Boat fires are not a common occurrence. According to statistics compiled by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 1,840 fires on water vessels in the five years from 2006 through 2010. That’s a litte less than 370 yearly, or about one a day.
Of those 1,840 fires, more than 70 percent (1,310) occurred on powered boats under 65 feet in length. Additionally, those fires resulted in the deaths of two people and injuries to another 95.
On the face of it, those don’t appear to be very large numbers. But in 2018 alone, there have been several headline-making boat fires that give one pause:
Sept. 2: A Santa Barbara boat fire claimed the lives of 34 people. The fire aboard the Conception, a diving and fishing vessel, blocked any escape for the 34 people sleeping below deck, investigators said.
July 13: Five people were injured, and three of them were hospitalized, after an explosion and fire at Kings River Marina on Table Rock Lake in Missouri.
June 22: Six people were injured when a boat exploded and burned on a boat ramp along Lake Catherine near Hot Springs, Arkansas, about 55 miles southwest of Little Rock.
June 15: Five family members, including a 6-year-old girl, from Kansas City were injured in a boat explosion on Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, about 150 miles southeast of Kansas City.
The levels of severity for burn injuries are:
- First-degree: damages the outer layer of the skin (epidermis); typically heal in 3-4 weeks.
- Second-degree: damage the outer layer and the layer beneath it (dermis); looks red and blistered, and is often swollen and painful.
- Third-degree: more severe because they destroy both layers of skin; hair follicles, sweat glands, and other tissues also experience damage.
- Fourth-degree: involve injury to deeper tissues, such as muscle and tendons, as well as bone.
- Fifth–degree: extend past the fat and start to burn through muscle.
- Sixth-degree: result in charred bone; most likely will require skin grafting or amputation.
Call for free consultation
If you or a loved one are injured – or worse, killed – because of a boat fire, you might have reason to contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in such cases. Elliot Olsen is one of the best. Call today: (612) 337-6126.