Tragedy on my Boatlift Last Saturday
REPORTSREGIONSFORECASTPHOTOSBOATINGHOW-TOSPORTFISHGEARVIDEOSSTORE
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
  1. #1
    Senior Member BarryNicholls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bonita Springs
    Posts
    27

    Tragedy on my Boatlift Last Saturday

    Here is the entire story of what happened to my wonderful boat last Saturday. My magic fishing machine, the Bayou Belle, is no more. Out of tragedy will come a blessing although I don't know what yet.
    Boat Fire
    12-9-17
    I awoke to a banging on the side door of my house. Surprising, as who knocks at 7:30 on a Saturday morning? And who doesn’t knock on the front door?
    I got up and started to put on my shorts. The knocking came again, more urgent. I called out “I’m coming” while stifling my urge to get testy about it. Then I heard a shouted: “Barry! Hurry up!”
    Uh oh! That doesn’t sound good. I hurried to the door, and as I opened it, I could see light in the semi gloom coming from the back of the house. There is only one thing that makes light of that color – FIRE! Could the neighbor’s house be on fire, across the canal? I rushed out and around to the back of the house.
    There was the source of the eerie flickering light – my boat! Engulfed in flames! Oh no! What could I do to save it? I already knew the answer – nothing. Fiberglass loves to burn and it was already burning from stem to stern.

    I ran inside and awoke my son, visiting for a week from Arizona. He heard the urgency in my voice and wasted no time in getting outside. I asked him to call 9-1-1 while I snapped a couple of pictures and grabbed the garden hose.
    I was concerned that the half full gas tank would ignite and perhaps endanger the whole house.
    Andy reported to me that 9-1-1 said not to try to fight the fire.
    The wind was blowing from left to right, or from bow to stern of my 19’ Key West: the Bayou Belle, so I started hosing the flames nearest the bow in keeping with the axiom: always aim for the base of the flames.
    Andy repeated that they said don’t try to fight the fire. I replied: “Yes, I heard you”, but continued to ignore the instructions, lol!
    I’m sure the instructions were because of the danger of a gasoline explosion. I’ve played with explosives a lot in my previous ill spent youth, and I know that an explosion requires confinement. The plastic gas tank on a boat will melt and give way before the gasoline ignites. The result would be a whooshing of fire, not an actual explosion. I could rush away from that if it happened. Besides, the gasoline filling port had already burned and there had been no explosion. But meanwhile, the whole point of using the hose was to prevent the fire from reaching the gas tank.
    I was making good progress putting the fire out. Keeping a wary eye out for in case the gasoline started whooshing up, I was working from up wind to downwind. The console didn’t want to go out though. It was shielding the fire within (right over the gas tank!) and it was also electrical at that point. Four batteries shorting out were keeping it lit in spite of the water I was shooting in.
    Andy solved that by bringing the ABC fire extinguisher from the house. It was great for electrical fires and promptly stopped the console part of the fire, although it kept trying to restart.
    Meanwhile I got the various flames to go away, including the ones trying to destroy the boat lift itself.
    Just then the fire department showed up. In mere minutes of being called! They put the high pressure hose to work. It blew pieces right off of the boat, and the cover off of the outboard! The last bits of fire didn’t stand a chance.
    They eventually used a chainsaw to cut out a piece of the port side gunwale to get at the melted and smoldering batteries. One firefighter boarded the charred shell, cut the cables and physically removed each of the four batteries. Now the fire was completely conquered and would not restart.
    Then Andy and I took chairs outside the back door and relaxed while observing how the firemen finished up. Andy had hot soup (it was COLD out) and I had a big cup of hot coffee. I gave him a hard time about not remembering to bring marshmallows – heh!
    You know how sometimes you ask yourself: “I wonder if I should get a new boat?” Well, question answered! Lol!
    It’s all adventure. Somehow this will turn out to be a blessing. I don’t know how, but I know it will. It always has, and always will.
    Meanwhile, who do you know that can say they put out a major fire before breakfast?!IMG_5037 (2).jpg
    Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. - BN
    The most important requirement for a good is fishing trip is to come back! - BN
    The worst things that happen to us give us the best stories - that's adventure! - BN

  2. #2
    Senior Member tag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Near the salt
    Posts
    8,650
    Oh crap! That hurts!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    6,172
    Wow!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Groveland
    Posts
    6,413
    any idea what caused it?
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cape Coral Fl
    Posts
    2,404
    WOW it was a gift that you were not on the boat in the water. Take care Barry.
    larrywitt

  6. #6
    Senior Member 1outlaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Naples FL
    Posts
    478
    Wow!Glad no one was injured!
    Jason

  7. #7
    Senior Member LiveLine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wakulla County, Florida
    Posts
    1,433
    Sorry to see that Barry.....

  8. #8
    Senior Member BarryNicholls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bonita Springs
    Posts
    27
    Probably the battery charger
    Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. - BN
    The most important requirement for a good is fishing trip is to come back! - BN
    The worst things that happen to us give us the best stories - that's adventure! - BN

  9. #9
    Senior Member BarryNicholls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bonita Springs
    Posts
    27
    Thanks, but then I could have put it out when it started instead of when it was full blown.
    Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. - BN
    The most important requirement for a good is fishing trip is to come back! - BN
    The worst things that happen to us give us the best stories - that's adventure! - BN

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rollin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kechi,Ks
    Posts
    1,510
    Oh that hurts, sorry.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •