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."
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.
While police and the Coast Guard try to determine why a Silverton 34 capsized on its way home from July Fourth fireworks on Long Island, drowning three children in the cabin, the accident has renewed calls for a New York law requiring adults to pass a safety course before operating a powerboat.
Editor’s note: The content for this story was taken directly from the March 7 order of Chief Judge David R. Martin of the U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, Ill. Italicized material is taken verbatim from the judge’s order. All witness testimony Martin quoted was given either in court or in depositions before the trial.
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