Lake St. Clair Fishing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

September 2, 2009


Boater in serious but stable condition
IRA TWP. - A 61-year-old township man is in serious but stable condition after his boat exploded this morning, said Ira Township Fire Chief Mike Holt.

Holt said Richard Wilkinson was transported to Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center and may have been moved to Detroit Receiving Hospital.

Diane Kish, Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center spokeswoman, said Wilkinson was transferred to another hospital.

Wilkinson's boat exploded about 10 a.m. near the Citgo Express fueling dock at 8751 Dixie Highway.

St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon said Wilkinson told police he had just finished fueling his 1987 42-foot Wellcraft and was pulling from the dock on to Anchor Bay when the watercraft started malfunctioning. The boat then exploded.

Donnellon said Wilkinson appears to have been following proper procedures for fueling the boat, and the explosion is believed to have been caused by mechanical failure.

Holt said the boat's automated extinguishing system put out about 90% of the fire upon their arrival.

He said it was difficult to tell where the explosion started because "it just blew everything apart."

He said the explosion resulted in a minor gas spill. Firefighters were at the scene until about 12:30 p.m.

The sheriff department's road patrol and marine division responded to the scene along with the Michigan State Police and the Ira Township, Clay Township and New Baltimore fire departments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
from UNREEL across the pond:

A friend of mine was gassing up right behind him, stern to stern. The guy topped off, hit the blower and started the boat.

Black smoke shot out of his exhaust instanly, so he shut her down. The girl on the gas dock pulled him ahead so he would be out of the way. Never taking his eyes off this, my buddy continued to pump gas. About a minute later, he watched the the boat explode. The top blew about 5 ft into the air and disintegrated. The windshield blew apart and the cooler was thrown into the canal. The guy, sitting at the helm, was shot into the air about 3 ft and landed back in his chair. 15' of flame rose from the boat, where as stated the onboard extinguishers put them out. He was taken by ambulance, luckily nobody else was hurt or other property was damaged. Thank you to Ira Twp FD for getting the gas dock up and running in such good time. There was no wait at 1pm, was in and out. Right now, there is about a 1 1/2 to 2hr wait, like there ususally is...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,047 Posts
QUOTE(Jazzy @ Sep 2 2009, 09:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thank you to Ira Twp FD for getting the gas dock up and running in such good time.

Right now, there is about a 1 1/2 to 2hr wait, like there ususally is... [/i]
on both sentences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,073 Posts
QUOTE(Jazzy @ Sep 2 2009, 09:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>from UNREEL across the pond:

A friend of mine was gassing up right behind him, stern to stern. The guy topped off, hit the blower and started the boat.

Call me Mr. Cautious, but I turn the blowers on before I start the engines in my well and leave them on during fueling and till I'm on plane (or tying up because I forgot to turn them off).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,427 Posts
QUOTE(Stodge @ Sep 3 2009, 08:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(Jazzy @ Sep 2 2009, 09:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>from UNREEL across the pond:

A friend of mine was gassing up right behind him, stern to stern. The guy topped off, hit the blower and started the boat.

Call me Mr. Cautious, but I turn the blowers on before I start the engines in my well and leave them on during fueling and till I'm on plane (or tying up because I forgot to turn them off).


I thought you shut the blower(s) off during fueling so you don't suck fumes into the bilge? Or am I mis-remembering?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,047 Posts
http://www.boat-ed.com/mi/handbook/engequip.htm#vent

It's the Law: Required Equipment
Ventilation Systems

The purpose of ventilation systems is to avoid explosions by removing flammable gases. Properly installed ventilation systems greatly reduce the chance of a life-threatening explosion.

* All gasoline-powered vessels, constructed in a way that would entrap fumes, must have at least two ventilation ducts fitted with cowls to remove the fumes.
* If your vessel is equipped with a power ventilation system, turn it on for at least four minutes in either of these situations:
o After fueling
o Before starting the engine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,235 Posts
QUOTE(Stodge @ Sep 3 2009, 08:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(Jazzy @ Sep 2 2009, 09:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>from UNREEL across the pond:

A friend of mine was gassing up right behind him, stern to stern. The guy topped off, hit the blower and started the boat.

Call me Mr. Cautious, but I turn the blowers on before I start the engines in my well and leave them on during fueling and till I'm on plane (or tying up because I forgot to turn them off).


