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Boat safety advice issued after couple rescued in Castleford

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is issuing safety advice to prevent fires on vessels after a couple had a lucky escape from a boat fire on Sunday afternoon (July 27).

At around 1345 hrs crews were called to the River Calder in Castleford, near Methley Bridge, after a couple discovered a fire on their 15 ft long pleasure craft.

The couple, from Doncaster, spotted smoke coming from the engine compartment and upon lifting the covering flap discovered the fire.

The pair, and their dog, were forced to abandon the pleasure craft and jump into the water, before the arrival of fire crews, and were fortunately picked up by a passing narrow boat.

The pleasure craft, which was well alight, then drifted towards the bankside, from where crews were able to put out the blaze, which unfortunately destroyed the boat. 

Ambulance crews were requested for the female who had suffered burns to her arm and the male who suffered smoke inhalation – both were taken for hospital. The dog was unharmed.

Appliances attended from Castleford, Wakefield, Leeds, Brighouse and Rothwell.

Watch Commander Granville Shaw, from Castleford station, said: “When we got there the whole boat was engulfed so they have had a lucky escape.

“Fire crews issued first aid to the couple before the arrival of paramedics. The area was quite close to a boatyard where people live on boats. We are going to go down and give advice and fit smoke alarms.

“Where people sleep on boats it is particularly important to have a smoke alarm on board.”

General boat safety advice

Fires can spread quickly on a boat, even on water.  Alarms and detectors can help keep you and your crew safe.  Other top tips include:

  • Make sure you check and maintain your boat’s fuel, gas and electrical systems on a regular basis.
  • Make an emergency plan with everyone on board before you set out.
  • If in doubt, don’t fight a fire yourself.  Get out, stay out and wait for the fire and rescue service.