Fishermen burnt after boat goes up in flames while cooking
- Fire Service reminds of safety protocols
Two fishermen, 42-year-old Phillip Edmonds and 29-year-old Derrick Balmickery received minor burns after a gas bottle exploded causing the cabin of their boat to go up in flames on Thursday at Helena, Mahaica River, East Coast Demerara.
The police had initially released a statement on the incident but in a more detailed statement, the Guyana Fire Service explained that it received a call at 18:10 hrs informing of a boat on fire at New Bridge Mahaica.
A water tender from the Mahaica Fire Station responded to the scene where firefighters found a wooden fishing boat on fire.
Firefighters sprung into action and were able to extinguish the blaze by using an open water source, the statement from the GFS added.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the fire was a result of a lighted stove left unattended, which ignited nearby combustible materials and spread to the entire boat.
The boat and its contents were completely destroyed and the two fishermen suffered injuries as a result of the fire.
On June 26, 2021 a similar incident at a wharf located at Lot 1213 Friendship, led to three persons tragically losing their lives.
In light of these incidents, the Guyana Fire Service would like to appeal to boat operators and crew to follow safety protocols and take the necessary precautions to avoid the occurrence of a fire.
Tips to ensure fire safety on boats:
– Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to alert occupants of a fire.
– Have an emergency plan in case of a fire.
– Turn off stove when leaving the boat or going to sleep.
– Inspect electrical wiring, connections, cords and battery-charging equipment to ensure they are installed properly and in good condition.
– Have the appropriate fire extinguishers and make sure they are easily accessible. Train all boaters on how to use them.
– Ensure cooling and exhaust systems are working properly.
– Use only certified chargers for personal electronic devices and do not overload electrical outlets.