Stay ship-shape to keep your family safe

As the tall ships set sail for Gloucester Docks this weekend, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is reminding boat owners to make vital checks to stay safe on their vessels.

The Tall Ships Festival will be held in the city from Friday 24th May to Monday 27th May, attracting thousands of visitors to the historic Docks - and firefighters will be on hand to warn boat owners about fire and carbon monoxide (CO) risks.

GFRS supports national charity Carbon Monoxide Awareness in raising awareness of CO - known as the 'silent killer'.

The Tall Ships Festival coincides with Boat Fire Safety Week, from 27th May to 31st May, when firefighters will be talking to thousands of boat owners across the county and handing out leaflets alerting people to important safety advice.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: "In the past 20 years, 30 boaters have been killed in boat fires and another 30 have lost their lives to the silent killer, carbon monoxide."

"With so much interest in the Docks in the coming week, there is no better time to remind boat owners across the county of simple advice that can help keep them and their loved ones safe."

The message, timed for the start of the boating season, is that owners should understand the risks, make regular, basic checks, and follow their engine and appliance operating guidelines.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "There is a very healthy boating community in the county and the majority of these residents will understand the importance of ensuring their vessel is maintained properly. "

"For those who aren't fully up to date with the latest advice, it's a great time to be reminded."

The Boat Safety Scheme advice is as follows:

This year's Boat Fire Safety Week is supported by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the Royal Yachting Association and The Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

RNLI campaign manager Will Stephens said: "The RNLI is happy to support Boat Fire Safety Week. In 2011 the charity's lifeboats launched to 90 incidents involving boat fires and a further 81 in 2012."

"If we can all help raise awareness of the actions that boat users can take to help prevent fire, and the sources of potential risk, more people can continue to enjoy their boating and avoid a potential tragedy."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For further information about boat fire and CO safety, visit www.boatsafetyscheme.org/stay-safe

Issued by: Keith Coles, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 425093, keith.coles@gloucestershire.gov.uk

You can follow Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service on www.facebook.com/glosfire or www.twitter.com/glosfire You can also follow our Chief Fire Officer on www.twitter.com/glosfirechief

23rd May 2013