle in contact with the tank opening.
2. Don't spill any fuel.
3. Don't overfill the tanks
4. If you have a portable gas tank, remove it from the vessel and fill it up on the dock.

And finally, after you're done fueling, make sure you follow these procedures:
1. Make sure the gas tank cover is closed.
2. Wipe up any spilled fuel.
3. Open all hatches and ports.
4. Turn on your bilge blower and ventilate the vessel for at least FIVE minutes.
5. Use the best gas fume tester money can buy, your NOSE and sniff your bilge to see if there are any fumes.
6. Return your passengers, crew and pets to the vessel.
7. Leave the dock quickly, after safely casting off your lines.

If you have questions about any of the above tips, please go read the full article to get more detail.

Full Article Here
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