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#1 blackrose

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 07:13 PM

At about 2.30am last night large cruiser was broken into and set alight on the towpath at Brentford, which was moored just under the overhanging wharf. Apparently it was abandoned and about to be sectioned by BW.

About 45 minutes after being reported the fire brigade finally arrived, and although some of us looking at the blaze from the marina on the other side of the canal made comments about the tardiness of the fire service, personally I could see the difficulty involved in firstly finding the location of, and then gaining access to the area. As they approached the boat a gas bottle exploded, sending them running back in the direction they had come.

Anyway, then the fun really started: I don't like to criticise the emergency services, but the apparently didn't realise that the ropes had burned through and that once they pointed their powerful hoses at the burning boat it would simply drift off in the opposite direction and out of the reach of their hoses.

This is precisely what happened and the occupants of 6 boats including my own at the northern end of the marina, suddenly found that the blazing wreck was heading directly towards them! We spent about 20 minutes fending the boat off with poles and tried to make use of our puny hoses. Added to this it was the coldest night for a while and the pontoons were a bit icy and quite slippery. A couple of people lost their footing as they were running around in the melee, but fortunately nobody was hurt. With flames leaping about 10ft from the boat and the acrid smoke smothering us it really felt like the professionals had left us to it, but eventually they made it around to our side.

We managed to drive the boat over to the arm at the back of Brentford Island where the fire brigade put it out and it now lays sunk. We were fortunate that it wasn't very windy last night as it usually blows from a northerly direction and fending off would have been much more difficult.

All in all it was quite a scary experience.

Edited by blackrose, 29 March 2009 - 07:19 PM.

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#2 Smelly

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 07:23 PM

I don't like to criticise the emergency services, but


I think the emergency services don't know too much about boats... I've watched the fire brigade spend about an hour pumping the canal back into itself while trying to raise a boat that was a bit too far sunk.
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#3 Neil TNC

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 07:46 PM

At about 2.30am last night large cruiser was broken into and set alight on the towpath at Brentford, which was moored just under the overhanging wharf. Apparently it was abandoned and about to be sectioned by BW.

About 45 minutes after being reported the fire brigade finally arrived, and although some of us looking at the blaze from the marina on the other side of the canal made comments about the tardiness of the fire service, personally I could see the difficulty involved in firstly finding the location of, and then gaining access to the area. As they approached the boat a gas bottle exploded, sending them running back in the direction they had come.

Anyway, then the fun really started: I don't like to criticise the emergency services, but the apparently didn't realise that the ropes had burned through and that once they pointed their powerful hoses at the burning boat it would simply drift off in the opposite direction and out of the reach of their hoses.

This is precisely what happened and the occupants of 6 boats including my own at the northern end of the marina, suddenly found that the blazing wreck was heading directly towards them! We spent about 20 minutes fending the boat off with poles and tried to make use of our puny hoses. Added to this it was the coldest night for a while and the pontoons were a bit icy and quite slippery. A couple of people lost their footing as they were running around in the melee, but fortunately nobody was hurt. With flames leaping about 10ft from the boat and the acrid smoke smothering us it really felt like the professionals had left us to it, but eventually they made it around to our side.

We managed to drive the boat over to the arm at the back of Brentford Island where the fire brigade put it out and it now lays sunk. We were fortunate that it wasn't very windy last night as it usually blows from a northerly direction and fending off would have been much more difficult.

All in all it was quite a scary experience.


Just as well there were some professional boaters the other side, so sort it out.
Scary stuff!
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#4 Odana

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:05 PM

Yikes - sounds scary. Was there any damage to any of the other boats?
And is there a green or sanded-down-rust 60' springer there? Think that's where a friend has his winter mooring - will report in to him if so.
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#5 Rojo

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:29 PM

At about 2.30am last night large cruiser was broken into and set alight on the towpath at Brentford, which was moored just under the overhanging wharf. Apparently it was abandoned and about to be sectioned by BW.

About 45 minutes after being reported the fire brigade finally arrived, and although some of us looking at the blaze from the marina on the other side of the canal made comments about the tardiness of the fire service, personally I could see the difficulty involved in firstly finding the location of, and then gaining access to the area. As they approached the boat a gas bottle exploded, sending them running back in the direction they had come.

Anyway, then the fun really started: I don't like to criticise the emergency services, but the apparently didn't realise that the ropes had burned through and that once they pointed their powerful hoses at the burning boat it would simply drift off in the opposite direction and out of the reach of their hoses.

This is precisely what happened and the occupants of 6 boats including my own at the northern end of the marina, suddenly found that the blazing wreck was heading directly towards them! We spent about 20 minutes fending the boat off with poles and tried to make use of our puny hoses. Added to this it was the coldest night for a while and the pontoons were a bit icy and quite slippery. A couple of people lost their footing as they were running around in the melee, but fortunately nobody was hurt. With flames leaping about 10ft from the boat and the acrid smoke smothering us it really felt like the professionals had left us to it, but eventually they made it around to our side.

