Boat Safety Scheme Annual Report for 2009


BSS have just issued their annual report: ten pages of facts and plans to address the issues that have been seen last year.

The report is based on 122 incidents in the year, but the most detail is available for the 89 on inland waterways. Of these 65 relate to fire and explosion

The good news

CO poisoning is down.
There was a relatively moderate number of solid fuel stove related incidents. BSS Examiners reported (only) 98 immediately ‘dangerous boats’ out of approximately 16400 certificates issued (0.6%). These were dangerous mainly due to gas leaks. By way of comparison, in 2008 BSS Examiners reported 107.
The bad news
Fire and explosion make up the majority of incidents and are always a significant risk on boats.
Arson continues to be the single largest cause of fire on inland boats. Although it fell in the year to 17, that figure still represents an above average level. Electrical and petrol fires are identified as the next most significant.
There is a rise in figures for sinkings, collisions and man-over-board (MOB) incidents. This is probably due to more information coming forward from new access to BW emergency call logs and reports from some insurance sources. Of the 6 fatalities, 5 were MOB.
A 2008 survey found that only 27% of boats had smoke alarms. The outcome for the seventh fatality in 2009 could have been changed by having an effective alarm.
So a few simple things here for the new season:
Check your solid fuel stove, gas system and electrical maintenance.
Buy and install a fire alarm (and a CO alarm).
Don’t fall in.
Click here to read the full report