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Featured Stories on Boating and Boater Safety

Ocean racing’s A-Team is French

At its core, the Vendee remains a human adventure first and a sports event second. That is what is so compelling.The French are the major-leaguers of short-handed ocean racing, yet many U.S. sailors are unaware of the great French ocean races and racers.

I offer two comparisons:

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Enlivening classrooms

For 15 years, sitesALIVE! (www.sitesalive.com) has produced programs linking adventures and expeditions with K-12 classrooms to get students excited and engaged and to show them real people doing real things in the real world.

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Setting boats ablaze in the name of safety

Daniel K. Rutherford has spent 30 years as a certified marine investigator, looking into fires, explosions, sinkings, boat disappearances. His job is to determine the cause of boat casualties and he investigates about 150 claims a year.

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Understanding boat fires

Here is some insight from Daniel K. Rutherford's three decades as a marine investigator:
• Most fires, excluding arson, are fuel- or electrical-related — "If it's a fuel fire, we're probably dealing with a leak in a hose or fitting, maybe a tank," he says. "It's probably a single-source leak of some kind that results in gas vapor accumulation with some sort of an ignition spark."

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Use the right extinguisher

A fire on a boat is a serious matter. To extinguish it successfully, the fire must be relatively small, and you'll need to get to it quickly, which means having the appropriate fire extinguisher close at hand.

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