One man was taken to the hospital with burns to the hands and face on Friday afternoon after his boat exploded by the Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club.
The Prince Rupert Fire Department was called just after 4 p.m. on Friday to respond to the explosion, which Fire Chief Dave Mckenzie said was the result of the man working on the boat.
“There were fumes ignited in the motor when the person was [aboard] and he was fuelling it. He went to vent it before starting it and the fumes exploded,” said the chief.
The boat has since been removed from the dock by the Coast Guard.
“The boat’s gone. We had the Coast Guard take it away because of the fuel that was there after the fire – there was still lots leaking from the boat, so they took it to a remote site,” Chief Mckenzie said.
While boat explosions due to improper fume ventilation aren’t exactly common, they can happen under the right conditions, said the chief.
“[People can minimize the risk] by just being diligent when they’re filling it and making sure there’s proper ventilation when firing the boat up. It all depends on the boat … It comes down to what type of motor it is – inboard or outboard. This one was an inboard. If you don’t vent them, they’ve got an engine cover compartment, so now it becomes pressurized. Whereas in an outboard, you hook up a gas line to it, it’s out in the open and away you go,” he said.