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Old 02-21-2014, 08:47 PM   #1
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Boats on fire- Shelter Bay, La Conner

Up to 10 boats on fire.

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Old 02-21-2014, 09:34 PM   #2
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Up to 10 boats on fire.

Nwcn.com
Now they say 20 on fire and likely to be total losses. Apparently started at a dock with 12 boats but then the boat that was on fire floated into some other boats at another dock.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:07 PM   #3
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Wow! This really sucks.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:41 PM   #4
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:19 PM   #5
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La Conner is such a great place to enjoy. I have been several times and feel it really is a nice little gem. I hope all that have lost in this situation have insurance to cover the material loss. I know there wasn't anything mentioned about injuries but I would assume they would have mentioned if anyone was aboard when the boat(s) caught fire. Something like this it's fortunate that no one was injured.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:39 AM   #6
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We were driving into Mt. Vernon and saw all the smoke. My wife and I looked at each other and said oh crap, that has to be a marina. Huge amounts of bad black smoke. I called my buddy as he keeps his boat in La Connor but at a different marina thankfully. Hope no one was hurt.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:49 AM   #7
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The report was that two people were stranded on the dock but they were able to quickly rescue them. There were no fire hydrants near so there were twelve trucks or so brought to the scene but from what I saw they had no chance. A couple of nearby residents did get their dinghy and pull four boats away from the fire.

This was their dock with the largest boats so thousands of gallons of diesel fuel potentially spilled as six boats are apparently sunk.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:37 AM   #8
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I just talked to a friend (and client) who lives in La Conner- he counted 11 boats as total losses. He said it was a cluster___k with the volunteer fire department doing all they could, but being overwhelmed....
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:53 AM   #9
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Ebbtide was on that dock until Thanksgiving Day last year. Holy crap!
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:59 AM   #10
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I just talked to a friend (and client) who lives in La Conner- he counted 11 boats as total losses. He said it was a cluster___k with the volunteer fire department doing all they could, but being overwhelmed....
They forget about having to use foam sometimes....

Last boat fire I was involved in it took 30 minutes for the fireboat to show up and they had to run back and get foam...by then it was really too late.

Luckily I had towed the boat away from the fuel dock/marina so there were no other casualties.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:14 AM   #11
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At our Marina in BC there are frequent formal fire drills with fire boats, hose runs, foam, pumper trucks, Scott Airpaks etc commonly being in view. Two years ago there was a boat house fire which was confined to but a few due to a rapid and ready response.

Was it a volunteer group that responded at LaConnor? Isn't that side of the waterway on government land?
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:10 AM   #12
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Tribal land Tom.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:44 PM   #13
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Was it a volunteer group that responded at LaConnor? Isn't that side of the waterway on government land?
They responded engines from five stations. It was a mix of volunteer and full time firefighters from the surrounding area and a fire boat from Anacortes.
Fortunately, the fire was isolated to one dock of boats in the Shelter Bay Communities private marina. This is across the channel and South of downtown LaConner on leased Swinomish Tribal Land. It's not the much larger Port of Skagit County marina in La Conner proper.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:59 PM   #14
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We have very few dock fires in the Cal Delta

This is something that I here about with fair regularity in the PNW. This must be due to the large number of boats running heaters, maybe. Or is it just by the shear numbers of boats in the PNW. Just in time to ruin the new spring season for some.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:12 PM   #15
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They responded engines from five stations. It was a mix of volunteer and full time firefighters from the surrounding area and a fire boat from Anacortes.
Fortunately, the fire was isolated to one dock of boats in the Shelter Bay Communities private marina. This is across the channel and South of downtown LaConner on leased Swinomish Tribal Land. It's not the much larger Port of Skagit County marina in La Conner proper.
My understanding is that it was almost contained to the one dock but during the course of the fire one boat broke away and floated to another dock damaging some boats there. However, it was contained at the other dock to minimize damage. Also a couple of nearby homeowners did come in a dingy and tow four boats away including one that had it's side scorched already.

The fire must have both started and spread extremely rapidly for them not to have been able to remove any of the boats from the dock where it was. I think part of that too may have been the dock itself. I know the docks are old and there is an effort underway to put together a plan to replace them.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:21 PM   #16
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:33 PM   #17
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In Florida, fire fighting equipment is required for all marinas. While I know many marinas have not traditionally had such, when you think about the fact they have an endless source of water, it really seems dumb not to be able to fight a fire. Getting one when it is first noticed can often stem it quickly. Waiting for volunteers or distant municipalities to assist, it's often going to be too late. I also know of marinas on inland lakes who have purchased fire boats. That's not to say this fire could have been curtailed because I wasn't there and don't know how long before it was noticed. But it certainly would have improved the probability.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:47 PM   #18
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Ha Ha!!! That was my first thought too. These were all larger diesel boats, so an electrical fire does sound plausible?? Time will tell.

I talked to one of the insurance reps who's company insured one of the seven boats that were total loss and they have no idea yet. They visited the site and talked with CG and ecology investigators. They know which boat the fire started on, based on witness accounts, but that is all.

It started near the head of the dock and spread quickly down the dock to the other six boats. All boats at J dock, six sank, a 7th remained afloat and an 8th boat had severe heat damage and scorching. Responders successfully moved the rest of the boats 4 to 6 to other docks, depending on who you talk to; several of these had heat damage and scorching.

Since this is a private boat harbor with an assortment of private and club owned docks, there were no fire hydrants or fire suppression equipment at or on the dock.

The good news was, nobody was hurt!!
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:25 PM   #19
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Video here Shelter Bay Washington Marina fire - YouTube

It starts sideways but quickly gets corrected.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:29 PM   #20
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Since this is a private boat harbor with an assortment of private and club owned docks, there were no fire hydrants or fire suppression equipment at or on the dock.
Maybe it's time for that to change.

The small lake we lived on in NC before moving to Florida had an interesting collection of fire boats. There were seven on the lake. They weren't just there for docks but they were there to fight house fires. There are billions of dollars worth of homes on the lake and many are distant from hydrants that have good pressure. Like fire departments on land these boats also double as rescue boats. Now, as they aren't manned all the time I still don't know how much they'd help in a situation like this fire. They answer just over 100 calls per year in total.
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