The Marine Firefighting Institute

Photos of the Month

Boat Fire at the Fuel Dock

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Marine Firefighting Inc. delivered our full day "Small Boat and Marina Fire" seminar to to the Hilton Head Fire Rescue in South Carolina.

It took less than one year for the safety information given out at that seminar to come in very handy.

HILTON HEAD, S.C. - One person was hospitalized and another suffered minor injuries following an explosion on a vessel after the owner finished fueling his boat and started his engine at the Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort and Marina at about 2 p.m. One bystander was hospitalized, and the vessel's owner suffered minor injuries.



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Hilton Head Fire Rescue's training chief John W. Thompson, Jr, who had the forsight to have requested our seminar last year, wrote to us to describe what took place..

"Mr. Guldner, It was quite the scene out there. Apparently a good samaritan towed the boat out into the ICW then let it go. It actually started to drift back toward the marina with the current.

In our seminar we usually recomend removing the exposures rather than the boat on fire. In this case the exposure was the fuel dock and the decision was made to release the boat on fire prior to the arival of the Fire Department. This may have been felt to be the only choice at the time but the boat drifted back into the marina anyway.

One of our first officer's on scene was in your class and used some of the techniques you taught us. The guys secured the power and fuel prior to entering the marina area.....

Our seminar discussed how to go about shutting these services. In fact, Chief Thompson had supplied photos of some of his marinas. We were able to use the actual shut-off in our training that the Hilton Head Firefighters would have to use during a fire in their marina. Additionally, during the afternoon marina walk-through of their marina we were able to point out these same shut-offs.

and used streams from protected positions to protect the marina and other boats. The fire boat (boat on fire)had burned loose and was adrift. I'm very glad you came down and our guys listened to what you had to say in the class. We had a potentially deadly situation and they placed safety first. Respectfully, John

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Safety is always stressed during our seminars. Note the "Melted Shore Power Pedestal" in this photo on the right. There is an electrical supply cable under this dock to supply those pedestals. Do your members know where your marina's electric shutoffs are located and how to operate them? Our seminar goes into detail as to what areas must be covered in any marina pre-fire plan. We will then walk through your marina to point out hazards that should be included in your pre-fire plan.

There are many electrical hazards to contend with at a marine fire. Will the circuit breaker near your dock shut off all power or just the shore power outlets? Is there still power to the lighting? Is the extension cord pictured on the left still live? One safety message that is repeated many times during our seminar is, "If there is no life at risk, don't risk yours"

Click here to Email us for information about our "Small Boat and Marina Fire" seminar.












If you operate a marina or if you have a marina or a body of water in your fire district or mutual aid area, then you need this information. The seminar also covers boat fires away from land.

Please keep Marine Firefighting Inc. in mind when you plan your training schedules. Whether it's for our seminar on Small Boat and Marina Fires, or one of our many other seminars, we will deliver the information that will allow you to do your job while insuring the safety of your members and the public. Don't your Firefighters and marina staff deserve this information?

Remember, the Coast guard will not fight marine fires. It will be up to Municipal Fire Departments and marina employees.











Here are some comments about our seminar in Hudson Bend, Texas from their training officer, Captain Mike Del Castillo

"Thanks for putting on such an informative and entertaining seminar.

We had a turn-out for this class that far exceeded our expectations and everyone went away with greater awareness of the hazards faced when dealing with "small boat" (75 foot houseboat, small???!) and marina fires.

Thanks again Tom and I hope we can have you back soon!"

Capt Mike Del Castillo









Whether you have a Fireboat or not, is your Department ready to handle a large scale Marina Fire? Do your Firefighters know how to safely operate at a marina or small boat fire?

Contact Marine Firefighting Inc. today to set up your date for our seminar about "Small Boat and Marina Fires"

Thanks to the Hilton Head and Hudson Bend, FDs. Congratulations, brothers and sisters, for a job well done in stopping a marina fire in its tracks. And for doing that with no major injuries!

To have your Department featured here, contact us via email for directions on how to send us your marine fire photo files.

Be Safe!

Marine Firefighting Inc.