I'm glad you brought this up. I was told at by the gas attendant at Balfours that I should never have my blowers on while putting gas in the tank. I always thought different. Anyone know what the correct procedures are?

edit: got my answer, 2 posts during the time it took me to type my question!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,437 Posts
Close the companionway door (gas fumes are heavier than "air" and sink), get everyone but the driver off the boat, turn off the blower. Fuel up. Turn on blower, check around for fumes and start the engines. I don't raise the engine hatch, but the blower does a pretty good job ventilating the compartment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
QUOTE(Stodge @ Sep 3 2009, 08:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Call me Mr. Cautious, but I turn the blowers on before I start the engines in my well and leave them on during fueling and till I'm on plane (or tying up because I forgot to turn them off).
I thought the blower is supposed to be off while fueling. I didn't think annything was supposed to be on or running during fueling.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
14,664 Posts
QUOTE(blorincz @ Sep 3 2009, 10:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(Stodge @ Sep 3 2009, 08:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Call me Mr. Cautious, but I turn the blowers on before I start the engines in my well and leave them on during fueling and till I'm on plane (or tying up because I forgot to turn them off).
I thought the blower is supposed to be off while fueling. I didn't think annything was supposed to be on or running during fueling.


My blower is shut off while refueling and then turned on after I am done putting the fuel in the boat. I also close my cabin doors when refueling...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,183 Posts
QUOTE(blorincz @ Sep 3 2009, 10:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE(Stodge @ Sep 3 2009, 08:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Call me Mr. Cautious, but I turn the blowers on before I start the engines in my well and leave them on during fueling and till I'm on plane (or tying up because I forgot to turn them off).
I thought the blower is supposed to be off while fueling. I didn't think annything was supposed to be on or running during fueling.


Yes, they should be off. I don't shut off all electronics, but do close up the companionway (although i did that once then realized I had all the windows open anyways!)

"If your vessel is equipped with a power ventilation system, turn it on for at least four minutes... "

I think the at least FOUR MINUTES needs to be highlighted more... I have seen folks just turn the blower on, then start the engine. You have to give the blowers a few minutes to do their job before migrating to the next step. From the description of THIS incident, I'm wondering if that was an issue. (although the reason for having fumes in there to begin with would be another issue!!.

How many folks run with fume detectors?? I'm surprised THEY are not mandatory equipment on many boats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
We have an older boat compared to most (83 Sea Ray), and we have fume detectors and run with them on. They also run when we are anchored with the genny running. Had one time when they went off, when we weren't running the boat or the genny - it was the boat we were tied up to that was running their genny, and our fume detectors picked it up. (actually kind of surprised at this).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,638 Posts
I have the duct on one of my blowers running right next to my starter, so hopefully any fumes in that area are evacuated first.

Also, I generally raise the hatch and do the sniff test before I fire it up anyway. Then I leave it open to check for leaks and whatnot. But my hatch is power operated and easy to open, and I usually fuel on the trailer anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
QUOTE(sleeper @ Sep 3 2009, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have the duct on one of my blowers running right next to my starter, so hopefully any fumes in that area are evacuated first.

Also, I generally raise the hatch and do the sniff test before I fire it up anyway. Then I leave it open to check for leaks and whatnot. But my hatch is power operated and easy to open, and I usually fuel on the trailer anyway.
I was at the scene when the boat blew up...took alot of pic's too!
He did run the blower for several minutes as required. When he started one motor the exhaust was bellowing black smoke which indicates the carbs were flooding into the motor.He then shut the motor off, blower still running. Then the boat exploded. If you saw all the debris in the water, you would rethink having anyone on board when re-fueling!

I was taught at boating safety class before fueling
1: close all doors,hatches,and windows
2:turn off all electrical circuits
3: everyone off the boat (except person fueling)
4:run blower for 5 minutes after fueling
5:if possible sniff air exiting blower vent for fumes
6: allow passengers to enter boat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,437 Posts
**Not placing blame anywhere, just trying to understand the situation and not repeat it**

So, if he ran the blower for the proper time afterward AND shut down the engine belching the black smoke, why did the boat explode? Would turning off EVERY thing electrical (blower included) when turning off the engine have helped?
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top