During a recent game fishing competition, the competitor boats were refuelling and offloading their catches for the day when a situation occurred that could have been potentially hazardous, even deadly.
Everything was running smoothly with the transfer of fuel until the captain shouted that the boat was leaking fuel. The stronger than normal odour of fuel had alerted the captain that something was amiss.
The transfer of fuel to the boat was stopped and on closer investigation, it was discovered that the line running from the inlet filler cap to the tank had slipped off its mounting (corroded clips) and the fuel was running into the bilge.
All the systems in the boat were quickly switched off to stop any possible ignition of the fuel and the boat was pulled manually further along the jetty, out of harm’s way, where the crew worked quickly, using a plastic siphon pump, to siphon fuel from the bilge into an empty drum.
The events that unfolded that day could have been devastatingly different if the bilge pump had kicked in or the motors had been started and the fuel or fumes had ignited.
This is just one incidence which indicates the hazards that go hand in hand with refuelling a boat or PWC and why safety is of the utmost importance.