We managed to drive the boat over to the arm at the back of Brentford Island where the fire brigade put it out and it now lays sunk. We were fortunate that it wasn't very windy last night as it usually blows from a northerly direction and fending off would have been much more difficult.

All in all it was quite a scary experience.

similar to this http://www.narrowboa...om/23 news.html

Edited by Rojo, 29 March 2009 - 09:33 PM.

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#6 budgie348

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:21 AM

At about 2.30am last night large cruiser was broken into and set alight on the towpath at Brentford, which was moored just under the overhanging wharf. Apparently it was abandoned and about to be sectioned by BW.

About 45 minutes after being reported the fire brigade finally arrived, and although some of us looking at the blaze from the marina on the other side of the canal made comments about the tardiness of the fire service, personally I could see the difficulty involved in firstly finding the location of, and then gaining access to the area. As they approached the boat a gas bottle exploded, sending them running back in the direction they had come.

Anyway, then the fun really started: I don't like to criticise the emergency services, but the apparently didn't realise that the ropes had burned through and that once they pointed their powerful hoses at the burning boat it would simply drift off in the opposite direction and out of the reach of their hoses.This is precisely what happened and the occupants of 6 boats including my own at the northern end of the marina, suddenly found that the blazing wreck was heading directly towards them! We spent about 20 minutes fending the boat off with poles and tried to make use of our puny hoses. Added to this it was the coldest night for a while and the pontoons were a bit icy and quite slippery. A couple of people lost their footing as they were running around in the melee, but fortunately nobody was hurt. With flames leaping about 10ft from the boat and the acrid smoke smothering us it really felt like the professionals had left us to it, but eventually they made it around to our side.

We managed to drive the boat over to the arm at the back of Brentford Island where the fire brigade put it out and it now lays sunk. We were fortunate that it wasn't very windy last night as it usually blows from a northerly direction and fending off would have been much more difficult.

All in all it was quite a scary experience.

This happened to us 20 years ago, our cruiser exploded and caught fire (petrol engine) and by the time the fire brigade arrived the superstructure was well alight, they put their power hoses to work and sent the boat off like a viking funeral pyre down the Thames, ropes had burnt through! Do Brigades not speak to each other and pass onto each other what could be vital life saving information?
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Regards


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#7 FadeToScarlet

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:38 AM

I didn't know Francis Drake was in the fire service...

#8 bargemast

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:39 AM

[quote name='blackrose' date='Mar 29 2009, 08:13 PM' post='348590']

This is precisely what happened and the occupants of 6 boats including my own at the northern end of the marina, suddenly found that the blazing wreck was heading directly towards them! We spent about 20 minutes fending the boat off with poles and tried to make use of our puny hoses. Added to this it was the coldest night for a while and the pontoons were a bit icy and quite slippery. A couple of people lost their footing as they were running around in the melee, but fortunately nobody was hurt. With flames leaping about 10ft from the boat and the acrid smoke smothering us it really felt like the professionals had left us to it, but eventually they made it around to our side.

We managed to drive the boat over to the arm at the back of Brentford Island where the fire brigade put it out and it now lays sunk. We were fortunate that it wasn't very windy last night as it usually blows from a northerly direction and fending off would have been much more difficult.

All in all it was quite a scary experience.

I'm glad to read that no damage was done to yours and the other 5 boats, as this could have easily ended-up much worse.

Fire brigades are generally not very good with boat fires, I've seen them sinking a boat through filling her up with huge amounts of water pumped in, to stop a minor fire, but I still admire their courage in many other situations.

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#9 blackrose

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:55 AM

Yikes - sounds scary. Was there any damage to any of the other boats?
And is there a green or sanded-down-rust 60' springer there? Think that's where a friend has his winter mooring - will report in to him if so.


Fortunately there was no damage to any other boats. I've seen a few Springers at Brentford - not sure about your friend's? Although I think the visitor moorings at Brentford are safe enough, I don't think it's the place to leave a boat unattended for long periods - but then that probably goes for anywhere on the system.
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#10 The Wanderer

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 06:12 PM

As bargemast says some fire brigades aren't very good with boats on fire especially if they don't have a lot of water in their area.

Put too much water in and you sink the boat, not enough and you lose the boat anyway. Usually by the time they have found the boat and got close enough to attack the fire the boat may be lost. The risk of explosion and drowning add to the problem.

They are pretty good with ship fires and get the training for that. :lol:

Also they wound't take offence if you offered some advice about the ropes having been burnt through. :lol:

Edited by The Wanderer, 30 March 2009 - 06:16 PM.

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#11 Smelly

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 06:23 PM

but I still admire their courage in many other situations.[/b]


I should've said that really! Agree wholeheartedly
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